LHC Discovers Pentaquark: A New Particle with 5 quarks

LHC Discovers Pentaquark

Last year at LHC (Large Hadron Collider) in Cern two Xi Baryon particles were discovered. This year LHC discovers Pentaquark which is a five-quark particle. This is one of the biggest discoveries of 2015 in physics. The scientists at Cern are always in search of new particles with the help of the hadron collider. This year they have achieved a new success by discovering a new subatomic particle. LHC is a super powerful apparatus that collides particles at almost light speed (99.9999% of the speed of light). Then the scientists study data of break down of the particles and decay nature to find out the basic particles.

Inside the accelerator, the particles collide with huge energy. It even splits the atom and brings out the subatomic particles. LHC is actually famous for confirming Higgs Boson. It was confirmed in 2012 by the scientific community. They have found out its energy range. LHC is actually used to understand the moments after Big Bang. It does so by creating an environment of the explosion but in a limited and contained space where physicists can study the data.

This year, LHC found out pentaquark with its accelerator. Quarks make up Hadrons like Protons and Neutrons etc. There are many types of quarks. They include up, down, top, bottom, charm, and strange. Last year, scientists found particles with 4 quarks and now they have confirmed the existence of pentaquarks. Scientists were in the search of pentaquark for a long time. As it is hard to find and study, their claims were not verified. But now thanks to LHC we have proof of its existence.

The New Pentaquark

It has been told in a scientific journal report that this new particle is different from other particles. Also, this can bring a huge change in our basic understanding of quantum physics. Actually, two pentaquarks of different built elements (quarks) were discovered recently. Pentquarks were first suggested by physicist Murray Gell-Mann in the 1960s. However only now we have found them with the latest technology.

LHCb Graph showing experiment data (Image Credit: Cern)
LHCb Graph showing experiment data (Image Credit: CERN)

A highly noticeable change in the energy level was found while analyzing data during the procedure. It can also be seen in the above graph from CERN. Both pentaquarks have different values of energy as they have a different combination of quarks. Therefore they are named after their energy content. One is Pc(4450)+ and the next one is Pc(4380)+. Scientists also examined the decay of λb Baryon. All these detections are possible due to the study of data of collisions in LHC. Experiments and findings like these prove theories and show us new things.

A team of scientists is currently working to find other pentaquarks of other combinations. The ultimate goal is to understand the creation of the universe by going in reverse. The existence of this particle has been proved after about 50 years. This will help us to understand more about particles like neutrons, protons, baryons, and others. The research will go on and try to find more particles with higher energy levels which are actually higher vibrations.

Also Read: US Navy LaWS System: Laser-Based Tech of Future

High Energy Physics and Future

Experiments at Cern like LHC are related to high-energy physics. The colliders move particles at a very high speed. This needs very powerful magnets, deflectors, detectors, and big tunnels. These projects need very highly skilled scientists and lots of fundings. Fundings come from different countries and organizations. Scientists are trying to understand the fundamentals and fundamental particles that make matter and the universe. Higgs boson, Baryons, dark matter are all part of these.

The world’s scientific community wants to go beyond and explore unchartered territories. Things are different in the quantum realm. The detection takes very sensitive detectors and sharp minds. The main work is studying heaps of data and finding that one peak in graph or signal to discover a new thing. The collisions and decay last for fractions of a second. So it needs powerful computers and sensors to detect.

There are many particle accelerators in the world. They are working but scientists are already planning to upgrade and build even larger colliders. There is a lot to find and new powerful machines can help us find those things. Scientists believe that we may need to update or standard model in the future. But there is a question on this as well. Whether we should invest billions of taxpayer dollars in such experiments or not. Whatever the answer may be, we know that science should not stop. It is the only way to move humanity forward and understand nature.


News Source and Image Credit: CERN, Switzerland

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About the Author: Abhishek Chand

Structural Engineer by profession. Computer and smartphone enthusiast. Tech-savvy blogger and former Gadget reviewer of AP1 HD TV and TechnoNepal.

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