Friday, September 05, 2008

Quarky New Particle.

Particle physics is notorious for its funny-sounding jargon, and "quark" is no exception.

Physicists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a new particle, Omega-sub-b. The particle is made of three quarks (two strange quarks and one bottom quark).

Quarks are fundamental particles that join together in different combinations to make more familiar particles like protons and neutrons. Omega-sub-b is about six times heavier than the mass of a proton. It was discovered by Fermilab's DZero experiment, using the tevatron particle collider.

Quarks are gregarious, they're always found in combination with other quarks and never alone. As you can imagine, this makes obtaining measurements of individual quarks particularly challenging.

Omega-sub B is especially exciting because it contains a bottom quark, providing scientists with key information into how quarks form matter, a process not yet completely understood. Scientists have now observed 13 of the 20 different quark combinations predicted in 1961 by Murray Gell-Mann, Yuval Ne'eman and George Zweig.

1 comment:

  1. Feed the right amount of energy and the right angles and watch a proton do the walts.

    ReplyDelete