Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider have spotted a long sought-after exotic particle that’s the strongest evidence yet for a new form of matter called a tetraquark. Here’s what the discovery could mean to astrophysics.

You may have heard that CERN announced the discovery of a strange particle known as Z(4430). A paper summarizing the results has been published on the physics arxiv, which is a repository for preprint (not yet peer reviewed) physics papers.

The new particle is about four times more massive than a proton, has a negative charge, and appears to be a theoretical particle known as a tetraquark. The results are still young, but if this discovery holds up it could have implications for our understanding of neutron stars.

Scientists Detect A Particle That Could Be A New Form Of Matter

The building blocks of matter are made of leptons (such as the electron and neutrinos) and quarks (which make up protons, neutrons, and other particles). Quarks are very different from other particles in that they have an electric charge that is 1/3 or 2/3 that of the electron and proton. They also possess a different kind of “charge” known as color. Just as electric charges interact through an […]

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