Physicists have discovered a new particle at Fermilab, the U.S. Department of Energy’s particle accelerator outside Chicago. No, it’s not the Higgs Boson, nor is it the graviton. It’s a baryon, which is made up of three quarks (typical examples of baryons are the proton and neutron). This one, in particular, known as Xi-sub-b, consists of a strange quark, an up quark, and a bottom quark; yes, those are the names of the particles.
The Standard Model of particle physics predicted the particle’s existence, but its observation is significant, because according to Fermilab’s press release, “it strengthens our understanding of how quarks form matter.” Xi-sub-b was observed 25 times to confirm its existence, even though it travels for only a fraction of a millimeter before decaying into lighter particles.
The Fermilab it was found in 1967 in Batavia, Illinois, and until the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider it was built, it was the most powerful collider in the world.