Pphysicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced today tthe discovery of three exotic particles that may help reveal how quarks bind together.
One particle is a pentaquark (a hadron made up of five quarks), and the other two are tetraquarks. They are found by LHCb collaboration at CERN, which uses a 5,600-ton detector on part of the Large Hadron Collider to study the differences between matter and antimatter.
Last year, collaboration discovered the first doubly charmed tetraquark, the longest-lived particle of exotic matter ever discovered. Newly discovered particles contribute to the cooperationthe current list of exotic particles.
“The more analyzes we do, the more types of exotic hadrons we find,” said Niels Tuning, LHCb physics coordinator, in CERN publication. “We are witnessing a period of discovery similar to the 1950s, when a ‘particle zoo’ of hadrons began to be discovered and eventually led to the quark model of conventional hadrons in the 1960s. We are creating a “Particle Zoo 2.0”.
Hadrons are strongly interacting subatomic particles composed of quarks and antiquarks. Your familiar protons and neutrons are hadrons; each made up of three quarks.
Quarks come in six flavors (up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom), which can combine in different ways to make up unique particles.
For example, the recently discovered pentaquark is made of strange, up, down and charm quarks, as well as a charm antiquark. It’s the first known pentaquark to contain a strange quark. The two new tetraquarks are a pair: one is doubly charged, and the other is its neutral partner.
“Finding new kinds of tetraquarks and pentaquarks and measuring their properties will help theorists develop a unified model of exotic hadrons, the exact nature of which is largely unknown,” LHCb spokesperson Chris Parkes said in the CERN release. “It will also help to better understand conventional hadrons.”
Ten before years the existence of the Higgs boson is confirmed, and physicists at the LHC continue to find new particles. Sixty six hadrons have so far been detected at the collider and the LHCb is responsible for 59 of them. The The third run of the LHC started todayand physicists expect that high-energy collisions will offer even better data for unpacking the hidden the foundations of our universe.
And there’s a lot of useful data that can be collected beyond the new particles that come out of the collisions. “The search for new particles is not even half of everything we do at the LHC,” Freya Blackmann, a particle physicist at the University of Hamburg and a participant in the CMS and FCC-ee collaboration, told Gizmodo in a video call last week. “We’re also doing a lot of research on how matter sticks together and how these well-known nuclear forces work at a much more detailed level.”
With the Large Hadron Collider on the horizon, the future of particle physics is as bright as ever.