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The mysterious X particles were first detected in the primordial soup created at the Great Hadron Collider

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According to the current consensus, in the moments after its formation, that is, after the Big Bang, the universe was composed of quark-gluon plasma (QGP). Protons and neutrons were formed as a result of the declining temperature of superheated matter that existed only for a few millionths of a second, and from which the universe known today was built over time. Before cooling, some quarks and gluons randomly collide to form short-lived, hitherto unknown X-particles.

In 2018, work took place at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland, creating a country known as the primordial soup. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Now they cameThey were able to identify the mysterious particles by analyzing data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) that was built in 2003.

Published in Physical Review Letters on January 21 their results According to the research team, they used machine learning methods to survey more than 13 billion heavy ion collisions, each producing tens of thousands of charged particles. Thus, about 100 X particles can be filtered out of the broth of very dense, high-energy quark-gluon particles, including one called X (3872), which is named after its estimated mass.

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Although X particles are extremely short-lived, the research team has been able to develop an algorithm that recognizes the decay patterns of X particles, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. in her contacts. However, the determination has not yet revealed the structure of the mysterious particle.

While it is already known that both protons and neutrons are made up of three quarks, physicists believe that X particles may be made up of four. According to them, X (3872) is either a compact tetraquark or a new type of particle consisting of two mesons, that is, two subatomic particles that themselves consist of two quarks.

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Currently, our data is consistent with both because we don’t have enough statistics yet. Over the next few years, we’ll gather more data to separate these two scenarios. This will expand our picture of what particles were generated in abundance in the early universe,” quoting Yen-Jie Lee, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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