from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The field of modern particle physics seems like an exclusive club. Fundamental particles are literally everywhere, but it’s not quite practical to observe a Higgs Boson in your kitchen. Sure, you could build your own cloud chamber and see some cosmic rays, but making your own TeV particle collider takes a bit more expertise. Maybe experimental evidence for theoretical physics is highly overrated anyway.
- CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has just observed a class of particles called pentaquarks. The existence of this kind of particle has been theorized for decades, and now we have evidence that can help us better understand these elusive pentaquarks as well as other fundamental particles. [url]
- The LHC also detected some new baryons earlier this year — aka “zi-b-prime” and “zi-b-star”. These particles were also predicted years ago and now have estimated properties based on quantum chromodynamics (QCD) calculations confirmed by experimental measurements. [url]
- The ‘glueball’ is a particle consisting of two or more gluons, and it has yet to be found. A class of unconventional glueballs might be easier to observe — made of three gluons instead of two — and are called ‘oddballs’ because physicists are fond of cute names for particles. [url]
- An exotic particle called a Majorana fermion is its own antiparticle and is surprisingly stable (ie. it doesn’t annihilate itself). Some physicists predict that Majorana fermions might serve as quantum computing qubits, but so far they only seem to be easily found at the ends of atomic-scale superconducting wires — not quite the most convenient materials to build a quantum computer out of. [url]
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