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New Particle Identified At LHC 164

Posted by timothy
from the particularly-new dept.
First time accepted submitter m4ktub writes "A team of researchers working with the ATLAS experiment at the LHC have published an article in arXiv where they describe what is believed to be the first observation of a new particle: the boson Chi-b (3P). Professor Roger Jones, Head of the Lancaster ATLAS group, said 'While people are rightly interested in the Higgs boson, which we believe gives particles their mass and may have started to reveal itself, a lot of the mass of everyday objects comes from the strong interaction we are investigating using the Chi-b.'"
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New Particle Identified At LHC

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  • Re:Chibi Higgs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:36AM (#38459814)
    That is extremely misleading. You could say the same thing about any isolated particle. Firstly, we are talking about the gravitational force carrier, not just 'mass'. Subtle difference. You have inertial mass, and then you have gravitational mass, though we know they are fundamentally of the same nature, how they arise in general relativity vs. quantum mechanics is quite different. Secondly, the strong force, weak force, and electromagnetic force are modeled as being transmitted via virtual force carriers, and as such you could say a W/Z boson doesn't exist because you will never be able to isolate it by itself because it is a manifestation of short-range interaction between systems of hadrons. They do in fact exist, and though they cannot be seen directly their decay products can be seen and the decay chains fit the model predicting the existence of these particles, so your 'side-effect' isolation argument is a moot point and provides no new information regarding theory and contradicts findings regarding the other force carriers we know about.

    I am not saying that the Higgs does exist, what I am saying is that because a particle does not exist in isolation does not intrinsically mean that the particle's existence is ruled out from the standard model. Force carriers / bosons are governed by a different set of rules than fermions, so the 'unique isolation' argument doesn't really apply as cleanly as you assert it to.

    The electrostatic interaction is mediated by virtual photons, you will never see any of these virtual photons in isolation but the interaction strengths of the force are accurately modeled using this concept. The Higgs field is similar in this regard, theoretically. I do general relativity mostly, so any particle physicist out there feel free to correct my any travesties I have spewed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:52AM (#38459980)

    The new particle is made up of a 'beauty quark' and a 'beauty anti-quark', which are then bound together

    Can anyone explain why do they not annihilate?

  • by grep_rocks (1182831) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:06PM (#38460118)
    Actually this particle is a b anti-b pair(b_bar), and particles consisting of b b_bar have been observed before - what makes this particle different from the others is that the b b_bar are in a different state of excitation (3P) - Just like having hydrogen ( consisting of a proton and an electron) in its ground state (1S) you can have hydrogen in an excited state (2S, 1P, 3S, 2P.. etc..) where the electron is in a higher energy state or orbital. With the strong force a large amount of the mass of most particles is tied up in the field binding the two quarks together, so a quarkonium "atom" in a different excited state can have a vastly different mass than the same "atom" in the ground state. For light quarks (uds) almost all the mass of particles made from these quarks comes from the binding energy of the strong force, a neutron consisting of d u d has a mass of around 1GeV but the mass of each of the light quarks is less than 0.001GeV...(1MeV) - this article really isn't that big news, people routinely find these excitations all the time - the heavy quark excitations are interesting in that the masses of these particles can be predicted relatively easily and can be used to test models of the strong force...
  • Re:Chibi Higgs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:28PM (#38460382)
    You are correct! Paraphrasing Feynmann, "nobody really understands it". I would say the H-Boson is to the H-Field as the Photon is the the E&M field. The concept of the higgs field as a sort of 'membrane' at which other particles get 'drug' through is **sort of** like the electromagnetic field from a charge carrier.

    The thing is we have the 'graviton' listed as the force carrier, but we have not seen or don't even really know what a graviton would look like, so the Higgs is almost and alternate / parallel description of the mechanism. As you get lower and lower much of this stuff is counter-intuitive, overlapping, and some times more non-nonsensical than the prior theories. Gluon bindings of quarks are a very strange concept, you can have 3-quark systems bound by gluons, and when you 'stretch' one quark away from the others, more gluons 'appear from the void' to fill the stretched gap. :O

    At this point my analogies are probably killing the particle physicist reading this, and I am reaching to levels below full honest familiarity.
  • Re:Chibi Higgs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:57PM (#38461406)
    Another clarification on your post in reference to magnetic poles. The magnetic field is a manifestation of moving electrons, and is still mediated by photons. So the poles of a magnetic field per-theory really aren't singular objects that create a field, but instead it is the moving electrons that 'instantiate' a magnetic field, and exhibit polar characteristics; the magnetic field being facsimile to the electric field by way of Lorentz transforms, and almost interchangeable when viewed from a space-time translation. In general relativity, you can move to a reference frame in which what was an electric field to looks like a (or should I say, really is a) magnetic field from that point of reference.

    So therein lies the rub: at some point general relativity and quantum mechanics will have to be reconciled, and it will be a wonderful time in physics if there really is the possibility of a GUT; else-wise the two may just be complementary theories only applicable at certain scales of analysis. Or maybe perhaps the mathematics involved and the axioms we rely on insofar are restricted by Godel Incompleteness, and maybe new types of mathematical relationships and logical concepts will be needed to fulfilled the requirements of a logically consistent GUT.
  • Re:Chibi Higgs? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PiMuNu (865592) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @03:03PM (#38462524)
    We have a naive concept that "amount of stuff is conserved". That's just because we don't see tables or laptops randomly appearing. In fact no such law exists in physics. Stuff (okay, subatomic particles) can quite happily appear and disappear. The conservation law is that energy-mass, momentum, charge, a few other things are conserved. So when you stretch a gluon - i.e. put loads of energy into it - why not just let a new particle appear? Just our stupid misconceptions that make us think this is weird.

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