‘Ghost particle’ discovered at CERN Large Hadron Collider?

Researchers on CERN’s multipurpose Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector have spotted downright weird bumps in their most recent data. The team at CMS think they might have discovered a mysterious particle with twice the mass of a carbon atom.

The find comes from two separate pieces of analysis from the CMS team. In both, the CMS team were able to find data that pointed to a build-up of muons (a type of heavy electron) in the detector.

The data would indicate a new particle with a mass of 28GeV or 1 billion electron volts which would have slightly less than a quarter of the mass of a Higgs boson.

Speaking to The Guardian, Alexandre Nikitenko, a theorist on the CMS team explained that “theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical” of the new find which doesn’t fit into any of the existing theories of reality ( of course many theorists are now going to be working on models that do ).

The team at Atlas, the LHC’s other multipurpose detector, are now double checking their own data to see if they can find any evidence of the mystery particle.

Whatever the team have found it was not the particle they were looking for and analysis will be so time-consuming it could take another year confirm with any certainly if the particle exists.

Source: The Guardian

More info will be available today, Thursday, when the CERN team have scheduled a press conference.

About CMS

The 27-km Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator ever built. It accelerates protons to nearly the velocity of light — in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions — and then collides them at four locations around its ring. At these points, the energy of the particle collisions gets transformed into mass, spraying particles in all directions.

The Compact Muon Solenoid (or CMS) detector sits at one of these four collision points. It is a general-purpose detector; that is, it is designed to observe any new physics phenomena that the LHC might reveal.

CMS acts as a giant, high-speed camera, taking 3D “photographs” of particle collisions from all directions up to 40 million times each second. Although most of the particles produced in the collisions are “unstable”, they transform rapidly into stable particles that can be detected by CMS. By identifying (nearly) all the stable particles produced in each collision, measuring their momenta and energies, and then piecing together the information of all these particles like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, the detector can recreate an “image” of the collision for further analysis.

How CMS Works

The 14,000-tonne detector gets its name from the fact that:

  • at 15 metres high and 21 metres long, it really is quite compact for all the detector material it contains;
  • it is designed to detect particles known as muons very accurately; and
  • it has the most powerful solenoid magnet ever made.

The CMS detector is shaped like a cylindrical onion, with several concentric layers of components. These components help prepare “photographs” of each collision event by determining the properties of the particles produced in that particular collision.

More: https://cms.cern/detector

57 thoughts on “‘Ghost particle’ discovered at CERN Large Hadron Collider?

  1. I had never thought of it that way but Neil Turok referred to ‘atom smashers’ (my word) as the most powerful microscopes.

  2. “… experimentalists are very sceptical”
    That word has different meanings for scientists and journalists.

    Press speakers really need to avoid using jargon like that. The audience of the Guardian now thinks it’s “Meh”. While everybody involved is trying to keep from shouting “Eureka”, until all possible measurement errors are ruled out.

    • So the experimentalists are going over the experiment with a fine tooth comb looking for a possible problem. Like the case where a neutrino was “observed” going slightly faster than light, but a review found a subtle error in the timing in the system. Stay tuned, this may or may not be a significant observation.

      • It may invalidate every theoretical construct of the past century, or it might be the result of some random tech falling asleep at his counsel and drooling all over the the keyboard.

  3. It is a puzzler that two particles of mass 1.67E-27 kg (protons) can collide and form a single particle of mass 30E-27 kg (which is what 29 GeV converts to).

    • E=mc^2
      By pumping a collision with obscene amounts of energy, one can synthesize tiny amounts of mass.

        • Interesting, perhaps this is the beginning of the Star Trek “replicator”. They better be able to turn energy into highly desirable (read expensive) “mass”.

          • Considering that about 2.34 kg (5 lb., 2.5 oz) requires the energy of a Tsar Bomba (if perfectly transferred, with no accounting for pesky thermodynamics and other difficulties), it’s better to just mine it.

      • I am familiar with the mass/energy equivalence. What surprises me is that the collision of two relativistic protons could generate a single particle more massive than an atom. If it’s true, we have seen the first instance of a new fundamental particle in the universe.

  4. Perhaps they can weave this possibly new found particle jnto their much desired proof of the existence of dark matter of which they cannot find any real trace.

    • The whole field of particle physics is bordering on fantasy. Until you have many of these smashers that can replicate these findings, don’t believe any of it.

      • Until they can use their “findings” experimentally, as they have in cases such as entangled particles and wave particle duality, believe only some of it. Where it can be proven in the lab to acceptable statistical significance I’ll go with it until later falsified.

      • One of the reason why they have two different detectors is to act as a check on the other… designed and built by two different teams, they collect data on the shower of particles created in proton-proton collisions in different ways, so that a signal caused by a design flaw won’t show up in the other detector.

  5. “Speaking to The Guardian, Alexandre Nikitenko, a theorist on the CMS team explained that “theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical” of the new find which doesn’t fit into any of the existing theories of reality ( of course many theorists are now going to be working on models that do ).”

    Idare say the Gruaniad journo was left feeling like a small child allowed to stay up & listen to a grown-ups conversation!!! 😉

  6. A particle that produces a build up (aggregates) massive electrons, or preferentially decays into them, MIGHT be what the theorists are looking for; explaining their excitement. The standard model, nominally “complete” with the Higgs, still does not explain 95% of the mass and energy of the universe. (Mass and energy are equal in the theoretical world that uses units of the speed of light).

    • There are no such realities of dark energy nor dark matter. They are pink elephants dreamed up by physicists to try to explain things they don’t know. Physicists need to be as humble as Feynman was and admit WE JUST DON’T KNOW.

      • Time for my Dark Energy theory again.
        At the start of the Universe the Universe had angular momentum. This is not a new concept that I’m inventing. Angular momentum is known to be a thing within the Universe.

        Alternatively, if you object to something from nothing (but still accept the Big Bang). When the matter and anti-matter eliminated each other the remnant was imparted angular momentum. It is hard to see how it could fail to happen.

        Angular momentum of the entire universe is not obvious as it’s motion relative to… what? The answer is relative to a potential place where a Universe could expand into. A potential place with potential particles that could interact with something if something was there. When the Universe expands into it there is a drag on the spinning Universe. And as the Universe is not rigid it stretches.
        Imagine a roll of plasticine on a Gramaphone player stretching from the middle to the edge. As it reaches beyond the disk it smears out. Those who are drawn on the in the plasticine roll can’t see the stretch but they can see the edge seems to be moving away from them at a non-constant rate.

        That’s Dark Energy.

        Of course, the question arises, where is the axis that the Universe revolves around?
        My idea is that it is time. It’s why time goes 1, 2, 3, 4 or 4, 3, 2, 1 and not 1, 2, a, blue, hatstand.

        My idea uses less original fudge factors and provides an explanation of the existence of something unexpected – linear time. Doesn’t mean it’s right but does make it pretty.

        • “… linear time …”


          Dark energy is the stretch of a space with a fundamental property of infinite elasticity, i.e. it doesn’t and can not cavitate. Instead space reflects all energy when v=c, and further input tries to exceed v=c, at which point space becomes a perfect mirror of any further dynamic input, thus will not cavitate from shock.

          As far as I am concerned Time is just the dynamics … linear dynamics of an infinitely elastic space, with zero energy loss over time.

          In other words, angular momentum is perfectly preserved, in which case no start occurred, just a perceived relative ‘expansion’ of something that has infinite elasticity, thus no limit to expansion (i.e. elastic energy gain and storage as G, exhibited as EM, thus no heat-death), indefinitely. But infinity has no edge to ‘expand’.

          So the concept and perception of ‘expansion’ is that limits understanding.

      • We may know some things fairly well, though I agree that Dark Energy and Dark Matter are likely shorthand primitive explanations for something that will make more sense at some point in the future. I hope that an elegant theoretical explanation will eventually be confirmed through hard data. This is still interesting background: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy

  7. If confirmed, it’s a candidate for a WIMP dark matter which has predicted mass range of 6 to 30 GeV/c^2

  8. “a mysterious particle with twice the mass of a carbon atom”.
    Sounds like a small black hole.
    Or a measurement error.

    Both of which would suck.

    • Any quantity of mass can be mathematically calculated to a black hole, it’s just a problem of size. Of course, any black hole with less mass than that of a billion tons would evaporate rather quickly via Hawking Radiation, so don’t worry too much.

      • Patrick – “…would evaporate rather quickly via Hawking Radiation…”

        Are confident about that, even in an artificial container?

  9. It’s nice to know fact checking still exists in some corners of science. Ghost climate change models and predictions get an official and enthusiastic free pass.

  10. Particle Physics is almost a joke these days. devices like the LHC are the subatomic equivalent of running two steam locomotives int each other at high speed and then trying to determine how they work by examining the fragments. What’s worse is that the huge, expensive particle detectors are built and programmed to detect expected results. a lot can be and is missed. The article is right: it could be anything nor more likely nothing.

    • Most of the benefits from CERN for science and humanity came from the efforts made in setting up CERN’s technology, storage, and managing data.

      particle physics has made no ground in answering the 7 fundamental questions the LHC was set up to answer.

      And.. Brian Cox, and how he discusses science, especially climate science, is an indictment of particle physics imo and science on the whole. We are going backwards. Computers are doing everything and scientists are putting all their eggs in the computer basket these days.

  11. They wont share their toys at CERN.

    This could be, like the Higgs Boson, a signal from the equipment, but no one is allowed to investigate.

    The Higgs Boson data was reviewed by three different parties, the output data, but no one has done a full investigation into the experiments and the equipment.

    2 extra photons, no one has ever detected the HB, as it is claimed to not survive long enough to reach detectors.

    Until CERN is opened up, I take everything they produce with a 4kg block of salt.

    And of course the politics there, they recently suspended a scientist for having the gall to be honest and say men are being discriminated against in science, the CERN ptb proved the point, because a female scientist can say women are discriminated against without censure.
    Saying things that are true at CERN, gets you in big trouble. I can’t trust any Org that lets politics get in the way of truth. CERN has lost its way

  12. consuming it could take another year confirm with any certainly if the particle exists. –>

    consuming it could take another year confirm with any -certainty- if the particle exists.

  13. Always looking for smaller and smaller things.
    Will it ever stop ?, I mean, even the smallest things must be made of something…..

    • Always looking for smaller and smaller things.
      Will it ever stop ?, I mean, even the smallest things must be made of something…..

      There is a theory that none of this stuff actually exists until we start to look at it. It’s not an easily believable theory, but it fits all the facts. 🙂

  14. We need some real good news. A real breakthrough, not just more talk.

    The nature of matter and space is a tough nut to crack.

    What we have got after 30 years of Particle Physics work is a super complicate curve fitting ‘standard’ model and piles and piles of place holder ‘theories’ which have been developed to help support the Big Bang theory’s needs, as well as piles of dead-end particle theories such a super symmetry.

    The Particle Accelerator experiments have been a disappointment, for the general public who were hoping for a real breakthrough.

    “driver who, lost in rural Ireland, asks a passer-by how to get to Dublin. “I wouldn’t start from here,” comes the reply.”

    There is a jump up and down ‘breakthrough’ (I kid you not) in Geology. (New field of science.) This ‘discovery’ ends the climate wars. This subject is interesting for a general audience.

    There is a jump up and down breakthrough in applied nuclear physics (Re-discovery of the ‘Good’ fission heat engine).

    There is a jump up and down breakthrough in astronomy.

    The re-discovered fission heat engine design is six times more efficient than current fission heat engines (fuel cost 0.2 cents/kw-hr), walk away failsafe, and is one tenth the capital cost of current pressure water reactors.

    • The problem is the big bang itself. The acoustics from the big bang indicate that the universe is probably infinite in size and many scientists believe also infinite in age. So maybe there was no bjg bang though since space/ time, one would assume started at the same point, it becomes confusing to think about a time before there was any time. Perhaps those observations which indicate the couple of kelvins of fog at the supposed “beginnjng” simply indicate a local event which occured in an eternal universe, ie, no bjg bang beginning.

    • Big bang went from theory to religion just like climate science. The proof is when two different studies said universe was shrinking instead of expanding, they didn’t say well I guess that means big bang didn’t happen. Nope instead they pulled w/o any mechanism out that the universe shrinks and expands but expands overall. They couldn’t stand to give religious types any ammo and in doing so created their own religion i.e. something that can be neither proved nor disproved. I know both studies had flaws that were found so neither actually casts doubt on the big bang religion. However, it shows that if a something is found they will twist it to keep the big bang theory alive.

  15. ‘The team at CMS think they might have discovered a mysterious particle with twice the mass of a carbon atom.’

    Let’s call it “magnesium.”

    • Or you could say it’s 6x the mass of a Helium atom, or 1/2 the mass of a titanium atom, etc.
      Just saying it’s roughly the mass of magnesium makes more sense than 2x that of Carbon.

  16. “theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical” – bingo, real science in action!

    Priests certain, others cower – climate science in action.

  17. Interesting…the use of the word Ghost indicates just how far physics has strayed into the realm of hyper speculative nonsense.
    On the other hand it could have come down a ‘string’ from another ‘dimension’?

  18. “theorists are excited and experimentalists are very sceptical” of the new find which doesn’t fit into any of the existing theories of reality ….

    Hehehe it appears the consensus was wrong yet again.

  19. “The data would indicate a new particle with a mass of 28GeV or 1 billion electron volts which would have slightly less than a quarter of the mass of a Higgs boson.”

    First, isn’t 28 GeV actually 28 billion electron volts?
    Second, the fake Higgs discovery returned a result of 26 GeV (instead of the 40 GeV or 15 GeV predicted by SUSY and Multiverse hypotheses, making the discovery a DISproof of the Higgs particle theory) and so would mass slightly less than this ‘discovery’ – I’m tending to the ‘Halloween Joke’ explanation myself.

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