Web edition: August 26, 2011
Print edition: September 10, 2011; Vol.180 #6 (p. 4)
NEW PARTICLE DISCOVERED — The discovery of a new elementary particle, omega meson, made at the University of California’s Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, and the finding of unidentified additional “particle systems” in the subatomic realm are believed to make it possible to push on in the next decade or two to a better explanation of how matter is put together. More than 30 so-called elementary particles are known. The new elementary particle discovery gives important insight into the structure and behavior of the atomic nucleus. It plays an important role in the structure of protons and neutrons, the basic building blocks of atomic nuclei. The mass of the omega is 1540 electron masses. Like the neutron, the omega has no electrical charge.