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Single top quark detected

Same techniques could be used to detect theoretical particles like the Higgs boson

9:48am, March 10, 2009

Physicists have identified the production of the elusive single top quark, two research teams report.

Previously top quarks have been observed only when produced in pairs, as when they were initially discovered 14 years ago at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. Now, researchers using Fermilab’s two detectors announced March 9 that they have detected single top quarks. The techniques used to find the singleton quarks could help to identify other rare particles, such as the Higgs boson, the scientists say.

“What a discovery,” comments Nobel laureate David Gross of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “These researchers should be congratulated.”

Quarks are fundamental particles of matter that come in six varieties known as “flavors.” Ordinary matter consists mostly of two quark flavors, the “up” and “down” quarks that

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