Latest Issue of Science News


News

Twice-charmed particles spotted?

By
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.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News