domingo, 13 de abril de 2014

Scientists Discover Evidence of a New Type of Matter: the Tetraquark

In this Sept. 10, 2008 file photo, European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) scientists control computer screens showing traces on Atlas experiment of the first protons injected in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) during its switch on operation in CERN's control room, near Geneva, Switzerland.

The recent identification of a long-theorized particle provides strong evidence of a new form of matter.

Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle collider in the world, verified the existence of a particle called Z(4430) last week, according to New Scientist. Previously, physicists had reasoned that the particle could exist but had yet to observe it.

Discovery of any new particle is an important step for scientists, but Z(4430) is viewed with particular importance — it is evidence of a new type of matter called a tetraquark.

Quarks are among the most basic building blocks of matter. Combinations of different types of quarks produce protons and neutrons. Although quarks typically bind together in groups of two or three, scientists had theorized that four quarks could be combined to form a different type of matter: the tetraquark.

The discovery has particular importance for our understanding of neutron stars, according to space-news site Universe Today, which wrote:

"With the existence of tetraquarks, it is possible for neutrons within the core to interact strongly enough to create tetraquarks. This could even lead to the production of pentaquarks and hexaquarks, or even that quarks could interact individually without being bound into color neutral particles. This would produce a hypothetical object known as a quark star."

ORIGINAL: Mashable
April 14th, 2014

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