WASHINGTON: A new “doubly-charmed” particle containing an unusual combination of quarks — a fundamental constituent of matter — has been discovered by scientists working at the world’s largest and most powerful atom smasher.
The new particle, called Xicc++, contains two charm quarks and one up quark. The discovery will help probe into the strong interaction, one of the four fundamental forces of nature.
The existence of this particle from the baryon family was expected by current theories, but physicists have been looking for such baryons with two heavy quarks for many years.
The mass of the newly identified particle is about 3,621 Mega electron-Volt (MeV), which is almost four times heavier than the most familiar baryon, the proton, a property that arises from its doubly charmed quark content.
The discovery was announced at the EPS Conference on High Energy Physics in Venice. It is the first time that such a particle has been unambiguously detected, according to scientists working with Cern’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider.
Nearly all the matter that we see around us is made of baryons, which are common particles composed of three quarks, the best-known being protons and neutrons.