Particle physics Current Affairs

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Belle-II detector system integrated with powerful SuperKEKB accelerator

The High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) completed the ‘rolling-in’ of the Belle-II experiment in Tsukuba, Japan. With this, it moves a step forward by integrating particle detector with powerful accelerator.

The term roll-in refers to the operation of moving the entire Belle II detector system from its assembly area to the beam collision point. The Belle II detector’s total weight is about 1400 tons. 

About Belle-II experiment 

  • Belle II experiment consists of an upgraded detector to record the enormous numbers of particle processes that are produced by the SuperKEKB accelerator.
  • The experiment is designed to study violations of the Standard Model of particle physics. It is grand collaboration of 700 scientists from 23 countries including India.
  • The detector precisely measures elementary particle interactions artificially created with the upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator.
  • In the Belle II experiment, various elementary particles generated from high energy electron-positron collisions will be observed using the 8-meter tall Belle II detector consisting of seven types of subdetectors.
  • The detector will provide measurements of direction and momenta of newly produced particles. Compared to previous Belle experiment, Belle Ⅱ will allow collection of much larger data samples with much improved measurement precision.
India’s contribution

Belle-II has a significant Indian participation both on experimental and theoretical sides. The fourth layer of the six-layer i.e. highly sensitive particle detector (the heart of Belle-II) has been built by Indian scientists from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. Scientists from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati and Hyderabad, Panjab University, Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Chennai), Punjab Agricultural University, Malaviya National Institute of Technology (Jaipur), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Mohali) are also participating in this research.


Scientists discover five new sub-atomic particles at CERN

Scientists using Large Hadron Collider accelerator (LHC) at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) have discovered a new system of five particles all in a single analysis.

This discovery is unique as observing five new states all at once is very rare. According to the standard convention, these particle states were named Oc(3000)0, Oc(3050)0, Oc(3066)0, Oc(3090)0 b Oc(3119)0.

The numbers indicate their masses in megaelectronvolts (MeV), measured by LHCb experiment, one of seven particle physics detector experiments collecting data at LHC, world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Key Facts
  • The new particles were found to be in excited states (a particle state that has a higher energy than the ground state or absolute minimum configuration) of a particle called Omega-c-zero.
  • Omega-c-zero is a baryon. It is a particle with three quarks, containing two strange and one charm quark. It decays via the strong force into another baryon, called Xi-c-plus (containing a “charm”, a “strange” and an “up” quark) and a kaon K-. Xi-c-plusparticle further decays in turn into a proton p, a kaon K- and a pion p+.
  • LHCb collaboration by analysing trajectories and energy left in the detector by all the particles in this final configuration were able to trace back the initial event he decay of the Omega-c-zeroand its excited states.
  • Now quantum numbers of these new particles, characteristic numbers used to identify the properties of a specific particle and their theoretical significance will be determined.
  • Significance of the Discovery: It will contribute to understanding how the three constituent quarks are bound inside a baryon.
  • It will also help to probe the correlation between quarks, which plays a key role in describing multi-quark states, such as tetraquarks and pentaquarks.

About Baryon

Baryon is a composite subatomic particle made up of three quarks (a triquark, as distinct from mesons, which are composed of one quark and one antiquark). Baryons and mesons belong to the hadron family of particles, which are the quark-based particles. The most familiar baryons are the protons and neutrons that make up most of the mass of the visible matter in the universe.