cern

Hot soup for you!

About 13.8 billion years ago, the universe was a hot, thick soup of quarks and gluons—the fundamental components that eventually combined into protons, neutrons and other hadrons. Scientists can produce this primitive particle soup, called…


Kinks in the standard model chain

The subatomic universe is an intricate mosaic of particles and forces. The Standard Model of particle physics is a time-tested instruction manual that precisely predicts how particles and forces behave. But it’s incomplete, ignoring phenomena…


Phantasmagorical Pentaquarks

The LHCb collaboration submitted today a paper based on run 1 data which reports the observation of pentaquark-charmonium states decaying into a J/ψ meson and a proton p. In the traditional quark model, the strongly…


Protons are strange

The four elementary forces of nature are gravitation, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force (or interaction) and strong nuclear force (or interaction), These forces behave like a field with waves, but can be identified as a particle…


Powering down the LHC

It’s the particles’ last lap of the ring. On 5 December 2016, protons and lead ions circulated in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for the last time. At exactly 6.02am, the experiments recorded their last…


Architects of science

Enter the lift and hit the -1 button. In a few seconds you are whisked 100 metres below the Earth’s surface. Take one of the winding corridors that lead to the experimental cavern. Now, push…


The proton gun is ready

CERN’s new linear accelerator (Linac 4) has now accelerated a beam up to its design energy, 160 MeV. This important milestone of the accelerator’s commissioning phase took place on 25 October. Linac 4 is scheduled…