Atom smasher scientists spot potential new discovery: CERN

21st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher said Tuesday they appeared to have discovered a previously unobserved phenomenon in their quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe.

Results from one of the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider experiment indicated that "some of the particles are intimately linked in a way not seen before in proton collisions," the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on its website.

"The new feature has appeared in our analysis around the middle of July," physicist Guido Tonelli told fellow CERN scientists at a seminar to present the findings from the collider's CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) detector.

"We have today submitted a paper to expose our findings to the wider (scientific) community," he added, underlining caution and the need for the peer review outside CERN.

Nonetheless, Tonelli, a physicist from Italy's University of Pisa and scientific spokesperson for the CMS detector, underlined that during weeks of cross-checks and critical debate among the team, "we didn't succeed to kill it."

The phenomenon showed up as a "ridge-like structure" on graphs based on data from billions of proton collisions in the 3.9-billion-euro (5.2-billion-dollar) machine.

The 27-kilometre (16.8-mile) circular particle accelerator buried under the French-Swiss border is recreating powerful but microscopic bursts of energy that mimic conditions close to the Big Bang that created the universe.

© 2010 AFP

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