LHC discovers exotic new 4 quark particle

05 May

The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is most famous for discovering the Higgs Boson, but that’s not all that it’s been able to do. With the goal of giving us a better idea of what happened during the Big Bang that created the Universe, the LHC has created entirely new, exotic states of matter that only existed for a fraction of a second at the very instant of our Universe’s birth, including a rare type of particle made up of four quarks, one extra than what we consider to be normal.

A quark is not just a quirky character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It’s a fundamental component of the protons and neutrons inside an atom’s nucleus. Most matter in nature that we’re aware of only has two or three quarks at a time, so finding particles with four quarks is extremely rare, and takes an enormous amount of energy that can only be created by the LHC (or perhaps some cosmic rays). These four-quark particles are referred to as Z particles, and those created by CERN are specifically Z(4430). Z particles only happen when there is extreme energy present, so they are thought to have existed right after the Big Bang for a few microseconds. Needless to say, evidence of their existence confirms much of what we know about our Universe, although understanding these particles could eventually change some of that knowledge.

Four-quark particles have purportedly been created before, but their existence in those experiments was always questioned. The new CERN experiment, however, has a high enough statistical significance, and good supporting data, that results are “indisputable” proof of their creation of Z(4430). But that begs the question: are there other four-quark particles we’re unaware of? The answer is likely. Also, what role, if any, did these four-quark particles play during the Big Bang? Perhaps CERN and their LHC can answer that question in the future.





Source:  Large Hadron Collider Discovers Exotic New Four-Quark Particle

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


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