April 7, 2011
WASHINGTON – Data from a major US atom smasher lab may have revealed a new elementary particle, or potentially a new force of nature, one of the physicists involved in the discovery told AFP on Wednesday.
The physics world was abuzz with excitement over the findings, which could offer clues to the persistent riddle of mass and how objects obtain it — one of the most sought-after answers in all of physics.
But experts cautioned that more analysis was needed over the next several months to uncover the true nature of the discovery, which comes as part of an ongoing experiment with proton and antiproton collisions to understand the workings of the universe.
“There could be some new force beyond the force that we know,” said Giovanni Punzi, a physicist with the international research team that is analyzing the data from the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
“If it is confirmed, it could point to a whole new world of interactions,” he told AFP.