Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Characterization of Pentaquark Shows its Structure Similar to a Molecule

Jun 09, 2019 11:12 PM EDT

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Pentaquark
(Photo : By Headbomb - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) collaborators discovered that a pentaquark has a structure similar to that of molecules.

Pentaquarks were observed four years ago by a team working at the LHC by colliding protons into each other. Theories regarding its existence have been circling the scientific field yet were not observed with confidence until the deployment of a specific technology at the LHC. Pentaquarks are comprised of four quars and one antiquark. (Neutrons and protons are comprised of indivisible particles called quarks). Their findings were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

This effort has provided details regarding the structure of a pentaquark. Scientists have nine times as much data now compared to the first discovery of a pentaquark. It has been reported that a pentaquark is bound together like that of a molecule and is composed of a three-quark baryon and a quar-antiquark meson.

"More specifically, they found that the pentaquark was made up of different "flavors" of quarks-two up quarks, one down quark, one charm quark, and finally, a single anti-charm quark. They further report that they do not know what was the driving factor that led to the arrangement of its components. They also noted that the initial observation of the pentaquark three years ago was actually an observation of two pentaquarks that were nearly identical," according to Phys.

Findings show that the study is the first in seeing baryons and mesons combining together as previous researches only show baryons sticking to other baryons. It is also possible that other pentaquarks might not have the same molecular-like structure as they have observed. The researchers desire that further researches will be conducted to further understand the characteristics of pentaquarks.

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