Science: Enlarging the Zoo

"I've got some very exciting physics to tell you," said M.I.T. Physicist Samuel Ting earlier this month as he entered the office of Burton Richter, a Stanford University physicist. "Listen," Richter interrupted, "I've got some exciting physics to tell you." In fact, the two researchers, working independently and a continent apart, had almost simultaneously made an important discovery: a totally new type of subatomic particle that could upset prevailing ideas about the basic nature of matter.

Physicists have already discovered some 200 elementary particles, usually by smashing apart nuclei of atoms in huge...

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