Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider discover three new exotic particles

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider discover three new exotic particles
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A corridor containing a section of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

A corridor containing a section of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Photo: VALENTINE FLAURAUD / AFP (fake images)

PPhysicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider today announced the discovery of three exotic particles that can help reveal how quarks bond

One particle is a pentaquark (a hadron made up of five quarks) and the other two are tetraquarks. They were found by LHCb Collaboration at CERN, which uses a 5,600-tonne detector in part of the Large Hadron Collider to investigate the differences between matter and antimatter.

Last year, the collaboration found first double-charm tetraquark, the longest-lived exotic matter particle found so far. Newly discovered particles add to collaboration’s updated list of exotic particles.

“The more analyzes we do, the more types of exotic hadrons we find,” said Niels Tuning, coordinator of physics at the LHCb, in a CERN launch. “We are witnessing a period of discovery similar to the 1950s, when a hadron ‘zoo of particles’ began to be discovered that eventually led to the quark model of conventional hadrons in the 1960s. particles 2.0′”.

Hadrons are strongly interacting subatomic particles made up of quarks and antiquarks. Your familiar protons and neutrons are both hadrons; each is 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.

Side-by-side illustrations of the two newly discovered tetraquarks.

“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 years ago yesterday, The existence of the Higgs boson is confirmed., and physicists at the LHC continue to find new particles. Sixty-six so far hadrons have been discovered in the collider, and the LHCb has been responsible for 59 of them. the The third LHC run started todayand physicists hope that very energetic collisions will offer even better data to unravel the hidden foundations of our universe.

And there is a lot of useful data that can be collected in addition to the new particles that emerge from the collisions. “Searching for new particles is not even half of what we do at the LHC,” Freya Blekman, a particle physicist at the University of Hamburg and a collaborator with the CMS and FCC-ee collaborations, told Gizmodo on a video call the last week. . . “We also do a lot of studies on how matter binds and how these known nuclear forces work at a much more detailed level.”

With the high-luminosity Large Hadron Collider on the horizon, the future of particle physics is as bright as ever.

More: 10 years after the Higgs boson, what’s the next big thing for physics?

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