Meson f0(1710) Could be Pure Nuclear Force Glueball Say Scientists

Posted on October 13, 2015

Nucleons and a glueball

Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) say they have made calculations that indicate article meson f0(1710) could be an elusive glueball. Professor Anton Rebhan and Frederic Brunner from TU Wien (Vienna) have employed a new theoretical approach to calculate glueball decay.

The glueball is a particle made up of pure nuclear force. A glueball is pictured on the right in the above image with nucleons pictured on the left. A glueball is an exotic particle made up entirely of gluons, which are described as sticky particles that help keep nuclear particles together. The unstable glueballs can only be detected indirectly by analyzing their decay. The researchers say they have a new way to calculate this rate of decay, a process which has not been fully understood.

Protons and neutrons consist of even smaller elementary particles known as quarks. The quarks are bound together by a strong nuclear force. Rebhan (TU Wien) says in a statement, "In particle physics, every force is mediated by a special kind of force particle, and the force particle of the strong nuclear force is the gluon."

Physicists say a particle that consists only of bound gluons - of pure nuclear force (a glueball) - is possible. The researchers say there is strong evidence that a resonance called "f0(1710)", which has been found in various experiments, is the long-sought glueball. Two upcoming experiments are the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (TOTEM and LHCb) and one accelerator experiment in Beijing (BESIII) are expected to yield new data on glueball decays.

Anton Rebhan says in a statement, "These results will be crucial for our theory. For these multi-particle processes, our theory predicts decay rates which are quite different from the predictions of other, simpler models. If the measurements agree with our calculations, this will be a remarkable success for our approach."

A research paper on the glueball calculations can be found here in the journal, Physical Review Letters.

Image: TU Wien