Science & Technology
Atom smasher hints at major new discovery
March 19, 2016 | 15 comments
Has the LHC discovered another new particle ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Maximilien Brice
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have caught a glimpse of what might be a new type of particle.
Not content with discovering the Higgs Boson, the scientists behind the world's largest and most powerful atom smasher have not given up on their efforts to unravel the secrets of the universe.
Now, just four years after the team's most famous discovery, there have been early indications that they may have hit the jackpot once again - this time in the form of brief flashes of light picked up during recent experiments that could be the first evidence of an entirely new particle.
While there is still a long way to go before any conclusions can be reached and despite the fact that anomalous 'blips' in the readings are known to occur from time to time, this particular observation seems to have been generating a suspiciously significant degree of excitement.
Some scientists have speculated that the readings could indicate the existence of the Higgs Boson's heavier cousin while others have suggested that the collider may have found evidence of gravitons - a hypothetical elementary particle capable of transmitting gravity.
"If this thing turns out to be real, it’s a ten on the Richter scale of particle physics," said physicist John Ellis of King’s College London. "One's excitometer gets totally broken."
"It would be such a fantastic discovery if it were true, precisely because it’s unexpected, and because it would be the tip of an iceberg of new forms of matter."
Source: The Guardian
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