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Two recent announcements have stirred great interest among high energy theoreticians at ICTP and SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) in Trieste. A series of experiments at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, have offered evidence of the existence of a new state of matter in which quarks are completely free instead of bound up in more complex particles like protons and neutrons. Such a state must have existed just a few microseconds after the Big Bang. The second announcement, made at the 4th International Symposium on Sources and Detention of Dark Matter in the Universe, recently held in Marina Del Rey, California, noted that a team of Italian physicists working at the Gran Sasso Laboratory of the Istituto nazionale di fisica nucleare (INFN) may have uncovered traces of the elusive neutralinos. These weakly interacting massive particles (WIMP) could be the first supersymmetric particles that theoretical physicists have foreseen as candidates for dark matter.


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