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Three new ‘Exotic’ Sub-Atomic Particles Discovered  

Context:

The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment has observed three never-before-seen particles.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. What are quarks?
  3. What about tetraquarks and pentaquarks?

Details:

  • The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment — which is investigating the slight differences between matter and antimatter by studying a type of particle called the “beauty quark”, or “b quark” — has observed three never-before-seen particles.
  • The three “exotic” additions — a new kind of “pentaquark” and the first-ever pair of “tetraquarks” — to the growing list of new hadrons found at the LHC will help physicists better understand how quarks bind together into these composite particles

What are quarks?

  • Quarks are elementary particles that come in six “flavours”: up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom.
  • They usually combine together in groups of twos and threes to form hadrons such as the protons and neutrons that make up atomic nuclei.
  • But they can also combine into four-quark and five-quark particles, called tetraquarks and pentaquarks.
  • These exotic hadrons were predicted by theorists about six decades ago — around the same time as conventional hadrons — but they have been observed by LHCb and other experiments only in the past 20 years.

What about tetraquarks and pentaquarks?

  • According to the CERN release, most exotic hadrons discovered in the past two decades are tetraquarks or pentaquarks containing a charm quark and a charm antiquark — with the remaining two or three quarks being an up, down or strange quark or their antiquarks.

-Source: Indian Express


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October 2022
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