Particle accelerators have a lot of important jobs, such as looking for new stuff by slamming beams of old stuff together. But a new particle accelerator observation has managed to be important while doing almost precisely the opposite of what we'd expect. Physicists have found evidence for hard-to-detect stuff by, well, not slamming particles together.
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Physicist Usama Hussain laughed uncomfortably every time the conversation even got close to the question, "Do you look for nothing?" His professors would kill him if they heard him agree with that. After all, he's technically looking for a brand new particle that may or may not exist, with the hopes that it might help explain some of the Universe's weirdness.
Four British schoolboys had just been called from class. They were 10 days away from their A-level exams, the ones that determine the direction the rest of their lives would take, but they'd been interrupted from their studies to discuss the deepest secrets of the universe — their work hunting for the magnetic monopole at the Large Hadron Collider.
After receiving a few upgrades, including a power boost and better cameras, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is once again ready for business and will soon start providing scientists with glorious, glorious particle data for "the first time in 2017".
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Hiding in the suburbs behind trees and a meadow with furry brown donkeys is a warehouse with an elevator that only visits negative floors. Hundreds of feet down, hyper complex detectors inside an octagonal tube the colour and size of a large barn whistle loudly and peer like cameras at protons, the positively charged bits at the center of every atom. Those cameras may have just produced an exotic phase of matter in a brand new way. Maybe.
Scientists working at CERN have found four new "tetraquark" particles comprised of the same four subatomic building blocks. These exotic particles don't last very long, and they probably don't play an important cosmological role, but the discovery reveals the surprising diversity of the tetraquark family.
Bad news, citizens of Earth: those evil physicists at CERN are once again hellbent on vaporising the Earth and ending the universe as we know it as the Large Hadron Collider ramps up to unprecedented energies. That's according to Lonnie Robinson, intrepid correspondent/prophet of doom for The Daily Reporter in Coldwater, Michigan, who sees the signs of our imminent destruction everywhere he looks (including The Simpsons). He even pegs the specific day on which we can probably expect global annihilation: September 24, 2015.
After restarting to run at higher power than ever, the Large Hadron Collider has made its first proper discovery. Today, a team of scientists announced that they have found a new class of sub-atomic particles known as pentaquarks.