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Pentaquark discovery at LHCb

  1. Jul 14, 2015 #1

    mfb

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    Pentaquark are particles made out of 4 quarks and 1 antiquark, unlike mesons (quark+antiquark) and baryons (3 quarks). This is by far not the first claim of a pentaquark discovery, but I think it is the most convincing one so far. We'll see which alternative interpretations will come up in the next weeks.
    If confirmed, it is a completely new class of hadrons.

    Some experimental background:
    LHCb looked at the decays of ##\Lambda_b^0 \to J/\psi p K^-##. Those four particles are well-known and the mother particle lives long enough to see its decay length: the three daughter particles come from a common point (the decay vertex) that is well separated from the primary interaction point. That allows to reduce the background significantly. LHCb then asked "could this be a decay chain? ##\Lambda_b^0 \to X K^-##, ##X \to J/\psi p## with a new particle X"? This would give a peak in the invariant mass distribution of the ##J/\psi p## pair. And indeed they found such a peak.

    Not every peak in such a distribution is a particle, which is a serious issue for all discovery claims. There are many effects in a three-body decay that have to be considered because they can lead to bumps in the spectrum.

    I see three good arguments why this peak should be a pentaquark (or something even more exotic):
    • the peak is quite narrow (first plot in first reference). You can see several other particles contributing to the spectrum in the invariant mass distribution plot, but they are all wide, and even with interference effects it is unlikely that they could give such a narrow peak.
    • the Argand diagram (second plot in first reference). It is a plot of the complex amplitude of the unknown contribution as function of the mass. You expect a circle for a particle, and indeed the points are on a circle. There is no reason why it should be circular without a new particle.
    • the quark content: the particle is too light to contain a b-quark, but it needs a charm and anticharm quark to produce a ##J/\psi## in the decay. It also needs three (valence) quarks more than antiquarks to be baryon-like. Both together requires at least five quarks.

    The arguments are weaker for the second particle which is wider and does not have a clear Argand diagram.

    LHCb will certainly try to measure more decay modes, or to find other similar particles.

    This discovery is related to the measurement of Z(4430)+, a charged state decaying to ##\Psi' \pi^-##.

    References:
    LHCb press release
    arXiv preprint

    Abstract of preprint:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2015 #2
    Hi,

    I wonder how Standard Model predicteds these five or four quarks particles ? According to the quark model SU(3) has the fundamental representation 3, then we can have octet, decouplet, sextet or 15 representations, while there is no 5 or 4 representations ?

    Best.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2015 #3
    Safinaz
    That's a really good question. I would really like to know the answer to this.

    From what I have read so far this pentaquark was predicted sometime ago, so I would expect that it is somehow a facet of the standard model. Let's hope some other people chip in with some relevant info.
     
  5. Jul 14, 2015 #4
    I think I knew the answer ..

    Like mesons which are ## q \bar{q} ~## SU(3) singlet states, arising from the tensor product ## 3 \times 3^* = 1+8 ## ,

    One of the new pentaquark particles ## ^* ## consisting of two up quarks, a down quark, a charm quark and an anti-charm quark, so now we will have ## 3\times 3 \times 3 \times 3 \times 3^* ## , which i think it can give SU(3) singlet, is it correct ? that's also as baryons states:
    $$ 3 \times 3 \times 3 = 1 + 8 + 8 + 10 $$

    The four-quark exotic particles like ## Z_c(3900) ## consisting of up, anti-down, charm and anti-charm quarks , so we have ## q \bar{q} q \bar{q} ## state or ## 3 \times 3^* \times 3 \times 3^* ## .

    The question now how many exotic particles have not been found yet and are allowed or predicted by the quark model ?

    * I think it's called Pc(4450)+, look for example :
    http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/july-2015/lhc-physicists-discover-five-quark-particle

    Best.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2015 #5
    As a layman the LHCb appears to be "the little detector that could". Ok it's not that small but still, it's seemingly been churning out interesting results for a while and presumably with more to come in run 2.
     
  7. Jul 14, 2015 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    I happen to be in a meeting with a number of colleagues I don't usually talk to. My reaction was "Maybe this time it's real".

    I am not convinced by the peak. I've seen better looking peaks go away.
    I find the Argand plot strong evidence. It's hard - not impossible, but hard - to generate a spurious pole.
    I find the Dalitz plot good evidence. It does not look like phase space sculpting.

    The second and third points reinforce each other. I don't find the second peak nearly as compelling.

    People are asking whether this is a "real pentaquark" or only a p-Psi bound system. I am not sure this question even has any meaning.
     
  8. Jul 15, 2015 #7

    atyy

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    What is phase space sculpting?
     
  9. Jul 15, 2015 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    The acceptance of the detector can be reflected into kinematic quantities, like mass. In extreme cases it can enhance or even manufacture a peak in a mass distribution.
     
  10. Jul 15, 2015 #9

    mfb

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    If there are exited states, one description could be more meaningful than the other. I guess the excited states of hadrons look different from the spectrum you would expect with pions as exchange particles.
    Not sure if those states (if they exist at all) would clearly favor one description, however.
     
  11. Jul 15, 2015 #10

    BiGyElLoWhAt

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    Just jumped on to link the paper. I haven't read the paper yet, but I'm going to assume that about half of the jargon will go right over my head. A quck question for someone that knows more about this area:

    How can you distinguish between a gluon absorbed by a quark, the quark being ejected, and a quark anti quark pair being generated, resulting in a baryon meson pair (which is allegedly what this penta quark decays into)? With the time frame that this particle lives for, I don't see how you could distinguish between the 2 situations (pentaquark vs. J/phi meson + proton baryon)
     
  12. Jul 15, 2015 #11

    mfb

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    The invariant mass distribution of the J/Psi + proton shows a structure, and that structure looks very much like a bound QCD state - a particle (well, two of them).

    An interesting point: LHCb didn't look specifically for this decay, which means their triggers were probably not optimized for it. Chances are good they threw away most of those events - the data rate is way too massive to keep everything. They will certainly optimize their trigger to study those new particles now, so the dataset could get larger quickly.

    Edit: No, they just used the displaced J/Psi trigger. Hard to improve that...
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  13. Jul 15, 2015 #12

    BiGyElLoWhAt

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    I guess the question lies in your first paragraph. How do you tell the difference between a bound quantum chromdynamics state consisting of 5 quarks versus 2 bound states consisting of 2 quarks and 3 quarks? This is the part, to me, that seems it would be veerrry hard to distinguish experimentally.
     
  14. Jul 15, 2015 #13
    Is there a limit for how many exotic particles have not been found yet and are allowed or predicted by the quark model ?
     
  15. Jul 16, 2015 #14
    Potentially silly question: Will any of the extensions to the SM (supersymmetry etc) be constrained in any significant way by this result? Or a refinement? Assuming they did indeed find pentaquarks.
     
  16. Jul 16, 2015 #15

    Vanadium 50

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    No.
     
  17. Jul 16, 2015 #16
    Thanks, figured it would be a long shot but had to ask.
     
  18. Jul 20, 2015 #17
    In the decay of the ##\Lambda_b^0## to a kaon and a pentaquark, what is the origin of the ## u \bar{u} ~## pair without a connected vertex? Is it the decay of a gluon whose line is not shown in the drawing? Or is it something else?

    Thanks
    pentaquark.png
     
  19. Jul 20, 2015 #18

    ChrisVer

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    It can be more than a gluon I guess (a photon could be)... but gluons are the dominant ones
     
  20. Jul 20, 2015 #19
    Does this discovery reveal new physics, besides the assembly of new particles made of more quarks? i.e. does it change or give new information about current physical models or theories?
     
  21. Jul 20, 2015 #20

    BiGyElLoWhAt

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    I think with a little more study it could help us figure out what quark combinations are viable. We've seen 2, 3, and now 5 quark combos. Is a 7 quark (5q 2 anti) viable? It could still produce a color neutral object
     
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