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LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the pushing-back-the-boundaries-of-physics dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from CERN: "The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration today announced results that confirm the existence of exotic hadrons – a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model. Hadrons are subatomic particles that can take part in the strong interaction – the force that binds protons inside the nuclei of atoms. Physicists have theorized since the 1960s, and ample experimental evidence since has confirmed, that hadrons are made up of quarks and antiquarks that determine their properties. A subset of hadrons, called mesons, is formed from quark-antiquark pairs, while the rest – baryons – are made up of three quarks. ... The Belle Collaboration reported the first evidence for the Z(4430) in 2008. They found a tantalizing peak in the mass distribution of particles that result from the decays of B mesons. Belle later confirmed the existence of the Z(4430) with a significance of 5.2 sigma on the scale that particle physicists use to describe the certainty of a result. LHCb reports a more detailed measurement of the Z(4430) that confirms that it is unambiguously a particle, and a long-sought exotic hadron at that. They analyzed more than 25,000 decays of B mesons selected from data from 180 trillion (180x10^12) proton-proton collisions in the Large Hadron Collider."
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LHCb Confirms Existence of Exotic Hadrons

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  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:13PM (#46707273) Homepage

    According to http://lhcb-public.web.cern.ch... [web.cern.ch]
    "It is therefore a four quark state or a two-quark plus two-antiquark state."

  • 4 quarks particle (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:18PM (#46707329)

    From the original publication ( http://lhcb-public.web.cern.ch/lhcb-public/ ):
    The minimal quark content of the Z(4430) state is: charm + anti-charm + down + anti-up.
    It is therefore a four quark state or a two-quark plus two-antiquark state.

  • Re:strange (Score:5, Informative)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:22PM (#46707365)

    it is believe to be made of quarks, but instead of the usual two or three it has four, c c_ d u_

    that means it has charge of negative one

  • Re:strange (Score:5, Informative)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:22PM (#46707373)

    It *is* made up of quarks - a charm quark, an anti-charm quark, down quark, and anti-up quark. The interesting thing is that this is a pairing never before seen - all previous hadrons were either two quarks (quark + antiquark of same color) or three quarks (three quarks or antiquarks, all of different colors). Two quarks and two antiquarks has been postulated but never observed, until now.

  • Four quarks! (Score:4, Informative)

    by MAXOMENOS (9802) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [iamoxam]> on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:25PM (#46707389) Homepage
    Master Mark will have a field day!
  • by DirePickle (796986) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:29PM (#46707441)
    Unfortunately, none really. There's nothing in the standard model that says we can't have tetraquarks or mesonic molecules (this seems to be one or the other), it's just that we haven't seen any before.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:34PM (#46707485)

    "Tetraquarks" are a two-quark plus two-antiquark state.
    The other possibility that was mentioned (a four quark state) is too exotic to be reasonable (it would break color neutrality).

  • Re:Four quarks! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @03:37PM (#46707515)

    MUSTER Mark.

  • Re:strange (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @04:18PM (#46707905)

    To get Psi' you need c-cbar; to get a pi you need an up and a down. The final state they observe is a mu-,mu+ K pi. The production of the muons in pairs means that they came out of the same reaction -- that is you can put them together to get a Psi' with good reliability. So you that leaves you with Psi' k and pi, you could have an initial state that decays to a psi' and a (k+pi) in a baggy (aka the K* resonances), or a psi' and a k and a pi that don't interact with each other (but three prong decays are well down from pair wise decay chains), or a k + (psi' pi) in a baggy. Since momentum and energy are conserved having K*'s in the produced stuff can reflect into the other pairings (this is the crux of the venerable Dalitz plot analysis). The reflections are insufficient to explain away a k +(psi' pi) decay chain --it's not an echo from other known physics. The psi' is a pure ccbar state and the quark content of the pion is well known -- either all four quarks are present in the (psi' pi) baggy or something really weird is going on. Whip out the Occam's razor and you claim a tetraquark. (It's not clear however that the ancient a0(980) and f0(980) are not tetraquarks or molecules ... it's just a very very hard place to work -- here the muon decays help a lot at cleaning up the states -- there's not a great analog of the psi' below 1GeV that is a clean resonance to beat against.

  • Re:strange (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @07:04PM (#46709217)

    For a more useful perspective and pretty graph of the experimental data, see:
    http://www.quantumdiaries.org/2014/04/09/major-harvest-of-four-leaf-clover

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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