Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Researchers pin down the elusive masses of up, down and strange quarks

Quarks exist in a soup of other quarks, antiquarks and gluons within a proton or neutron. Determining their mass has been difficult due to the strong force that binds them together. Credit: Christine Davies/University of Glasgow
Quarks exist in a soup of other quarks, antiquarks and gluons within a proton or neutron. Determining their mass has been difficult due to the strong force that binds them together. Credit: Christine Davies/University of Glasgow

Abstract:
Quarks, the elementary particles that make up protons and neutrons, have been notoriously difficult to nail down -- much less weigh -- until now. A research group co-founded by Cornell physics professor G. Peter Lepage has calculated, with a razor-thin margin of error, the mass of the three lightest and, therefore, most elusive quarks: up, down and strange.

By Anne Ju

Researchers pin down the elusive masses of up, down and strange quarks

Ithaca, NY | Posted on May 4th, 2010

The work of Lepage, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and collaborators from several international institutions, is published online (March 31) and in print in Physical Review Letters (Vol. 104:13).

The findings reduce the uncertainty of the quark masses by 10 to 20 times down to a few percent. Scientists have known the mass of a proton for almost a century, but getting the mass of the individual quarks inside has been an ongoing challenge. The quarks are held together by the so-called strong force -- so powerful that it's impossible to separate and study them. They exist in a soup of other quarks, antiquarks and gluons, which are another type of particle.

To determine the quark masses, Lepage explained, it was necessary to fully understand the strong force. They tackled the problem with large supercomputers that allowed them to simulate the behavior of quarks and gluons inside such particles as protons.

Quarks have an astonishingly wide range of masses. The lightest is the up quark, which is 470 times lighter than a proton. The heaviest, the t quark, is 180 times heavier than a proton -- or almost as heavy as an entire atom of lead.

"So why these huge ratios between masses? This is one of the big mysteries in theoretical physics right now," Lepage said. "Indeed it is unclear why quarks have mass at all." He added that the new Large Hadron Collider in Geneva was built to address this question.

According to their results, the up quark weighs approximately 2 mega electron volts (MeV), which is a unit of energy, the down quark weighs approximately 4.8 MeV, and the strange quark weighs in at about 92 MeV.

The research was supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society, Science and Technology Facilities Counsel, Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, Spain's Ministry of Science and Innovation, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Blaine Friedlander
(607) 254-8093

Cornell Chronicle:
Anne Ju
(607) 255-9735

Copyright © Cornell University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Physics

A refined magnetic sense: Algorithms and hardware developed in the context of quantum computation are shown to be useful for quantum-enhanced sensing of magnetic fields July 2nd, 2018

Evidence for a new property of quantum matter revealed: Electrical dipole activity detected in a quantum material unlike any other tested June 11th, 2018

Theory gives free rein to superconductivity at room temperature May 28th, 2018

Scientists Pinpoint Energy Flowing Through Vibrations in Superconducting Crystals: Interactions between electrons and the atomic structure of high-temperature superconductors impacted by elusive and powerful vibrations May 4th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Academic/Education

The Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Tsukuba near Tokyo in Japan uses Deben's ARM2 detector to better understand catalytic reaction mechanisms June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

SUNY Poly Professor Eric Lifshin Selected for ‘Fellow of the Microanalysis Society’ Position for Significant Contributions to Microanalysis June 13th, 2018

Grand Opening of UC Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) to Spotlight JEOL Center for Nanoscale Solutions: Renowned Materials Scientists to Present at the 1st International Symposium on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ISAMS) April 18th, 2018

Announcements

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project