CERN’s LHC discovers new class of particles called Pentaquarks
Scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have discovered a new class of exotic subatomic particles called the Pentaquarks.
The discovery was made by the scientist’s after watching the decaying of a subatomic type particle known as the Lambda B baryon.
Facts about Pentaquark
- Pentaquark was first predicted to exist in the 1960s and its name was coined by Israeli theoretical physicist Harry J. Lipkin.
- It is a particle consisting of five quarks (any of a group of subatomic particles carrying a fractional electric charge) bounded together.
- These qauarks are elementary particles that exist in six variations known as flavors having unusual names of up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm.
- These elementary particles bind together in different combinations to form a range of composite particles. Most commonly known combinations are neutrons and protons, consisting of three quarks each.
- Applications: This discovery will allow physicists to understand the quantum chromodynamics (i.e. study of strong fundamental force describing the interactions between quarks and gluons which make up proton, neutron and pion).
- In addition, it might help to shed light on the physics of neutron stars.
Note: In 1964, US physicist Murray Gell-Mann had revolutionised the understanding of the structure of matter. He had proposed that a category of particles known as baryons, which includes protons and neutrons and three fractionally charged objects called quarks. For this work Gell-Mann was awarded Nobel Prize in physics in 1969.