"The fun part is decoding the possibilities when you get very rare things out of that point of energy."
Y(4140) emerged as scientists sorted through the data from trillions of proton-antiproton collisions at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois.
Whole New Class
The discovery is one of several recent finds that have physicists rethinking the rules for how matter is made.
"Apparently there are a lot more ways of putting things together than we thought," said Syracuse University physicist Sheldon Stone, who runs experiments based on data from the Large Hadron Collider in Europe.
"Y(4140) is part of this whole class of objects which people don't really understand," said Stone, who was not part of the Fermilab research team.
Other researchers will no doubt try to identify the particle in their own collision data, Stone said. There should be ample opportunities to confirm that Y(4140) is real, if rare, he added.
According to Fermilab's Rob Roser, Y(4140) was found only about 20 times in billions and billions of collisions.
But with plans to triple Fermilab's massive collision dataset over the next few years, more exciting discoveries should emerge.
"We should learn more about the properties of this particle," Roser said, "and we also hope to find many new things."
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