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Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Info
National Institute for Nuclear Physics

(News version only available in english) LHCb, one of the four major experiments at the LHC Large Hadron Collider, CERN’s supercollider in Geneva, reported the discovery of a class of exotic particles composed of five quarks, known as pentaquarks. The pentaquark that was observed is not simply a new particle but a new way in which quarks, which are the fundamental constituents of protons and neutrons, can combine with each other, and follows a pattern never observed before in over fifty years of experimental research. The result of the LHCb experiment is founded on extremely accurate and rigorous data analysis, based on very high-level statistics never achieved before, as well as on the extremely high accuracy of the detector. This result is not conclusive, as pentaquarks are a class of particles that can open the door to a much deeper understanding of matter. The next step will be to study how quarks are bounded within the pentaquarks. Further studies will therefore be needed, and the new data that LHCb will collect during LHC RUN2 will allow progress to be made in this field.