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Searching for Magnetic Monopoles with MoEDAL

7 Sep 2016, 08:24 UTC
Searching for Magnetic Monopoles with MoEDAL
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Article: Search for magnetic monopoles with the MoEDAL prototype trapping detector in 8 TeV proton-proton collisions at the LHC
Authors: The ATLAS Collaboration
Reference: arXiv:1604.06645v4 [hep-ex]
Somewhere in a tiny corner of the massive LHC cavern, nestled next to the veteran LHCb detector, a new experiment is coming to life.
The Monopole & Exotics Detector at the LHC, nicknamed the MoEDAL experiment, recently published its first ever results on the search for magnetic monopoles and other highly ionizing new particles. The data collected for this result is from the 2012 run of the LHC, when the MoEDAL detector was still a prototype. But it’s still enough to achieve the best limit to date on the magnetic monopole mass.
Figure 1: Breaking a magnet.
Magnetic monopoles are a very appealing idea. From basic electromagnetism, we expect to swap electric and magnetic fields under duality without changing Maxwell’s equations. Furthermore, Dirac showed that a magnetic monopole is not inconsistent with quantum electrodynamics (although they do not appear natually.) The only problem is that in the history of scientific experimentation, we’ve never actually seen one. We know that if we break a magnet in half, we will get two new magnetics, each with ...

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