Large Hadron Collider Finds Elusive New Pentaquark Particle After 50 Years

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Scientist Found Evidence of Existence of Pentaquark

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider – LHC, which is the world’s largest atom smasher, have now found evidence of the existence of the pentaquark, a subatomic particle which was first proposed to exist over 50 years ago. Guy Wilkinson, a spokesperson for the LHC experiment which discovered the pentaquark mentioned in a statement that `the pentaquark is not just any new particle.

It represents a way to aggregate quarks, namely the fundamental constituents of ordinary protons and neutrons in a pattern that have never been observed before in over 50 years of experimental searches. Studying its properties may allow us to understand better how ordinary matter, the protons and neutrons from which we are all made, is constituted’.

The particle, imagined though never spotted, has been identified for the first time using CERN’s Large Hadron Callider, which has the capabilities of helping scientists to comprehend better on how protons and neutrons are formed. Quarks were first proposed in the 60s by Nobel Prize winner, Murray Gell-Man, as a concept to know how matter is comprised. He recommended that composite particles, hadrons could be split in two sections, baryons that include protons and neutrons and mesons that include psions and then came the quarks.

Earlier Experiments – Inconclusive

He suggested that hadrons in fact are made up of quarks and strong forces, with baryons   made up of three quarks while mesons are made up of a quark and an anti-quark. Several experiments carried out indicate the existence of quark, though they cannot be directly observed due to something known as `colour confinement’.

If quark is secluded, a quark and anti-quark pair will instantly replace it and the extracted quark then turns into a hadron which means that most of the experiments that have been carried out for observation are done on hadrons which are precisely what the scientists at the LHC have been doing.

Besides quarks, pentaquark are made from four quarks and one antiquark,was also imagined though proved to be harder to identify. Earlier experiments which have been searched for the pentaquark have proved to be inconclusive.

With regards to the LHCb experiment, the difference is that it has been able to look for pentaquark from several perspectives, all of which points to the same conclusion.

New Data will Enable Progress on Queries

It was as though the earlier searches were looking for shapes in the dark while LHC performed the search with the lights on and from various angles. The next stage in the analysis is to study how the quarks are bound together with the pentaquark.

Liming Zhang of Tsinghus University, an LHCb physicist state that `the quarks could be tightly bound or they could be loosely bound in a sort of meson-baryon molecule in which the meson and baryon feel a residual strong force similar to the one binding protons and neutrons to form nuclei’.

More research would be essential in distinguishing between these possibilities and to envisage what else the pentaquark could teach us. New data which LHCb gathered in LHC run 2 would enable some progress to be made on these queries.


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