lhc

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…


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…


Little LHC

The beams of protons that circulate around the 27km-circumference ring of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s biggest particle accelerator, carry as much kinetic energy as an American aircraft-carrier sailing at just under six…


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…


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…