The Un-Particle

Finding a new type of matter with the LHC

Sometimes you have to wonder if physicists are just playing out a cosmic joke on the rest of us. Harvard's Howard Georgi, a renowned theorist, has suggested that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the giant accelerator due to switch on next year, might be able to detect what he calls "unparticles." The members of this new class of matter have no mass, and should be difficult to detect, but physicists are already at work trying to figure out how to find them at the LHC.

While Georgi deserves applause for the clever nomenclature, the astrophysics community still prevails in this department, having proposed the existence of such strange beauties as repulsive dark matter (RDM), self-annihilating dark matter (SADM), and, our favorite, fuzzy dark matter (FDM).