September 22, 2010
CERN Announces New LHC Discovery
Scientists working at the world's largest atom smasher said Tuesday the they believe they have discovered a new phenomenon while trying to unravel the universe's deepest secrets.
One of the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment indicated that "some of the particles are intimately linked in a way not seen before in proton collisions," the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on its website.
Physicist Guido Tonelli told his fellow scientists at a seminar that the new feature has appeared in analysis in the middle of July.
"We have today submitted a paper to expose our findings to the wider (scientific) community," he added. The seminar was held to present findings from the collider's Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector.
Tonelli, a physicist from Italy's University of Pisa and spokesperson for the CMS detector, noted that during weeks of cross-checks and critical debate among the team, "we didn't succeed to kill it."
The phenomenon showed up as a "ridge-like structure" on computer mapping graphs based on data from billions of collisions in the $5.2 billion LHC.
The CMS, one of six experiments running around the particle accelerator, is designed to look for the elusive and so far theoretical Higgs Boson, nicknamed the "God Particle." It is also used to try to shed light on components of dark matter, the mysterious invisible void that makes up one-quarter of the universe.
"What we really hope to get is not just ideas, but how to test it," MIT physicist Gunther Roland, one of the authors of the paper submitted for review, said during the seminar at CERN's headquarters on the Geneva border.
Despite a positive response from their peers at CERN, the CMS team's interpretation of the findings on Tuesday was strongly challenged during the meeting as scientists threw suggestions at one another.
"We are stating facts, facts that there is something that we have not seen before," responded Tonelli, as they began the process of finding endorsement and an explanation for the observation.
Image Caption: Image of a 7 TeV proton-proton collision in CMS producing more than 100 charged particles.
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