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Science & Technology

Atom smasher hints at major new discovery

March 19, 2016 | Comment icon 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 | Comments (15)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Otto von Pickelhaube 7 years ago
So what might this, well, mean, in terms that might be beneficial for humanity? Is it just something that theoretical physicists would go "oh, that's interesting" about, or might it actually lead to some useful breakthrough for humanity? I mean, would the existence of the Higgs Boson's heavier cousin actually lead to anything useful? Might, for that matter, the existence of the Higgs Boson itself, lead to anything useful?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Derek Willis 7 years ago
So what might this, well, mean, in terms that might be beneficial for humanity? Is it just something that theoretical physicists would go "oh, that's interesting" about, or might it actually lead to some useful breakthrough for humanity? I mean, would the existence of the Higgs Boson's heavier cousin actually lead to anything useful? Might, for that matter, the existence of the Higgs Boson itself, lead to anything useful? In 1830 Michael Faraday wiggled a magnet near a piece of wire and saw that he could produce a flicker of electricity. His first thought was: "Oh, that's interesting". His sec... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
So what might this, well, mean, in terms that might be beneficial for humanity? Is it just something that theoretical physicists would go "oh, that's interesting" about, or might it actually lead to some useful breakthrough for humanity? I mean, would the existence of the Higgs Boson's heavier cousin actually lead to anything useful? Might, for that matter, the existence of the Higgs Boson itself, lead to anything useful? That is what basic science is all about. You never know what it will bring, but if you don't do it you will not get the great leaps forward that we got from such "useless" re... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Derek Willis 7 years ago
That is what basic science is all about. You never know what it will bring, but if you don't do it you will not get the great leaps forward that we got from such "useless" research. Einstein, Bohr, Faraday, Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Flemming and many others didn't know what their discoveries would bring, but they did it anyway. Will it lead to something useful ? Who knows. Can we afford not to do it ? I don't think so ! I should have pointed out that Michael Faraday was inspired to wiggle a magnet next to a wire because the Great Dane Hans Oersted had seen how electricity flowing through a ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
I should have pointed out that Michael Faraday was inspired to wiggle a magnet next to a wire because the Great Dane Hans Oersted had seen how electricity flowing through a wire produces magnetism! I though about including H. C. Ørsted on my list, but since I allready had Bohr on it, it would just be showing off.
Comment icon #11 Posted by kartikg 7 years ago
It doesn't matter if it's useful sometimes you have to do it for curiosity don't you like to know just know how things work?
Comment icon #12 Posted by StarMountainKid 7 years ago
I hope it's a graviton.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Derek Willis 7 years ago
I though about including H. C. Ørsted on my list, but since I allready had Bohr on it, it would just be showing off. I have to say that for such a small country Denmark has produced some pretty big brains, Tycho Brahe being my favorite.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Tatetopa 7 years ago
Many of you have already made excellent arguments about why we should do this. I will just add that we have plenty of money to go around. The large hadron collider is not sucking up money to the detriment of other causes. The US spends more money on cosmetics than Europe does on the collider. How about we stop that instead? You could generate a list of trillions of dollars that we waste all over the world on meaningless or detrimental stuff every year. Probably we could fund a space program for all of the money people pay to cable companies to watch Southpark or Keeping up with the Kardassians... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
If we can understand gravity in the ways to change or mitigate its influence I wonder how many wonderful scientific things might be derived from that. I think that the LHC might be assistive in this endeavour.


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