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LHCb finds bottom quarks are more likely to exist in baryons than mesons as the environment density increases

Team at LHC find bottom quarks are more likely to exist in baryons than mesons as the density increases
Ratio of A0b to B0 cross-sections as a function of the total track multiplicity measured in the VELO detector (blue). The purple point indicates the value measured in e+e collisions at LEP. Credit: Physical Review Letters (2024). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.132.081901

The team of physicists working on the LHCb Collaboration at CERN has found that bottom quarks are more likely to exist in baryons than mesons as the density of the environment in which they exist increases. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the group describes studying the production of b quarks in proton-to-proton collisions.

Quarks are that carry a fractional charge and are believed to be the building blocks for hadrons. Prior research has suggested that they cannot exist alone—theory suggests that they instead coexist as pairs in mesons or as triplets in baryons. In this new study, the team in Switzerland found that bottom quarks are more likely to exist in baryons than mesons as particle density increases.

Bottom quarks are heavy quarks with a –1/3e charge—they also transition to lower mass quarks at a relatively slow rate and are the second most massive quark included in the Standard Model that underlies . Perhaps more notably, they are believed to be a decay product of the Higgs boson.

In their work at the Large Hadron Collider, the researchers were studying data from several years' worth of smashing protons together, which included the characteristics of particles that were released. More specifically, they were looking at the rates of production of B0 mesons and A0b baryons with a single bottom quark and measuring the changes that occurred in their production rates after collisions.

They found that the A0b baryons increased compared to the B0 mesons over two events: charge particles increasing or transverse momentum decreasing. The trends they found suggested that the degree of density had an impact on the likelihood of the existence of nearby bottom quarks.

More specifically, the denser it was, the more likely it was that bottom quarks would be among the rather than the mesons, representing further evidence of coalescence, whereby combine when smashed together in certain ways. The finding, they note, goes against theories that suggest quark consolidation is independent of environment.

More information: R. Aaij et al, Enhanced Production of Λb0 Baryons in High-Multiplicity pp Collisions at s=13 TeV, Physical Review Letters (2024). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.132.081901

Journal information: Physical Review Letters

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Citation: LHCb finds bottom quarks are more likely to exist in baryons than mesons as the environment density increases (2024, March 7) retrieved 24 June 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-03-lhcb-bottom-quarks-baryons-mesons.html
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