Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists Confirm Rare Particle Prediction, After 30 Years Of Study

Date:
March 12, 2008
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
High-energy physicists devoted to recreating the conditions at the beginning of the universe have for the first time observed a new way to produce those basic particles of atoms, protons and neutrons. Confirming a decades-old prediction physicists say they observed a rare and extremely short-lived subatomic particle with the unusual name of “charmed-strange meson” decay into a proton and anti-neutron.

High-energy physicists devoted to recreating the conditions at the beginning of the universe have for the first time observed a new way to produce those basic particles of atoms, protons and neutrons.

Confirming a decades-old prediction, the physicists with the CLEO collaboration say they observed a rare and extremely short-lived subatomic particle with the unusual name of “charmed-strange meson” decay into a proton and anti-neutron.

Detection of the event, which the collaboration made public March 9, was attributed to John Yelton, a physicist at the University of Florida, one of many institutions that are part of the CLEO collaboration.

“It’s the sort of thing that, for many years, people have known should happen,” Yelton said. “What we have done is show that it does, and how often.”

The Cornell Electron Storage Ring accelerator, or CESR, collides electrons with positrons at energies ranging from 3 to 5 billion electron volts — producing many short-lived, elementary and rare particles of interest to physicists. CLEO, the large experimental detector designed to detect the accelerator collisions, is a joint project of nearly two dozen institutions in the U.S., Canada and England.

Among the products of the CESR collisions are the charmed-strange mesons, which exist for less than one-trillionth of a second before decaying into other more stable particles. Although charmed mesons have been studied for 30 years, no one had ever observed one decaying into a proton or neutron, as theory had predicted. This is notable because about 10 percent of all the collisions in the accelerator produce protons and neutrons.

Yelton did not detect the anti-neutron directly but rather inferred its presence from data on energy and momentum of other particles.

All told, he found 13 instances of charmed-strange mesons decaying into protons and anti-neutrons, retrieving and identifying those events from data on millions and millions of different collisions and their aftermaths.

Yelton based his analysis on techniques developed at Syracuse University for the detection of two other types of rare subatomic particles, a muon and invisible neutrino.

“Professor Yelton did an extraordinary job of applying our techniques to a new area and extracted an excellent result in record time,” said Sheldon Stone, co-spokesman for CLEO and the physics professor at Syracuse who, with graduate student Nabil Meena, first developed the techniques. “This is what working together in an experiment is all about.”

David Asner, a physicist with Carleton University and CLEO’s other co-spokesperson, said the observation will contribute much to theoretical work on particle decay.

“Observation of these rare decays has the promise of increasing our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of how the world is put together,” he said.

When CLEO was first started in 1979, CESR was among the highest energy accelerators operating at the time. More recent accelerators, such as the Tevatron at Fermilab in Chicago and the soon-to-be-completed Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, operate at far higher energies. Most public attention is focused on research in these colliders — research aimed at, among other things, observing the so-called “God” particle, the Higgs boson.

Yelton said the latest result shows there remains much to be learned from collisions at lower energy in lower energy colliders. “It highlights the fact that there is still physics to be done at lower energy accelerators,” he said.

The CLEO collaboration has also submitted a paper on the discovery to the journal Physics Review Letters.

The National Science Foundation funded the bulk of the CESR hardware and operations. The research is funded by the NSF, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "Physicists Confirm Rare Particle Prediction, After 30 Years Of Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310131525.htm>.
University of Florida. (2008, March 12). Physicists Confirm Rare Particle Prediction, After 30 Years Of Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310131525.htm
University of Florida. "Physicists Confirm Rare Particle Prediction, After 30 Years Of Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310131525.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins