Scientists at CERN have Discovered a New Particle

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An image inside the Large Hadron Collider.
Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a new particle (image credit: CERN).

Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have discovered a new particle, called Xi-cc++. The name doesn't roll off the tongue very well, but the discovery will help understand how the nuclei of atoms hold themselves together. There are four fundamental forces in the Universe: the weak force, the strong force, the electromagnetic force, and the gravitational force. The strong force is responsible for holding the nucleus of an atom together; for example, a regular helium atom's nucleus has two protons and two neutrons all held tightly together by the strong force. The particle Xi-cc++ discovered at CERN has never been observed before, and is made up of three elementary particles called quarks held together by the strong force. By studying how the quarks in this new particle have stuck together, researchers hope to learn more about one of the most fundamental forces in the Universe.

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Scientists at CERN have Discovered a New Particle
Pallab Ghosh
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Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.