Africa-Press – Liberia. While not knowing the particle’s structure complicated the search for it, scientists were able to accomplish this feat because they knew it has a rather distinct decay pattern.
Several enigmatic particles whose origin can be traced to the very beginning of the universe have been spotted for the first time by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider.
According to Live Science, about 100 of the so-called “X” particles, “which likely existed in the tiniest fractions of a second after the Big Bang,” were found in quark-gluon plasma that formed inside the collider “by smashing together lead ions.” Scientists now intend to learn more about the origin of the universe by studying these particles.
To emulate the conditions of the universe’s first moments when these particles supposedly existed, scientists “fired positively charged lead atoms at each other at high speed,” producing “thousands more particles in a momentary burst of plasma resembling the chaotic primordial soup of the young universe,” as the media outlet put it.
While the subsequent search for the X particles in the resulting mess was complicated by the fact that said particle’s structure is unknown to scientists (hence its name), the researchers were able to accomplish this feat due to knowing that the particle in question has a rather distinct decay pattern. Having finally identified the particle’s signature, the scientists are finally able to discern its structure as well, the media outlet adds.