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Monday, July 10, 2017

Meet the Baryons

Waltz of the Baryons   (Public Domain)
It may not be long-lived, but it has been long-awaited.  A “charming” new member of the baryon family has finally emerged from its CERN hideaway.

CERN is the French acronym for the Large Hadron Collider that “was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research.”  This monster of a machine squeezes atoms until they gasp, “Higgs boson!”

Then it squeezes some more.  After all, theoretical physicists need proof that such figments exist.  Enter Xi cc: the baryon particle with not just one, but two heavy “charm” quarks.

It's not that scientists have never seen a baryon before.  Protons and neutrons certainly qualify as such.  However, Xi cc is the heavyweight of the group.  A champion, for sure!


Copyright July 10, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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