Guest post by Andrew Grant
Two new particles have been discovered at the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.
Physicists with the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment identified the particles, Xi_b’– and Xi_b*–, among the deluge of subatomic shrapnel produced when protons collide at the LHC near Geneva. Like protons, the particles each contain three fundamental components of matter called quarks. The discovery is reported Nov. 18 on arXiv.org.
The particles’ properties match up well with the predictions of quantum chromodynamics, a theory that dictates how quarks interact. Eventually physicists hope the LHC will reveal particles that don’t quite fit those predictions, perhaps leading to the discovery of new fundamental particles or forces.