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
Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators
14.12.2018 | DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet
14.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy