Scientists part of the CERN Large Hadron Collider revealed on June 06 that they managed to create and detect a baryon particle presenting two charms in the form of heavy quarks and also a light one. Although it lived a short life, physicists stated that it was “an appreciably long time” in particle physics.
Researchers hope that this charming new subatomic particle will help them better understand and explain the key forces binding together matter.
The Short-Lived Baryon Particle Had Charms
Details on this appearance were released Thursday by physicists part of the Large Hadron Collider. They revealed the fleeting appearance of a baryon particle named Xi cc. Baryons are subatomic particles composed of quarks. These latter are even smaller particles, which can be of six types, two of them light, and another four heavier. Scientists include a type called “charm” among the heavier ones.
According to the release, scientists were able to create a Xi cc thanks to high-speed collisions taking place in the biggest atom smasher in the world at CERN, in Europe.
For a reported fraction of a second, physicists were able to analyze a baryon particle. These brief observations revealed that this presented two heavy charm quarks. It also had a light quark. Studies show that, in the natural world, such a particle has no more than one heavy quark.
Guy Wilkinson, an Oxford physicist who is also part of this experiment, offered further details. He stated that the two charm quarks appeared to be in a ‘dance” with each other. One that seemingly resembles the interactions inside a star system with two suns.
At the same time, the light quark was noted to be circling around the heavy pair and its ‘dance’. Wilkinson said that this event opened the way towards a new “family” of baryons.
“It gives us a very unique and interesting laboratory to give us an interesting new angle on the behavior of the strong interaction (between particles), which is one of the key forces in nature,” continued Wilkinson.
The experiment team submitted a paper with its results for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters.
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