Physicists May Have Created A 'New Form Of Matter'

28/11/2012 09:06 | Updated 27 January 2013

Physicists have created what appears to be a new form of matter.

Labelled "colour-glass condensate", it has been identified as a "swarm" of sub-atomic particles with some properties of a liquid.

The new form of matter has been discovered at CERN's Large Hadron Collider through looking at the way that particles move way from extremely high-speed collisions.

MIT explains that usually in collision inside particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider, particles fly away at near the speed on light.

But according to the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) team at the LHC, in a sample of lead-proton collisions, some flew away from each other with correlated directions.

The distinctive pattern has led to speculation that the particles are actually a new form of matter - a "liquid-like wave of gluons".

The colour glass condensate itself is thought to be the surface of the walls of gluons inside a nucleus, travelling at close to the speed of light.

"Somehow they fly at the same direction even though it's not clear how they can communicate their direction with one another.," said MIT physics professor Gunther Roland, whose group led the analysis.

"That has surprised many people, including us."

The experiment was only intended to be used a a benchmark against which further tests would be assessed.

Needless to say, this is very high-level physics - and we suggest you consult MIT and the paper itself for more information (if you think you can handle it).

More experiments are planned, but we're sure the results will be fascinating and slightly terrifying, like the best science usually is.