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Physicists Discover "Doubly Strange" Particle

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the and-it-fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand dept.

Science 260

Tsalg writes "Physicists have discovered a new particle made of three quarks, the Omega-sub-b. The particle contains two strange quarks and a bottom quark (s-s-b). It is an exotic relative of the much more common proton and weighs about six times the proton mass. This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN since LHC is about to start the hunt for the Higgs particle that remains elusive even for the experiment that just discovered the Omega-sub-b."

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AC Discovers "Doubly First" Post (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872639)

frost

justify a paycheck? (5, Funny)

Pat Attack (1353585) | about 6 years ago | (#24872641)

Sometimes I think physicists are just making things up. This is one of those times.

Re:justify a paycheck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872835)

If all the other scientists in the field are in the scam, we will never know.

You must mean (5, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 6 years ago | (#24872847)

"The measurement of the mass of the Omega-sub-b provides a great test of computer calculations using lattice quantum chromodynamics"

Discuss ; )

Re:You must mean (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 years ago | (#24873101)

Discuss ; )

A diet rich in omega-sub-b particles may help lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.

Re:You must mean (5, Funny)

illeism (953119) | about 6 years ago | (#24873131)

Well, the chromodynamics in question affect the lattice in a pre-quantum way leading to the natural progression of the Omega-sub-b particle to a Neo-Post-Omega-sub-b-alpha-pre-c particle which in turn makes the Flux Capacitor a feasible theory, provided the higgs boson does indeed exist making meaningful time travel possible and allows the creation of more excellent water slides.

Re:justify a paycheck? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#24872851)

No no, if they were just making things up to try to get more grants, they would have said they found a new particle made of vibrating strings.

Re:justify a paycheck? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#24873625)

The 'Orchestron'?

Re:justify a paycheck? (5, Insightful)

chefmayhem (1357519) | about 6 years ago | (#24872903)

I worked at Fermilab last summer. This sort of thing isn't made up. The data they used is not public, but it would be too massive to look through anyway. It takes dozens of scientists years to find the signal from the background. They do publish papers with a summary of the evidence, however. It'd be tough to follow if you're not a particle physicist, but it's never too late to learn something new :-)

Re:justify a paycheck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873639)

Just get your Omega-beams ready. Superman is coming.

Re:justify a paycheck? (4, Funny)

WibbleOnMars (1129233) | about 6 years ago | (#24873695)

This was a good day for me to wear my "Beware the quantum duck -- Quark quark" T-shirt.

Excuse Me? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872643)

This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN since LHC is about to start the hunt for the Higgs particle that remains elusive even for the experiment that just discovered the Omega-sub-b.

How can you be so sure? It's not like CERN lays claim to all the greatest physicists in the world. Am I the only one that is a bit wary of all the eggs in one basket?

Re:Excuse Me? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 years ago | (#24872763)

Aren't they sharing the data it produces though?

Assuming the sensors are good I would assume that the data produced at CERN should be where the greatest physicists turn.

Of course IAAI, so I don't really know.

I guess where the discovery is made can be debatable to.

Re:Excuse Me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873259)

Of course IAAI, so I don't really know.

I Am an Artificial Intelligence.

Re:Excuse Me? (4, Funny)

jeremyp (130771) | about 6 years ago | (#24872805)

That was my immediate thought too. Perhaps LHC emits some sort field that causes all other particle accelerators to mysteriously stop working. Yes, that must be it. European particle physics experiments are heavily influenced by fundamental particles called eurons and LHC has been sucking them up at a vast rate to the detriment of other experiments.

Re:Excuse Me? (5, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 6 years ago | (#24872895)

Perhaps LHC emits some sort field

In Richard Florida's book Who's your city? he actually gets into various theories about how centers of excellence (whether fashion, IT, finance, science, etc.) tend to create a self-reinforcing "buzz" that draws in more and more talented people, and the intellectual atmosphere and other elements of creative infrastructure then allow those people to achieve at a higher level than they otherwise could.

So according to that theory, yes, the LHC does emit some sort of field ...

Re:Excuse Me? (1)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#24872865)

If history has taught us anything, it's that when someone predicts the end of scientific discoveries, they are invariably 100% correct.

Re:Excuse Me? (1)

Icarium (1109647) | about 6 years ago | (#24872957)

It would be amusing if the Higgs particle was discovered before CERN really had a go at it. It may be far from the only experiment the LHC is designed for, but it is also the most publicised.

Re:Excuse Me? (5, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about 6 years ago | (#24873439)

Won't happen. We're hard at work on it right now (except when we're reading slashdot...), and we're making some amazing leaps forward in analysis techniques, but we simply won't have enough data to be sufficiently sensitive to the Higgs by the time the accelerator shuts down. We might find evidence or even strong evidence, but not strong enough to call it discovery. We do have enough data to exclude certain mass ranges, however. When you combine our data with D0's (the experiment that did the analysis in TFA), we have enough sensitivity to say that the Higgs, if it is the standard model Higgs (and the lightest SUSY Higgs is sufficiently similar that this holds for it, too), does not have a mass quite close to 170 GeV (which is pretty close to the mass of the top quark, incidentally). http://www-d0.fnal.gov/Run2Physics/WWW/results/prelim/HIGGS/H64/ [fnal.gov]

Re:Excuse Me? (2, Informative)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 6 years ago | (#24873271)

He's talking about the energy levels produced at CERN. While scientists anywhere will be making discoveries, it will likely be with data produced from experiments at CERN.

Interesting, but (4, Funny)

Instine (963303) | about 6 years ago | (#24872649)

Can someone translate that last sentence for me?

Re:Interesting, but (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24872879)

Sure. Quarks are one of the two basic building blocks of matter, the other being the lepton. This particular particle -- a baryon, since it is comprised of three quarks -- consists of two strange quarks and one bottom quark. Strange quarks and bottom quarks are both very unstable. Another example of a baryon is the proton, which contains two up quarks and and a down quark. Up and down quarks are generally, by comparison, very stable. The instability of the quarks make this particular baryon difficult to detect.

Re:Interesting, but (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#24872969)

For reference, the last sentence is:

This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN since LHC is about to start the hunt for the Higgs particle that remains elusive even for the experiment that just discovered the Omega-sub-b.."

It's really quite simple to translate. It means that this will be the last noticeable sub-atomic discovery made anywhere other than CERN, because other sub-atomic discoveries are going to be way, way too small to be noticeable. However, CERN is in Switzerland, where people are used to working with very, very tiny things like watch mechanisms, and so are more likely to notice these very tiny particles.

The Higgs particle is simply another name for the "Higgs boson", which is a mythical creature said to roam the forests around CERN, although it may have just been a side effect of the earlier LSD experiments at that location. The Higgs boson is said to be 7 feet tall with bright red hair, red nose, and giant shoes (hence the name "boson", after Bozo the Clown).

The Omega-sub-b, of course, is supposed to mean the "Omega-sub-basement", which is a room deep under the FBI building where J. Edgar Hoover used to keep his "alternative" wardrobe, but the submitter appears to have died while in the middle of composing the sentence.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Thanks for clearing that up (2, Funny)

cizoozic (1196001) | about 6 years ago | (#24873263)

This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN since LHC is about to start the hunt for the Higgs particle..."

Oh see I read that as, "Since the universe, or at least our corner of it, will end as soon as they fire up the LHC"

I'm actually attending a "Party at the End of the Universe" to celebrate our last days as a species. A terrestrial version of Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters will be served.

Re:Thanks for clearing that up (1)

albyrne5 (893494) | about 6 years ago | (#24873417)

What a f*cking great idea for a party! When are they due to go full "live" with LHC?

Re:Interesting, but (5, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | about 6 years ago | (#24872993)

Can someone translate that last sentence for me?

Done:

Dit staat waarschijnlijk een op het punt van de laatste merkbare sub-atomic ontdekkingen ergens gemaakt dan bij CERN anders aangezien LHC is de jacht voor het deeltje te beginnen Higgs dat zelfs voor het experiment ontwijkend blijft dat enkel omega-sub-B. ontdekte.

Re:Interesting, but (2, Informative)

hkz (1266066) | about 6 years ago | (#24873437)

Oh man, you get my Dutch Grammar Nazi going on ;-)

I assume you meant something like:

"Dit is waarschijnlijk een van de laatste opvallende subatomische ontdekkingen die ergens anders gemaakt worden dan CERN, aangezien de LHC op het punt staat de jacht op het Higgs-deeltje te beginnen, dat ongrijpbaar blijft zelfs voor het experiment dat zojuist het Omega-sub-b deeltje heeft ontdekt..."

Yeah, that sentence is a b*tch in Dutch too...

Quark (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872659)

Scientists' current model of the structure of a quark here [wikimedia.org] Imagine three of those things!

Re:Quark (2, Funny)

PJCRP (1314653) | about 6 years ago | (#24872685)

Two on top and one on the bottom, what a horrible orgy.

Re:Quark (2, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | about 6 years ago | (#24872715)

Two on top and one on the bottom, what a horrible orgy.

Then you don't want to see what the Japanese quarks are up to.

Re:Quark (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 6 years ago | (#24872779)

you don't want to see what the Japanese quarks are up to.

Bukkuarke?

Re:Quark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873583)

I think you mean BuQUARKke

Re:Quark (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | about 6 years ago | (#24872795)

Quark tentacle zatex porn? Quark robot orgies? Quark bondage and tentacles? The possibilities are endless.

Re:Quark (0)

Pat Attack (1353585) | about 6 years ago | (#24872863)

Do you have any idea what kind of targeted advertising you just spawned? I bet by the end of the day there will be a site dedicated to quark pr0n.

Re:Quark pr0n (4, Funny)

Ackmo (700165) | about 6 years ago | (#24873385)

Gives me a hadron.

Hmm, ... (5, Funny)

Loibisch (964797) | about 6 years ago | (#24872671)

...that's strange.

Re:Hmm, ... (1)

Spatial (1235392) | about 6 years ago | (#24872717)

A peculiar flavour indeed.

Re:Hmm, ... (1)

Monkey-some (1178115) | about 6 years ago | (#24872761)

looks like a strangelet

Re:Hmm, ... (1)

Spatial (1235392) | about 6 years ago | (#24872775)

Well, that's alright too. They're quite charming. :)

Re:Hmm, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873493)

and colourful.

How does Garrett Lisi's theory of everything fit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872817)

Is the new particle one of the many predicted by Garrett Lisi's theory of everything?

Re:How does Garrett Lisi's theory of everything fi (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about 6 years ago | (#24873553)

It is predicted by the Standard Model, which Garrett Lisi's theory of everything had better also predict, so yes. But not exclusively so.

wait, what? (2, Funny)

hoofinasia (1234460) | about 6 years ago | (#24872681)

"This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN since LHC is about to start the hunt for the Higgs particle that remains elusive even for the experiment that just discovered the Omega-sub-b.."

Easy on the sentence structure, fuller, you're gonna wet the bed.

not voyager (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | about 6 years ago | (#24872689)

Re:not voyager (1)

Thyamine (531612) | about 6 years ago | (#24873183)

I'm glad at least one other person was thinking this. =)

Relative of the proton =? baryon (2, Insightful)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | about 6 years ago | (#24872751)

Hmm, I think that this is only a relative of the proton in that it too is a baryon (3 quarks). A proton is up-up-down, and this is strange-strange-bottom.
The charge on the new one is -1, the charge on a proton is +1.

Re:Relative of the proton =? baryon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873257)

The charge on the new one is -1, the charge on a proton is +1.

So that would make O_b more a relative of the antiproton, right?

(Nice of Slashdot to filter HTML character entities. -_-;)

Re:Relative of the proton =? baryon (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | about 6 years ago | (#24873345)

The charge on the new one is -1, the charge on a proton is +1.

So that would make O_b more a relative of the antiproton, right?

No more so than an electron is an antiproton. Antiprotons are made of antiquarks (anti-up, anti-up, anti-down).

boring (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#24872767)

please post something about the iPhone, or Chrome, or moose hunting.

Re:boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872829)

Aren't you tired of discussions about Chrome already? It came out less than two days ago and everyone is a Chrome expert and judges it after a few hours of usage and compares it to other browsers they have user for years (thousands of hours).

Strange + Bottom ? (4, Interesting)

florescent_beige (608235) | about 6 years ago | (#24872773)

Ok I thought quarks, leptons, and neutrinos were grouped like this:

Group 1: quarks; Up & Down, lepton; electron, neutrino; neutrino

Group 2: quarks; Charm & Strange, lepton; muon; neutrino; muon neutrino

Group 3: quarks; Top & Bottom, lepton; tau, neutrino; tau neutrino

So this newly discovered particle is made of quarks from two groups, the strange quark from group 2 and the bottom quark from group 3. Has that been seen before? I never knew it happened.

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872935)

Yes, it's been seen before. There's an ungodly amount of particles (even if you restrict yourself to baryons), in fact, including many weird ones - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baryons for instance, or locate a copy of the Physics Letters B/Review of Particle Physics, which dedicates ~150 pages to listing baryons (in my 2004 copy, that is; chances are it's even more today).

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (1)

tchiseen (1315299) | about 6 years ago | (#24873039)

Do you actually understand this stuff? I just read this ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_particle [wikipedia.org] ) and understood exactly 0% of it. I can't freakin WAIT til they fire up the big nasty at CERN and smash stuff together! I'm not gonna understand ANYTHING!

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (1)

chrispugh (1301243) | about 6 years ago | (#24873559)

Anyone who thinks they understand it hasn't really grasped it at all. ;)

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (2, Interesting)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about 6 years ago | (#24873113)

The article mentions a periodic table of Baryons. I was just checking that out and there are all kinds of combinations that contain quarks from more than one group, and even one that contains one from each of those groups. That doesn't mean they will all be discovered, but it looks like they're well on their way.

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (4, Funny)

n1ckml007 (683046) | about 6 years ago | (#24873311)

Ok so what about: up up down down left right left right b a start ?

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (5, Funny)

John Napkintosh (140126) | about 6 years ago | (#24873375)

The infamous Konami particle. Very controversial. For example, it may or may not contain a Select particle, depending on who you ask.

Re:Strange + Bottom ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873327)

sounds like dance dance revolution O.o

SSB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873423)

The quarks from all the groups get mixed up in threes to form baryons. The heavier ones are less stable and harder to form. This one is impressive because it contains so many of the heavier quarks, it is a sign higher energy interactions are being observed.
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baryon

Double Strange (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#24872819)

In other news, Slashdotters discover Newspeak is creeping in.

Re:Double Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873145)

In other news, Slashdotters discover Newspeak is creeping in.

I think you mean to say, "Minitruth reports Newspeak doubleplusgood"

The last sentence... (2, Interesting)

chr1sb (642707) | about 6 years ago | (#24872857)

...doesn't make sense, not least because TFA notes that 13 out of 20 predicted baryons have been observed, leaving 7 still to be discovered. Surely these will be just as noteworthy as this discovery. Is the LHC the only accelerator capable of creating and observing these remaining baryons?

Also, to nit-pick, TFA states that the Omega-sub-b travels 1 mm in a trillionth of a second. This seems a little high to me, given that c is about 3*10^8 m/s = 3^10^11 mm/s. Rounding errors?

Re:The last sentence... (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24873019)

TFA notes that 13 out of 20 predicted baryons have been observed, leaving 7 still to be discovered. Surely these will be just as noteworthy as this discovery. Is the LHC the only accelerator capable of creating and observing these remaining baryons?

Who knows? Perhaps that's why they're yet to be discovered: that we haven't reached the right energies. Well, the LHC will reach far higher energies than anything else on earth. Every time there's been a substantial step up in collision energies, all manner of new particles fall out. That alone makes the LHC favourite to dominate the field for the foreseeable future. That's before you consider the fact that a project of this scale, with absolutely enormous long-term funding, attracts everyone. The best particle physicists in the world are going to be attracted to working on the LHC, or on analysis of the data it produces.

There'll still be discoveries made elsewhere, but for the headline stuff, watch CERN.

Re:The last sentence... (3, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | about 6 years ago | (#24873165)

Time dilation. Muon decay from cosmic rays is a good example of this.

Re:The last sentence... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24873697)

TFA states that the Omega-sub-b travels 1 mm in a trillionth of a second. This seems a little high to me, given that c is about 3*10^8 m/s = 3^10^11 mm/s.

Following up the second part of your post: It's 3.3x10^-12 [google.co.uk] seconds per millimetre. That puts this particle at about a third of the speed of light.

Lamen (4, Interesting)

tom17 (659054) | about 6 years ago | (#24872861)

OK, so I have been reading a lot about particle physics lately and find the whole subject fascinating, but there is one thing (amongst many things) that I am not quite understanding. I have looked it up and my understanding of particle physics is not "there" yet, or at least not enough to grasp this particular concept. Maybe I have just not read the right explanation.

Can someone in here put it in a simple lamen explanation?

The question is this:

This Omega-sub-b particle contains two strange quarks and a bottom quark and weighs about six times the mass of a proton.
A proton contains 2 up quarks and one down quark.

Strange quarks have a mass of 95MeV, bottom has 4.2GeV so the total mass of the Omega-sub-b would be 4.39GeV
Up quarks have a mass of 3MeV, down has 6MeV so the total mass of a Proton would be 0.012GeV

This would put the Omega-sub-b at 365.8 times the mass of a Proton.

So I am obviously not understanding how the masses of the quarks correlate to the masses of the fermions. What am I missing here?

Thanks,

Tom...

Re:Lamen (5, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 6 years ago | (#24872997)

So I am obviously not understanding how the masses of the quarks correlate to the masses of the fermions. What am I missing here?

IANAPP (particle physicist), but I guess you're missing the equivalent to the "binding energy". Just like the mass of an atomic nucleus isn't equal to the sum of the masses of the protons and neutrons in it.

Re:Lamen (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 6 years ago | (#24873053)

Just like the mass of an atomic nucleus isn't equal to the sum of the masses of the protons and neutrons in it.

it isn't? (approximately).

I need to go back to basics...

Tom...

Re:Lamen (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | about 6 years ago | (#24873141)

I think Spock said it best when he said, "Sometimes the mass of the many does not outweigh the mass of the one"

Re:Lamen (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 years ago | (#24873151)

Approximately, it is, if your approximation is vague enough. Since it's that difference that makes nuclear fusion *and* nuclear fission both possible, it has to count as a pretty significant difference, though.

Re:Lamen (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 6 years ago | (#24873709)

OK, the binding energy is where it's at then. Just mentioning the concept of that, and the discrepancies between atomic mass and the mass of the fermions, suddenly makes the "magical" bit of fusion/fission much more clear to me.

I now know where to commence my reading. Thanks!

Tom...

Re:Lamen (1)

bucky0 (229117) | about 6 years ago | (#24873489)

Yeah, binding energy is what we harvest in nuclear fission or fusion.

Re:Lamen (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | about 6 years ago | (#24873667)

IAAPP, and you got it in one.

Re:Lamen (2, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | about 6 years ago | (#24873005)

I'm guessing: E=mc^2.
See for instance here [gsu.edu]

Re:Lamen (0)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 6 years ago | (#24873095)

I'm sorry, I fail to see what this has to do with magic pendants [wikipedia.org] ...

Oh, wait, maybe you're asking for it to be translated into Bislama [wikipedia.org] ? I suppose that could be considered "Lamen [wikipedia.org] terms".

Or, hmm, maybe you mean "layman [wikipedia.org] "?

Re:Lamen (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873103)

From wikipedia:
The mass of the proton is the sum of masses of its quarks + the energy of the gluon field that holds the quarks together.

Re:Lamen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873107)

You cannot simply calculate thr total mass from the mass of the parts as a substantial mass is present in the gluons "holding" together the quarks. The same effect is present in nuclei (binding energy) but the effect is much weaker here.

Re:Lamen (2, Insightful)

Keith_Beef (166050) | about 6 years ago | (#24873475)

Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrons [wikipedia.org]

Note that the mass of a hadron has very little to do with the mass of its valence quarks; rather, due to mass-energy equivalence, most of the mass comes from the large amount of energy associated with the strong nuclear force.

To me, this seems to mean that you do not simply sum the masses of the quarks that make up the hadron (a baryon being a kind of hadron).

The image of a proton given in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Quark_structure_proton.svg) represents the three quarks in a triangle. OK, so this is simply a convenient representation, but it may help to think of the masses of the quarks as being vector forces. E.g., 10GeV in one direction + 5GeV in the opposite direction would give a net result of 5GeV, and not 15GeV.

Of course, IANAPP either, and my example is contrived as a metaphor.

K.

Re:Lamen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873565)

Mass defect? i.e. the resulting mass depends on the binding energy

Re:Lamen (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#24873701)

One thing you seem to be missing is the letter Y from the word laymen [grin]. But, to answer your question, electron volts are a measure of energy, not mass.

Re:Lamen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873729)

Binding energy?

You've discovered my brother-in-law... (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 6 years ago | (#24872869)

...doubly strange, some quirks, and six times overweight.

Ed, you're famous!

Why not just say Fermilab discovered it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872875)

instead of the "not CERN" reference.

Are quarks real yet? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872923)

When I learned about his stuff back in high school, my teacher said that there was some debate with regards to the "ontological status" of quarks.

Basically, whether they are real or just some kind of theoretical construct.

Admittedly, the difference is kind of irrelevant under the modern scientific paradigm, but I'd like to know if quarks are considered real these days.

Can they be seen, traced, maybe even isolated is some manner?

Re:Are quarks real yet? (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 6 years ago | (#24873143)

IANAP

In nature, quarks are always found bound together in groups like this, and never in isolation, because of a phenomenon known as confinement. [wikipedia.org]

I think the problem with "real" -vs- "theoretical" is that we are talking about the things that make-up matter. So even the idea of "real" doesn't apply. People want something they can see and touch and interact with, and if that is what it means to be real, then quarks are not real. But scientifically, they exist and they can be seen and measured indirectly.

(Although, thanks to the magic of the internet, there is no way to know that I exist either)

6 times the weight? (5, Funny)

RTHilton (1343643) | about 6 years ago | (#24872973)

Must be an American particle.

LHC "Just about to start"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24872999)

You know, we've been waiting for the LHC to go online for a year and a half now, and every month during that time it was "just about to" start, yet every month we keep getting a new target date.

Just like the Big Dig, just like the FAA/FBI/IRS/NHS software rewrite/upgrades, just like every other government-funded foray into science and technology, with the exception of the Apollo Project and perhaps the Arpanet, this thing is going to go on forever.

I wouldn't expect to see the LHC do anything for at least another 5 years.

Re:LHC "Just about to start"? (2, Informative)

caramelcarrot (778148) | about 6 years ago | (#24873155)

I think it's more accurate to say that it is "starting", and will continue to start for a while. These things don't just turn on, and the LHC has actually been pretty much on-target with the exception of that magnet blowing up.

Re:LHC "Just about to start"? (3, Insightful)

Candid88 (1292486) | about 6 years ago | (#24873227)

"with the exception of the Apollo Project"

Parts of the Apollo projects were put back several time, not to mention ending up costing around double the original estimate despite consisting of less missions than originally planned (cost overruns are almost always closely related to time overruns).

That's just the nature of big projects (of all types). Nothing specific to do with publicly funded ones, all really big projects commonly take longer than expected. The difference with publicly funded ones is that we all tend to have access to those estimates; whereas private companies tend to just say "it will be done when it's ready" (whilst internally, the estimates are getting put back further and further).

static? noise? (2, Interesting)

acvh (120205) | about 6 years ago | (#24873015)

They looked at 100 trillion pieces of data, and found 18 that they could call Omega-sub-b. Wouldn't this fall into the realm of randomness?

The Omega Directive (1)

La Gris (531858) | about 6 years ago | (#24873023)

Hopefully Quark should not grab that very dangerous particle for huge profit.

Oh dear ... (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#24873025)

Three Quarks ? Odo will not be happy to hear about this :(

Omega particle more dangerous than the LHC (1)

DataPath (1111) | about 6 years ago | (#24873027)

Oh no! We're going to destroy the fabric of subspace [memory-alpha.org] before we even develop warp drive! We'll never make it to the stars now!

It's the final countdown (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | about 6 years ago | (#24873073)

Countdown to the end of the world:
6 days and counting....

At this point I would like to say I've enjoyed reading Slashdot for the past few years.

It's too late anyway (1)

signalingNaN (1333705) | about 6 years ago | (#24873079)

This is probably one of the last noticeable sub-atomic discoveries made somewhere else than at CERN

Actually, this might be the last sub-atomic discovery made by mankind at all, knowing that CERN is suspected to produce a black hole and suck up the earth [wnd.com] .

Re:It's too late anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873665)

The more than 5,000 magnets inside are expected to accelerate tiny particles almost to the speed of light, dispatching them around the tunnel in one-11,000th of a second, according to the Daily Mail. The particles then will smash headon in collisions that will generate enough heat to melt a small car.

Note to CERN employees: please do not park small cars in the accellerator tunnel.

Scientists hope the collisions will produce new scientific information.

Local residents are just hoping for new Pr0n.

Too Many Particles (2, Funny)

JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) | about 6 years ago | (#24873093)

I stop thinking about all these particles and fall back to the Stevens (as in George 'Kingfish' Stevens) model of atomic structure: protons, neutrons, fig newtons, and morons.

It's... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 6 years ago | (#24873163)

It's "quarky!" It's "quarkalicious!" It's three times the quark of the leading particle!
Let's face it marketing hype and physics just don't mix!

Well what do you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873431)

Three quarks... but is it for Muster Mark?

Strange Strange Bottom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24873487)

I dated a girl like that in college.

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