Tagged With large hadron collider

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Conceptually, particle physics experiments are surprisingly simple. Smash a buttload of particles together, and look at what comes out. The results will either confirm whatever the business-as-usual theory is, or, if there's a really crystal clear deviation from that theory, they might prove some new hypothesis about some new particles. But the middle ground, where the difference between what we know and what we see is still fuzzy, is where a lot of results live.

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The Large Hadron Collider sits underground, spanning over five miles across beneath the bucolic suburbs of Geneva, Switzerland. This metal behemoth serves to try and understand the most basic building blocks of our universe. The question stands, then: if ghosts are real, shouldn't the LHC have found them?

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Nestled between the border of France and Switzerland is the Large Hadron Collider: a 27 kilometre ring of superconducting magnets put together by over 10,000 physicists and engineers from 100 countries, best known for proving the existence of the Higgs boson, or "God Particle".

Now Queenslanders can take a closer look at the world's largest machine in an exhibition at Queensland Museum.

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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.