CERN: Detected particle that could change the theory that explains the Universe

A new study on protons collisions could shed light on the primordial matter born immediately after the Big Bang. Researchers from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN for its French acronym), one of the largest scientific research organizations around the world, observed unusual events in a very rare type of protons collision in the Large Hadron Collider.

In experiments, scientists have shown that collisions between protons can produce a large number of foreign particles, this is the first time this occurs in collisions of heavy nuclei. Their results, published in the journal Nature Physics, could shed light on the primordial broth that existed in the universe just after the Big Bang.

According to the theory of the Big Bang, the most widely accepted today about the formation of the universe, about 1,000 millionths of a second after the big bang there were no elementary particles, such as protons and neutrons. Instead, the components of matter called quark gluons were in a kind of primordial hot broth where they could move freely.

This broth is known as quark and gluon plasma. The study of this plasma allows scientists to study the properties of strong nuclear power, which is one of the four fundamental forces of nature (along with weak interaction, gravity and electromagnetism).

But to create this plasma, scientists need extremely high temperatures and densities. These conditions, which can be created in the Large Hadron Collider, allow quarks and gluons to be released. But only in certain collisions occur “quark strange”: during the collision of heavy nuclei.

Now, CERN scientists have shown that this phenomenon, so a large number of quark strange particles occurring, may result from protons colliding, which are much lighter. The production of strange quark from the proton is easier to achieve than the use of heavy nuclei, which means that scientists can more easily perform the plasma tests that existed at the beginning of the universe.

“We are very excited about this discovery,” said Federico Antinori in a statement. “We are learning a lot about this primordial matter of matter. Being able to isolate the phenomena of the plasma type of quark and gluon into a smaller and simpler system, such as the collision of two protons, opens up a new dimension To the study of the properties of the fundamental state in which our universe emerged. ”

Published results in the journal Nature Physics