For nearly 50 years, scientists have been looking for evidence to confirm the existence of Odderon, a quasiparticle that was first described in the 1970s. Today, thanks to an in-depth analysis of experimental data from the Grand CERN Hadron Collider in Switzerland and the Tevatron from Fermilab Particle Accelerator in the United States, a big step forward has just been taken.
This approach actually made it possible to discover the mythical particle. It should be noted that we owe this feat to an international group of researchers. In this context, a document summarizing the discovery was recently published on the arXiv platform.
A quasi-particle theorized by French researchers
The birth of the theory about the Odderon particle goes back to 1973 when two French physicists discovered that there was a previously unknown quasi-particle. Since then, scientists have tried to solve the puzzle by looking for traces of the element in protons.
Particles like protons and neutrons are actually made up of quarks and gluons. The latter are smaller subatomic particles. Thanks to particle accelerators, it is possible to take a quick look at their components.
An important step in particle physics
Odderon is exactly what is briefly formed when protons of very high energy collide. Sometimes the particles don’t splinter, but ricochet off one another and disperse. The collision also makes it possible to observe the pomeron. The existence of the Odderon is now confirmed by this work, in which physicists of various nationalities are involved.
Elementary particles in the atom. Photo credit: Shutterstock / vchal
“This is an important step in particle physics. It is nice to contribute to a better understanding of matter, the element on which the fundamental components of our world are based, ”said Roman Pasechnik, researcher in particle physics at Lund University in Sweden.
A job that lasted several months
To arrive at this discovery, the researchers examined millions of data points from the LHC at CERN and Fermilab. The data in question relate to proton / proton and proton / anti-proton collisions. After several months of research, a positive result was finally achieved.
As Science Alert notes, this confirmation of Odderon’s existence also makes it possible to remedy some of the shortcomings of the modern idea of quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, particularly the quark-gluon interaction hypothesis at the highest small level. In addition, the technologies used to track the quasiparticle could one day be useful in other areas, including medicine.