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Two new particles have been discovered by the LHCb experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. One of them has a combination of properties that has never been observed before.

The particles, named DS3*(2860) and DS1*(2860), are about three times as massive as protons.

Physicists analysed LHCb observations of an energy peak that had been spotted in 2006 by the BaBar experiment at Stanford University in California, but whose cause was still unknown.

"Our result shows that the BaBar peak is caused by two new particles," says Tim Gershon of Warwick University, UK, lead author of the discovery.

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