A new kind of subatomic particle called the pentaquark has been detected for the first time, the European Organization for Nuclear Research announced today. The lab, known by its French acronym CERN, said the findings were made by a team of scientists working on one of the four experiments at its Large Hadron Collider. The existence of pentaquarks was first proposed in the 1960s by American physicists Georg Zweig and Murray Gell-Mann, who coined the term "quark." CERN likened previous attempts to prove the existence of pentaquarks to looking for silhouettes in the dark, "whereas LHCb conducted the search with the lights on, and from all angles."
A very scientific statement from Guy Wilkinson, a rep for the LHCb experiment team per the BBC: "The pentaquark is not just any new particle ... It represents a way to aggregate quarks, namely the fundamental constituents of ordinary protons and neutrons, in a pattern that has never been observed before in over fifty years of experimental searches. Studying its properties may allow us to understand better how ordinary matter, the protons and neutrons from which we're all made, is constituted." Previous claims to the detection of pentaquarks have been refuted. The discovery, if verified, would be the second major find at the Large Hadron Collider. Their results have been submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters. (Read more Large Hadron Collider stories.)