As ‘Run 3’ begins, CERN touts discovery of exotic particles

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GENEVA — The physics lab home to the world’s largest nuclear destroyer announced Tuesday the sighting of three new “exotic particles” that could provide clues about the force that binds subatomic particles together.

The sighting of a new type of pentaquark and the first duo of tetraquarks at CERN, the Geneva region where the Large Hadron Collider is located, offers a new angle to assess the “strong force” that holds the atomic nuclei together.

Most exotic hadrons, which are subatomic particles, are made up of two or three elementary particles known as quarks. The strong force is one of four forces known in the universe, along with the “weak force” – which applies to the decay of particles – as well as the electromagnetic force and gravity.

The announcement comes amid a flurry of activity this week at CERN: Also on Tuesday, the LHC’s underground ring of superconducting magnets propelling infinitesimal particles along a 27-kilometer (about 17 miles) circuit and at nearly the speed of light, started them again. together . Data from the collisions is picked up by high-tech detectors along the circular path.

The so-called “Run 3” of collisions, which ends a three-year break for maintenance and other checks, operates at an unprecedented energy of 13.6 trillion electron volts, opening up the prospect of new discoveries in particle physics.

CERN scientists praised a smooth start to what is expected to be operational for nearly four years in “Run 3” — the third time the LHC has conducted collisions since its 2008 debut.

A day earlier, CERN celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the confirmation of the Higgs boson, the subatomic particle that occupies a central place in the so-called Standard Model that explains the basis of particle physics.

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