Unexpected data from the Large Hadron Collider suggest the collisions may be producing a new type of matter


Collisions between protons and lead ions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have produced surprising behavior in some of the particles created by the collisions. The new observation suggests the collisions may have produced a new type of matter known as color-glass condensate.

When beams of particles crash into each other at high speeds, the collisions yield hundreds of new particles, most of which fly away from the collision point at close to the speed of light. However, the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) team at the LHC found that in a sample of 2 million lead-proton collisions, some pairs of particles flew away from each other with their respective directions correlated.

“Somehow they fly at the same direction even though it’s not clear how they can communicate their direction with one another. That has surprised many people, including us,” says MIT physics professor Gunther Roland, whose group led the analysis of the collision data along with Wei Li, a former MIT postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Rice University.

A paper describing the unexpected findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review B and is now available on arXiv.

The MIT heavy-ion group, which includes Roland and MIT physics professors Bolek Wyslouch and Wit Busza, saw the same distinctive pattern in proton-proton collisions about two years ago. The same flight pattern is also seen when ions of lead or other heavy metals, such as gold and copper, collide with each other.

Written By: Anne Trafton
continue to source article at phys.org


  1. I made the mistake of reading the comments to the article. Even articles about particle collisions get trolled. Now I’m depressed.

  2. Agreed, Dude. And did you notice that one of these people is – like the veriest uneducated layman – unaware of the scientific meaning of the word “theory”?

  3.  I found them rather amusing, with the exception of the natello guy who was so condescending. The VIP guy who replied to him was right and I wonder if he was one of us.

    Loved the comment “I must have wandered into the wrong place, I was looking for porn.”

  4. I’m no physicist but isn’t this kind of quantum entanglement a further experimental refinement of what John Bell was talking about (in this rare but terrible quality video) back in 1990?

    in which he also unveils his musical masterpiece …


    Doctor Bell say we connected
    He call me on the phone
    Doctor Bell say yew-nited
    He call me on the phone
    But if we really together, baby
    How come I feel so all alone?

    It’s so easy to forget her
    Tonight I did it fifty times
    And I never think about her
    Except from twelve to nine.
    Since we two swum in quantum honey
    Can’t get that sweet thing off my mind.

    Every time I try to leave her
    It’s like I’m stuck in slime
    We is consider’bly entangled
    An encounter of the hopelessly adhesive kind.
    Friend, don’t rush into quantum honey
    Less you prepared to lose your mind.

    Doctor Bell say we connected
    He call me on the phone
    Doctor Bell say yew-nited
    He call me on the phone
    But if we really together, baby
    How come I feel so all alone?

    Wouldn’t John Bell, if he were still around, be lustily singin’ them blues today!

  5. Yes, I love all the photos of collisions.
    They would make good posters, esp. for a science classroom.

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