Twice-charmed particles spotted? | Science News



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Twice-charmed particles spotted?

5:32pm, July 1, 2002

Physicists have spied hints of two new members of the family of subatomic particles that includes the proton and neutron. Known as baryons, all such particles contain a trio of more fundamental particles, called quarks.

Although protons and neutrons are made of only so-called down and up quarks, researchers at high-energy particle colliders have for years been detecting exotic baryons containing beefier quarks called strange and charm quarks (SN: 8/25/01,

p. 116: Window Opens into Strange Nuclei). The scientists have often created baryons containing two and even three strange quarks, but no one had ever detected a baryon containing more than one charm quark, at least no one thought so.

Sifting through the data of a now-defunct experiment called SELEX, scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill., have uncovered signs of two different, doubly charmed baryons.

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