Scientists running the Large Hadron Collider, aka the “big bang machine”, announced Friday they’ve discovered a brand new particle during one of their experiments.
The discovery’s announcement first came in Symmetry Magazine by Carlo Lourenco, one of the leading researchers at CERN, the group who run the LHC.
The new particle, “neutral Xi_b^star baryon,” is made up of three quarks, and only exists for a minuscule amount of time.
“It lives for less time than you or me can imagine,” Lourenco stated.
Scientists were only able to discover the new particle because of the imprint the particle leaves after it disappears, its decay signature.
The new discovery certainly isn’t as sexy as the long sought after Higgs Boson, the holy grail of particle discoveries (just don’t call it the ‘God particle’) that scientists at CERN hope to finally nail down by the end of the year. The search for the Higgs Boson is the Large Hadron Collider’s most high-profile goal. The neutral Xi_b^star baryon still justifies some celebration for the scientists, though.
“It also justifies opening a bottle of champagne, if you need a justification for that,”
Researchers from two independent labs associated with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Energy, based in Switzerland, said the particle is more likely to be found in lower mass or energy ranges from the massive atom smasher used to track it down.
Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti, who heads the team running one of the experiments, said there are indications of Higgs’s existence and that, with enough data, it could either be unambiguously discovered or ruled out next year.
Pseudoscientists On The Announcement
When reached for comment self anointed “scientist” cum new age guru and unemployed musician Jim Hyman claims he long ago discovered the “Higgs Boson” while doing “energy work” on a “clients “quantum theta fields”…
When asked to comment on Hyman’s comments, actual scientists Stephen Barrett, physicist Stephen Hawking and a large group of other scientists named “Steve” or “Stephen” all said “where the hell is this quantum theta field”?
This all leads us to Vegas odds on the next Nobel Prize.
More scientists named Steve live on the East and West Coasts than anywhere else in the United States, according to a groundbreaking research paper.
Among the study’s authors were Stephen W. Hawking, two Nobel Prize-winning physicists named Steve, and 437 other scientists named Steve, Steven, Stephen, Stephane, or Stephanie.
The paper emerged from the National Center for Science Education’s Project Steve, an effort to compile a list of scientists who both support the theory of evolution and happen to be named Steve.
“The original idea was to mock these bullshit lists you see from creationists, of scientists doubting Darwinism,” says Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the center and one of the few authors of the paper not named Steve.
A footnote to the study explains that the name Steve was chosen to honor the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.When participants started ordering Project Steve T-shirts, Ms. Scott and her colleagues realized they were sitting on a mountain of data.
The shirt, which was retrospectively designated the “experimental Steveometry apparatus,” provided the researchers with the opportunity to collect sizes and shipping addresses for 284 scientists named Steve.
They analyzed the data and wrote up the results for the July/August issue of Annals of Improbable Research, a science-humor magazine.
In addition to discovering the “Mid-Continental Steve Deficit,” the authors found evidence of sexual dimorphism (it turns out that Stephanies have larger body sizes on average than Steves) as well as insular dwarfism (the “island Steves” of Australia and Britain tend to be smaller than their mainland counterparts).