Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider discover three new exotic particles

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: VALENTIN FLAURAUD / AFP (Getty Images)

PPhysicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced today that tThe discovery of three exotic particles that could help in the revelation bind together like quarks.

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

Last year, the Collaboration found the first double-charm tetraquark, the longest-lived particle of exotic matter found to date. The newly discovered particles contribute to the cooperation.s running list of exotic particles.

“The more analyzes we do, the more types of exotic hadrons we find,” said Niels Tuning, an LHCb physics coordinator, in a CERN publication. “We are experiencing a discovery phase similar to that in the 1950s, when the discovery of a ‘particle zoo’ of hadrons began, and eventually led to the quark model of conventional hadrons in the 1960s. We are creating the ‘particle zoo 2.0’.”

Hadrons are strongly interacting subatomic particles composed of quarks and antiquarks. Your familiar protons and neutrons are both hadrons; they each consist of three quarks.

Quarks come in six Flavors (top, bottom, charm, weird, top and bottom) that can combine in different ways to form unique particles.

For example, the recently discovered pentaquark is produced made up of strange, up, down and charm quarks and a charm antiquark. It’s the first well-known pentaquark containing a strange quark. The two new tetraquarks are a pair: one is doubly charged, the other is its neutral partner.

Images of the two newly discovered tetraquarks side by side.

“Finding new types of tetraquarks and pentaquarks and measuring their properties will help theorists develop a unified model of exotic hadrons whose exact nature is largely unknown,” LHCb spokesman Chris Parkes said in the CERN publication. “It will also help to better understand conventional hadrons.”

Ten years ago yesterday The existence of the Higgs boson has been confirmed, and physicists at the LHC continue to find new particles. sixty six Hadrons have been detected at the collider so far, and the LHCb has been responsible for 59 of them. That The third run of the LHC started todayand physicists expect the very energetic collisions will provide even better data to unpack the obscurity fundamentals of our universe.

And besides the new particles created by the collisions, there is a lot of useful data to collect. “Searching for new particles isn’t even half of everything we do at the LHC,” Freya Blekman, a particle physicist at the University of Hamburg and a collaborator in the CMS and FCC-ee collaborations, told Gizmodo in a video call last week. “We’re also doing a lot of studies on how matter holds together and how these well-known nuclear forces work at a much more detailed level.”

With the bright 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?