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CERN researchers have announced the discovery of two new particles that have only been predictions up until now.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may be switched off for now, but the discoveries go on as scientists continue to analyse the reams of material produced by smashing particle beams against each other.

This time, the team leading the LHCb experiment at the collider have uncovered the existence of two new subatomic particles in the baryon family – Xi_b’- and Xi_b*-.

“Nature was kind and gave us two particles for the price of one,” said Matthew Charles of the CNRS’s LPNHE laboratory at Paris VI University , in a statement.

“The Xi_b’- is very close in mass to the sum of its decay products: if it had been just a little lighter, we wouldn’t have seen it at all using the decay signature that we were looking for.”

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