cern

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…


Bump=gone

A curious anomaly seen by two Large Hadron Collider experiments is now looking like a statistical fluctuation. The anomaly—an unanticipated excess of photon pairs with a combined mass of 750 billion electronvolts—was first reported by…


The way of the weasel (or the marten)

A small mammal has sabotaged the world’s most powerful scientific instrument. The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight. Engineers…