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
View of the Earth in front of the Sun
19.06.2019 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Immortal quantum particles: the cycle of decay and rebirth
14.06.2019 | Technische Universität München
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
19.06.2019 | Materials Sciences
19.06.2019 | Information Technology
19.06.2019 | Machine Engineering