Scientists have detected a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern.
The discovery will help researchers learn more about the so-called “strong force” which holds the centres of atoms together.
The existence of the new particle was theoretically predicted but this is the first time it has been identified.
The details of the Xi-cc++ particle were presented at a high-energy physics conference in Venice.
The study was carried out at the LHCb experiment and led by Dr Patrick Spradlin of Glasgow University. He said that the discovery would “shed light on a longstanding puzzle and open an exciting new branch of investigation”.
His colleague, Prof Paul Soler, also from Glasgow University, described the development as “a new frontier in understanding the strong force”.
Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of neutrons and protons, which form the centres of atoms. These are made up of three smaller particles called quarks which can be either light or heavy.