Physicists working at Fermilab’s particle accelerator have confirmed the observation of an entirely new particle — the the Xi-sub-b baryon, formed of three quarks, in different configurations. The proton is a baryon that consists of two up and one down quark, and the neutron is two down and one up. The Xi-sub-b has an up quark, a strange quark (yes, that’s its real name) and a heavy bottom quark (again, real name), meaning that it weighs around six times as much as a proton or neutron.
Its existence has been predicted for some time, but hadn’t previously been observed, traveling a fraction of a millimeter before decaying into lighter particles. Fermilab overcame its elusiveness nature after smashing together almost 500 trillion sets of particles. Researchers were able to verify the particle’s existence multiple times over. The Xi-sub-b has been spotted 25 times.
The Daily Galaxy via FermiLab
Image credit Quarks: http://sdsu-physics.org/physics180/physics180B/Chapters/phys180Bch31.html