Syracuse University physicists have confirmed CERN’s findings of a new type of matter that does not fit the traditional quark model.

A quark is a hard object found within the nucleus of an atom. When three quarks combine, they make compound particles called baryons. Protons are baryons.

Sometimes quarks interact with anti-quarks, which have opposite charges but are the same mass. With this interaction, they form mesons. Mesons can be found in particle accelerators, nuclear reactors and cosmic rays.

When baryons, mesons and other kinds of particles have strong interactions with one another, they form hadrons. This particle is made of two quarks and two anti-quarks, which is not what physicists are used to seeing in the traditional quark model.

This exotic particle has been seen before, by the Belle Collaboration in 2007, and was also observed by BaBar (a multinational team of scientists). Although two separate teams observed this new particle, Z(4430), the measurements were different. They couldn’t prove the existence of the particle because of the difference in data.

CERN was finally able to confirm this new particle with the aid of Belle’s and BaBar’s analysis techniques. Scientists confirmed that Z(4430) was real and an exotic hadron.

Physicists hope this gives them a new way of looking at strong-interaction physics.

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