The heavy particle is scarce today, but scientists believe it was abundant soon after the Big Bang.
"This discovery helps us understand how matter was formed in the universe. It shows the critical success of the quark model and gives us new insight into the strong force, which binds quarks together to form larger particles," said Jianming Qian, a professor in the Department of Physics.
This discovery is largely attributed to the work done by Qian, physics postdoctoral fellow Eduard de la Cruz Burelo and physics professor Homer Neal. They are among 600 physicists from 90 institutions involved in DZero, the international experiment at Fermilab that produced these results.
"The contributions from these three team members from the University of Michigan were extremely important to this discovery," said Fermilab's DZero spokesman Dmitri Denisov.
The Michigan scientists pressed to re-examine previously gathered data for evidence of this particle, rather than wait for new data. "Their persistence paid off," said Denisov, who pointed out that these three Michigan scientists were also instrumental in DZero's discovery of a particle called the cascade b baryon last year.
Qian said detecting the Omega b baryon was like finding a needle in a haystack. The U-M team developed algorithms that allowed them to analyze almost 100 trillion particle collisions to find 18 events with the distinctive characteristics expected from the decay of the Omega b baryon.
In the collisions in the experiment, protons and anti-protons traveling near the speed of light hit head on, occasionally producing exotic heavy particles such as the Omega b baryon. The baryon travels about one millimeter before it decays into other particles.
Baryons are particles that make up the visible matter in the universe today. Protons and neutrons are the lightest baryons. All baryons are made of different combinations of three quarks. Quarks are smaller particles that come in six "flavors:" up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. Scientists organize these flavors into three families.
Protons and neutrons are made of the quarks in the first family: up and down quarks. This new particle is the first baryon ever detected that is made only of quarks from the other two families. The Omega b baryon has two strange quarks and one bottom quark.
DZero is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and several international funding agencies.
Burelo, Neal, and Qian are among the co-authors of a paper on the finding that has been submitted to Physical Review Letters. The paper is called "Observation of the doubly strange b baryon."For more information:
Nicole Casal Moore | Newswise Science News
Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University
Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Life Sciences