European scientists said Friday they had detected a subatomic particle that sheds light on one of the basic forces of nature which determines the structure of matter.
The particle, a baryon called Xi_b, cannot be detected directly as it is too unstable, but scientists observed traces of it in a test at the European Organization for Nuclear Research's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
"The discovery of the new particle confirms the theory of how quarks bind and therefore helps to understand the strong interaction, one of the four basic forces of physics which determines the structure of matter," said a statement from the University of Zurich, whose scientists were involved in the test.
A quark is one of the basic building blocks of matter -- three quarks together form one baryon, examples of which are protons and neutrons.
The LHC is the world's largest particle collider, leading efforts to find the Higgs Boson subatomic particle believed to confer mass.
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