Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Physicists in Japan and US find new form of matter


Analysis of data from Jefferson Lab’s CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer supports the pentaquark discovery recently announced by the SPring-8 physics lab in Japan.

Physics Lab in Japan reports evidence for the Pentaquark; Jefferson Lab data supports discovery

A Five-quark state has been discovered, first reported by a group of physicists working at the SPring-8 physics lab in Japan. All confirmed particles known previously have been either combinations of three quarks (baryons, such as protons or neutrons) or two quarks (mesons such as pions or kaons). Although not forbidden by the standard model of particle physics, other configurations of quarks had not been found till now. The "pentaquark" particle, with a mass just above 1.5 GeV, was discovered in the following way. At the Spring-8 facility a laser beam is scattered from a beam of 8-GeV electrons circulating in a synchrotron racetrack. These scattered photons constitute a beam of powerful gamma rays, which were scattered from a fixed target consisting of carbon-12 atoms. The reaction being sought was one in which a gamma and a neutron inside a carbon nucleus collided, leaving a neutron, a K+ meson, and a K- meson in the final state. Efficient detectors downstream of the collision area looked for the evidence of the existence of various combinations of particles, including a short-lived state in which the K+ and the neutron had coalesced. In this case the amalgamated particle, or resonance, would have consisted of the three quarks from the neutron (two "down" quarks and one "up" quark) and the two quarks from the K+ (an up quark and a strange antiquark). The evidence for this collection of five quarks would be an excess of events (a peak) on a plot of "missing" masses deduced from K- particles seen in the experiment (

The Laser-Electron Photon Facility (LEPS) at the SPring-8 machine ( ) is reporting exactly this sort of excess at a mass of 1540 MeV with an uncertainty of 10 MeV. The statistical certainty that this peak is not just a fluctuation in the natural number of background events, and that the excess number of events is indicative of a real particle, is quoted as being 4.6 standard deviations above the background. This, according to most particle physicists, is highly suggestive of discovery. (Nakano et al., Physical Review Letters, upcoming article, probably 11 July 2003; text at; contact Takashi Nakano,

Confirmation of this discovery comes quickly. A team of physicists in the US, led by Ken Hicks of Ohio University (, 740-593-1981) working in the CLAS collaboration at the Dept. of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, has also found evidence for the pentaquark. A photon beam (each photon being created by smashing the Jefferson Lab electron beam into a target and then measuring the energy of the scattered electron in order to determine the energy of the outgoing gamma) was directed onto a nuclear target. The photon collides with a deuteron target and the neutron-kaon (nK+) final state is studied in the CLAS detector ( ). The TJNAF result was announced at the Conference on the Intersections of Nuclear and Particle Physics ( ) held on May 19-24, 2003, at New York City. Stepan Stepanyan (, 757-269-7196) reported at this meeting that the mass measured for the pentaquark, 1.543 GeV (with an uncertainty of 5 MeV), is very close to the LEPS value. The statistical basis of the CLAS measurement is an impressive 5.4 standard deviations. (This result is about to be submitted to Physical Review Letters.) These results, together with the previous results from SPring-8, now provide firmer evidence for the existence of the pentaquark. The HERMES experiment at the DESY lab in Germany is also pursuing the pentaquark particle.

The discovery of a 5-quark state should be of compelling interest to particle physicists, and this might be only the first of a family of such states. Not only that but a new classification of matter, like a new limb in the family tree of strongly interacting particles: first there were baryons and mesons, now there are also pentaquarks. According to Ken Hicks, a member of both SPring-8 and Jefferson Lab experiments, this pentaquark can be considered as a baryon. Unlike all other known baryons, though, the pentaquark would have a strangeness value of S=+1, meaning that the baryon contains an anti-strange quark. Past searches for this state have all been inconclusive. Hicks attributes the new discovery to better beams, more efficient detectors, and more potent computing analysis power.

Linda Ware | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht 'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
16.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI have developed a novel single-polarization Kramers-Kronig receiver scheme
16.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>