LHC sees odd behavior in superhot particle soup

Coordinated motion observed in debris from lead-proton collisions

10:32pm, December 5, 2012

Strangely behaving subatomic particles at the world’s most powerful particle accelerator could lead to fresh insight into how matter behaves at the smallest scales and highest energies.

Ordinarily, the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva sends protons hurtling into each other at velocities approaching the speed of light. But for several hours in September, the machine collided protons into lead nuclei — tightly packed bundles of 82 protons and 126 neutrons. It was merely a test run, designed to calibrate instruments for future experiments.

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