Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Syracuse physicists confirm existence of rare pentaquarks discovery

15.07.2015

Discovery marks culmination of decades-long search for elusive particles

Physicists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have confirmed the existence of two rare pentaquark states. 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.


Syracuse University Professors Sheldon Stone and Tomasz Skwarnicki, doctoral student Nathan Jurik and former University research associate Liming Zhang are on the team that has confirmed the existence of two rare pentaquark states

Courtesy of CERN

It also puts to rest a 51-year-old mystery, in which American physicist Murray Gell-Mann famously posited the existence of fundamental subatomic constituents called quarks, which form particles such as protons. In 1964, he said that, in addition to a constituent with three quarks, there could be one with four quarks and an anti-quark, known as a "pentaquark." Until now, the search for pentaquarks has been fruitless.

"The statistical evidence of these new pentatquark states is beyond question," says Sheldon Stone, Distinguished Professor of Physics, who helped engineer the discovery. "Although some positive evidence was reported around 10 years ago, those results have been thoroughly debunked. Since then, the LHCb [Large Hadron Collider beauty] collaboration has been particularly deliberate in its study."

In addition to Stone, the research team includes other physicists with ties to Syracuse: Tomasz Skwarnicki, professor of physics; Nathan Jurik G'16, a Ph.D. student; and Liming Zhang, a former University research associate who is now an associate professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Liming, in fact, is presenting the findings at a LHCb workshop on Wednesday, July 22, at CERN.

Stone credits Gell-Mann, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who spent much of his career at Caltech, for postulating the existence of quarks, which are fractionally charged objects that make up matter. "He predicted that strongly interacting particles [hadrons] are formed from quark-antiquark pairs [mesons] or from three quarks [baryons]," Stone says. "This classification scheme, which has grown to encompass hadrons with four and five quarks, underscores the Standard Model, which explains the physical make-up of the Universe."

Stone says that, while his team's discovery is remarkable, it still begs many questions. One of them is the issue of how quarks bind together. The traditional answer has been a residual nuclear force, approximately 10 million times stronger than the chemical binding in atoms.

But not all bindings are created equal, Skwarnicki says. "Quarks may be tightly bound or loosely bound in a meson-baryon molecule," he explains. "The color-neutral meson and baryon feel a residual strong force [that is] similar to the one binding nucleons to form nuclei."

Adds Stone: "The theory of strong interactions is the only strongly coupled theory we have. It is particularly important for us to understand, as it not only describes normal matter, but also serves as a precursor for future theories."

The discovery is the latest in a string of successes for Syracuse's Department of Physics, which made international headlines last year, when Skwarnicki helped prove the existence of a meson named Z(4430), with two quarks and two antiquarks.

Much of this cutting-edge work occurs at CERN, where Stone oversees more than a dozen Syracuse researchers. CERN houses four multinational experiments, each with its own detector for collecting data from the LHC particle accelerator.

Media Contact

Rob Enslin
rmenslin@syr.edu
315-443-3403

http://www.syr.edu 

Rob Enslin | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: CERN Hadron LHC LHCb Large Hadron Collider implications physics

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>