Scientists are exploring the possibility of a new particle, the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Physics said on Thursday.
This was because of new results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organisation of Nuclear Research (Cern), Prof Bruce Mellado said.
The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
Mellado said the hint of a new particle, beyond the known standard model of particle physics, was announced on 15 December.
Wits University researchers have been involved at Cern and also contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson — an elusive particle that gives mass to other known elementary particles — three years ago.
“With the discovery of the Higgs boson, a new window of opportunity has opened to discover new particles and interactions in nature,” Mellado said.
“These may help us understand many unresolved mysteries, such as where most of the matter in the universe comes from, among others.”
The LHC, after a two-year shutdown for re-commissioning, restarted earlier this year, he said.
It provided an insight into what happened right after the Big Bang, by studying the collisions of heavy ions at high energies. — News24