Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pentaquark Discovery - Here We Go Again!

I read with a combination excitement and skepticism of the report that LHCb may have seen not one, but two pentaquarks. The skepticism should be justified because previous claims of the discovery of such quarks have turned out to be false. Still, this one comes with a 9sigma statistics.

The LHCb team is confident that the particles are indeed pentaquarks that comprise two up quarks, one down quark, one charm quark and one anticharm quark. "Benefitting from the large data set provided by the LHC, and the excellent precision of our detector, we have examined all possibilities for these signals, and conclude that they can only be explained by pentaquark states," explains LHCb physicist Tomasz Skwarnicki of Syracuse University in the US. 

As always, and as with any other new and important claim, time will tell as more analysis and experiments are done. The public and the media, especially, need to understand that this is still a work in progress, as with any scientific endeavor.


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