PPhysicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider today announced tdiscovered three exotic particles that could help reveal how quarks bind.
One particle is a pentaquark (a hadron made up of five quarks) and the other two are tetraquarks. They were found by the LHCb collaboration at CERN, which uses a 5,600 tonne detector on part of the Large Hadron Collider to study the differences between matter and antimatter.
Last year the collaboration found the first double-charm tetraquark, the longest-lived exotic matter particle ever discovered. Newly discovered particles add to the collaboration’s current list of exotic particles.
“The more analyzes we do, the more exotic hadron types we find,” said LHCb physics coordinator Niels Tuning in a statement. Press release from CERN. “We are seeing 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 both hadrons; they are each composed of three quarks.
Quarks come in six flavors (high, low, charm, weird, high and low), which can combine in different ways to make up unique particles.
For example, the recently discovered pentaquark is made strange quarks, up, down and charm, as well as a charm antiquark. It’s the first pentaquark known to contain a strange quark. The two new tetraquarks form a pair: one is doubly charged and the other is its neutral partner.
“Finding new types 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 spokesman Chris Parkes said in the statement. from CERN. “It will also help to better understand conventional hadrons.”
Ten years ago yesterday, the existence of the Higgs boson has been confirmed, and LHC physicists continue to discover new particles. Sixty six hadrons have so far been discovered at the collider, and the LHCb is responsible for 59 of them. The LHC Run 3 started todayand physicists expect high-energy collisions to yield even better data for unpacking the hidden foundations of our universe.
And there’s a lot of useful data to glean in addition to the new particles emerging from the collisions. “Searching for new particles is not even half of everything we do at the LHC,” Freya Blekman, a particle physicist at the University of Hamburg and contributor to the CMS and FCC-ee collaborations, told Gizmodo during the talk. a video call last week. . “We are also doing many studies of how matter fits together and how these well-known nuclear forces work at a much more detailed level.”
With the Large High-Luminosity Hadron Collider on the horizon, the future of particle physics is brighter than ever.
Plus: 10 years after the Higgs boson, what’s the next big thing for physics?