Protons and neutrons are baryons where, for example, a proton is composed of 2 “up” quarks and 1 “down” quark; a neutron has 2 “down” quarks and 1 “up” quark.
Their discovery, which has taken place at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland, is said to have major implications for the study of the structure of matter.
“Studying its properties may allow us to understand better how ordinary matter, the protons and neutrons from which we’re all made, is constituted”, he said.
First proposed in 1964 by American physicist Murray Gell-Mann, their existence redefined the way the public thought about particle physicists. Quarks were eventually found to come in six types, called up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom.
Physicists studied the way a sub-atomic particle called Lambda b decayed transformed into three other particles inside LHCb.
The pentaquark is class of particles made up of five quarks in particular arrangements. “Since then, the LHCb collaboration has been particularly deliberate in this study”.
Earlier experiments that have searched for pentaquarks have proved inconclusive. “We told him to forget about what he was working on and focus on this instead”. The decay particles acted as a “fingerprint” of sorts. “We kept hoping it would go away, but it never did”.
Scientists who operate the collider believe that the existence of this new particle could shed new light on how the matter that makes up everything, including humans, is structured, according to Express.
The new particle was first discovered in 1960s, but much like the Higgs boson particle the pentaquark eluded science for decades until its detection at the LHC. One is very evident, the other is a little harder to see.
These have been named Pc(4450) and Pc(4380), the former being clearly visible as a peak in the data, with the latter being required to describe the data fully. “I was not expecting this”. It means most experiments carried out to observe them are done on hadrons, which is exactly what scientists at LHCb have been doing. Zweig coined the term “aces” for the three new hypothesised building blocks, but it was Gell-Mann’s name “quark” that stuck.
It will also allow physicists to tune the equations that predict the behavior of all known forms of matter in the universe.
NEWS: Particle Slam!
But not all bindings are created equal, Skwarnicki says. These bind together in different combinations to form a range of composite particles, of which the most commonly known are neutrons and protons, consisting of three quarks each.
For Stone, this discovery shows that fundamental physics research still holds many surprises, some of which show up in unexpected places. In fact in our analysis we found two.
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