Thursday, December 22, 2011

LHC Discovers Its First New Particle

It may not be the Higgs, but hey, a new particle is a new particle!

News reports are citing the uploaded ArXiv preprint that the LHC has discovered its first new particle, the chi_b.

The Chi_b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in previous collision experiments, explained Prof Roger Jones, who works on the Atlas detector at the LHC.

"The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty anti-quark', which are then bound together," he told BBC News.

"People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now. 
 This is an example of the argument that the LHC wasn't built just to find one thing. No one in their right mind would want to pay and authorize the building of such an expensive machine just to look for one thing. Even discounting the Higgs, the LHC is a machine that will reshape our understanding of fundamental particles. This discovery is merely the beginning.


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