CERN scientists discovered four exotic particles that are formed from subatomic building blocks. The observations were made in the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest particle collider in the world. The experimental facility is located near Geneva, buried under the France-Switzerland border.
The particles are part of the tetraquark class. Even if they are unstable and probably did not have a significant role from the cosmological point of view, their discovery shows the diversity of the physical world.
Researchers from the Large Hadron Collider confirmed the existence of the particles.
Quarks were first discovered in 1964 by two scientists who proved the presence of charged subatomic particles that are used in the composition of protons and neutrons. They are the smallest items that form the matter and are considered to be the foundation of the Universe.
Since then, scientists tried to prove the existence of as many particles as possible. For example, charm quarks were produced in 1974, and in 1977 a Fermilab team observed the bottom quark.
It was previously believed that quarks came only in configurations of two or three, as a pair of quark-antiquark or three quarks. In comparison with the standard model of particle physics, the more recently discovered tetraquarks and pentaquarks are considered to be exotic in the physical world.
The new types of tetraquarks were named after their mega-electronvolt mass. They are from now to be known as X(4140), X(4274), X(4500) and X(4700).
As the exotic particles have been proven to have such distinct quark content, the scientists still try to find an appropriate theory that would explain their presence.
The four quarks are found in pairs, each pair having its own particularities in terms of role and orientation. However, this would be the first time scientists discovered particles that contain only heavy quarks.
Another interesting feature is the fact that each one of these exotic particles has a distinct quantum number, which means they have separated subatomic properties. Their structure and mass are also different.
The physicists had seen one of the tetraquarks before, but this time, the discovery was proven to be legit. The other three will need more time to be confirmed as separate particles, as this would be the first time the scientists have encountered them.
The findings had been published in online journals, and they are awaiting comments from other researchers. The discoveries will be further discussed at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Chicago.
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