The Large Hadron Collider
is the world's largest and most powerful particle collider. It is housed in the most complex experimental facility ever built, located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider is located a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 miles) in circumference, and 175 metres (574 feet) deep, posiitoned beneath the France–Switzerland border near Geneva.
The aim of the Large Hadron Collider is to test
the predictions of different theories of particle physics. This includes exploring the properties of the Higgs boson (seeking to explain why some fundamental particles have mass when, based on the symmetries controlling their interactions, they should be massless). In addition, the Large Hadron Collider is used to search for the large family of new particles. It is with this latter function that the new discovery relates to.
The five newly discovered particles are all different forms of the so-called Omega-c baryon (which was first put forward as a model in theoretical physics in 1994). The Omega baryons
are a family of subatomic hadron particles. Until now, the existence of the particles had never been proven. It is hoped the discovery will provide an insight into the operation of the "strong force" which glues the insides of atoms. Physicists have long held a theory called quantum chromodynamics
to describe how the nuclear strong force works inside an atom. It seems this theory is correct. The theory has played an important part in the Standard Model of particle physics
(a fundamental theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong interactions, as well as classifying all the elementary particles known).
Speaking with the BBC
about the new particles, Dr Greig Cowan, of the University of Edinburgh, U.K. and who works on the Large Hadron Collider, said: "This is a striking discovery that will shed light on how quarks bind together. It may have implications not only to better understand protons and neutrons, but also more exotic multi-quark states, such as pentaquarks and tetraquarks." A quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, such as protons and neutrons which are the components of atomic nuclei.