According to this model, quarks and antiquarks, their antimatter counterparts, are constituents of many different subatomic particles, such as mesons, baryons, tetraquarks, and pentaquarks.
For more than a decade, scientists around the world have attempted to observe tetraquarks and quintamers using the LHCb (Large Beautiful Hadron Collider) experiment, which uses data collected at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Sometimes such work leads to very interesting results.
And in the latest scientific article published in the journal Physical review letters A team of physicists has announced the first-ever observation of a charge-double tetraquark and its neutral partner. Data collected by the LHC in 2011-2018 were used for this.
As the researchers point out, the first pentaquark was discovered at LHCb in 2015. It was a very good start for research aimed at determining which tetraquarks and pentaquarks exist and which do not, what their properties are and what particles they can decay into.
So far, there are only models describing the formation of tetras and pentaquarks from other elementary particles. However, only their observations within the LHCb will allow checking which of these models corresponds to reality.
What did you see in the Large Hadron Collider data?
To detect the tetraquark, a very sophisticated and complex analysis of the data was necessary. A pair of these exotic particles was observed using what is called capacitance analysis. This method is based on analyzing the quantum behavior of particles and their mutual interference. Throughout their work, the physicists have focused on symmetry, which is central to all of elementary particle physics. It is the symmetries that allow us to establish similarities and relationships between particles.
To date, the LHCb collaboration has discovered many entirely new particles and physical phenomena that have been detailed in more than 600 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Most of them confirmed the validity of the Standard Model. More than 70 new hadron particles have been discovered at the LHC so far, most of them as a result of the LHCb experiment. The more of these particles are discovered, the more scientists can learn about their properties, and so we know more and more about the strong interaction, which is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, which in turn binds quarks together to form hadrons.
So, the more we know about it, the better we can look for processes that go beyond the Standard Model. This process is still ongoing, and there may be more to come. After all, the Large Hadron Collider just underwent an upgrade and started its third series of experiments. The data from them, which will be five times more annually than before, will soon also go to scientists from the LHCb. It is expected that physicists will be able to see something new in this data as well.
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