Probably arriving just a bit too late to impress your auntie at Xmas dinner, but still very exciting news from the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. The scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator - have made their first clear observation of a new particle since the opening of the LHC in 2009. The new particle “Chi_b (3P)” is made up of a ‘beauty quark’ and a ‘beauty anti-quark’, which are then bound together.
For advanced scientific minds we include the official press release:
“The chi_b(nP) quarkonium states are produced in proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV and recorded by the ATLAS detector. Using a data sample corresponding to an integrated luminosity of 4.4 fb^-1, these states are reconstructed through their radiative decays to Upsilon(1S,2S) with Upsilon->mu+mu-. In addition to the mass peaks corresponding to the decay modes chi_b(1P,2P)->Upsilon(1S)gamma, a new structure centered at a mass of 10.539+/-0.004 (stat.)+/-0.008 (syst.) GeV is also observed, in both the Upsilon(1S)gamma and Upsilon(2S)gamma decay modes. This is interpreted as the chi_b(3P) system.”