Well, the first find from the LHC has been announced, galleons (actually, it was announced a little while ago, but I keep forgetting to mention it in here because I’m a right twat like that).
No, it’s not the discovery of the Higgs boson. Curses.
Quarks are currently considered elementary particles, according to the Standard Model of particle physics:
For some time now, however, physicists have been searching for quarks in an “excited state” (denoted q*). These hypothetical q* would show that quarks are not, in fact, elementary particles, as a particle can only enter such an excited state when there is a change in the way the smaller particles within are bound together.
Experiments at the Tevatron had already ruled out q* up to 870 gigaelectronvolts, and now the ATLAS detector at the LHC has extended this range by over 40 per cent, counting out q* up to 1260 GeV.
What’s really exciting about this is that the LHC managed this discovery in only four months (due to the high energy of the device), as opposed to the four years it took the Tevatron to manage its q* studies.
As Albert De Roeck of the LHC’s CMS experiment said, “We’re already competitive with, if not better than, the Tevatron’s reach for a number of searches.”
Naturally, the Tevatron is starting to feel a wee bit defensive. Despite the result of this q* study, Kurt Riesselmann (spokesman for Fermilab) says that the Tevatron still leads the race to find other particles, seeing as its collected more data to sift through. “That’s where the Tevatron will hold the edge for a few more years,” he says.
It’s starting to feel like the space race all over again…
But we’re not done with ol’ ATLAS yet, galleons.
…No, not that Atlas.
American artist Josef Kristofoletti has created a giant mural depicting the ATLAS detector. The most mindblowing thing about this is that the mural stands three stories tall, and that’s only one-third the height of the actual ATLAS detector:
I’m also fairly certain the real ATLAS doesn’t look like it was colored with every crayon in the box, but hey, artistic license, right?