Super colliders may seem useless to some people, but scientists searching for the secrets of the universe have used them to discover a new subatomic particle. This new discovery will help people understand what holds quarks together to help shape matter.
A New Discovery
Researchers at the CERN research facility in Europe recently announced the discovery of the new particle using the Compact Muon Solenoid. A team from the University of Zurich assisted with the project that has found the elusive Xi-b particle.
Xi-b particles comprise three quarks much like protons and neutrons. However, the configuration of the quarks differs than those in protons and neutrons because of the use of a strange quark. Scientists say the Xi-b particle does not have an electric charge.
A Not-So-New Discovery
According to MSNBC, the existence of the Xi-b particle was well known before the recent discovery. In the past, however; Xi-b particles were observed in their ground states. The new discovery uses proton-on-proton interactions to excite the Xi-b. As a result, scientists now have a good understanding of how the particle works.
Get a Buzz
Atomic research takes a lot of energy, but it took 7 trillion volts to excite the Xi-b. That sounds like a lot, but in dollars, that amount would be less than half the national debt of the United States.
According to a notice issued by the university, the observation of the Xi-b has confirmed one of the fundamental four forces that define matter, the strong interaction.
A Trend-Setting Find
One researcher told reporters that the ability to find the Xi-b in its excited state has increased the confidence of the scientific community that the CERN collider will help them identify more previously unknown particles.
One of the most elusive of all particles in science is the Higgs Boson. Some people call this particle the “God particle” because they believe it holds the key to understanding the supposed and so-called big bang. As the ultimate trophy in physics, the Higgs Boson particle presumably will explain the origin of mass. The so-called Higgs Field, a force that gave some of the original particles mass will help physicists discover the origins of the universe itself.
Discovery of Higgs Boson would validate the Standard Model that suggests the universe comprises 12 fundamental particles that produce matter in conjunction with the four basic forces of the universe. Scientists believe they will have enough evidence to prove the existence of Higgs Boson before the start of next year.