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article imageLarge Hadron Collider detects 'double heavy' particle

By Tim Sandle     Jul 8, 2017 in Science
Geneva - Scientists have detected a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility. The particle is described as "double heavy" and it may provide new insights into 'strong forces'.
The discovery relates to the Xi-cc++ particle, and it was found by a team led by Dr Patrick Spradlin of Glasgow University. The new particle that the Large Hadron Collider has detected was theoretically predicted, but never deteted. The discovery marks the first concrete evidence of its existence.
The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest and most powerful particle collider in the world. The device is housed in a complex experimental facility within the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider is held within a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 miles) in circumference, and 175 meters (574 feet) deep,, lying beneath the France–Switzerland border. The aim of the Large Hadron Collider is to test predictions relating to theories of particle physics. The most famous therom tested relates to Higgs boson (a process that seeks 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 a family of new particles. With such studies, scientists analyse collisions between particles moving at close to the speed of light.
READ MORE: Large Hadron Collider detects new subatomic particles
Neutrons and protons, which form atoms, are made up of quarks (a quark is an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter). So far six different types of quarks, which combine in different ways to form other kinds of particle, have been discovered (with exotic names such as “charm”, “strange” and “beauty”) according to BBC Science. Quarks can be 'light' or 'heavy'; the new parties discovered to date have contained at most, one heavy quark. However, the newly discovered Xi-cc++ particle contains two heavy quarks. The Xi-cc++ particle, Wired reports, has a mass of 3621 MeV/c2, (in high-energy physics, the electronvolt is often used as a unit of momentum) which is around 3.5 times heavier than protons or neutrons.
Physicists are now keen to understand how the strong force holds the system of this new quark together and they hope, New Scientist notes, that studying the new particle will help them test quantum chromodynamics, the theory of the strong force, which is responsible for holding quarks together.
A research paper has been issued describing the new particle in more detail: "Observation of the doubly charmed baryon Ξ++cc)".
More about Large hadron collider, Cern, Physics, particles
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