First Four-Flavored Tetraquark Particle Discovered

Posted on March 3, 2016

Four flavored Tetraquark

Researchers led by Indiana University physicist Daria Zieminska have discovered a new form of elementary particle. The new particle is the first tetraquark to contain four quarks of different "flavors."

The new particle X(5568) was detected by the by the DZero collaboration at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Laboratory. Fermilab also published observation of the new tetraquark here.

A Symmetry magazine articles notes that the first tetraquark was discovered in 2003. There are six different types or "flavors" of quarks. They include up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. Each of these types also has an antimatter counterpart. The newly discovered tetraquark at DZero is the first to contain four different quark flavors. The DZero tetraquark contains the following flavors: up, down, strange and bottom.

Zieminska says in a statement, "For most of the history of quarks, it's seemed that all particles were made of either a quark and an antiquark, or three quarks; this new particle is unique -- a strange, charged beauty. It's the birth of a new paradigm. Particles made of four quarks -- specifically, two quarks and two antiquarks -- is a big change in our view of elementary particles."

There are also pentaquarks which were first discovered last year at the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

Image: Fermilab