After years of searching, researchers say they’ve lastlyidentified a glueball - a particle made only of nuclear force. Hypothesized to exist as part of the standard model of particle physics, glueballs have stunned researchers since the 1970s as they can only be spotted indirectly by measuring their procedure of decay. Now, a group of particle scientists in Austria say they've found proof for the existence of glueballs by observing the decay of a particle identified as f0(1710). Protons and neutrons - the particles that everyday matter consist of - are made of tiny elementary particles called quarks, and quarks are seized together by even minor particles called gluons.
Which are also recognized as 'sticky particles', massless gluons are termed as a complex version of the photon, because just like how photons are accountable for exerting the force of electromagnetism, gluons are come in while exerting a strong nuclear force. One of the scientists who found evidence for the presence of “glueball”, Anton Rebhan from the Vienna University of Technology, said "In particle physics, every force is mediated by a special kind of force particle, and the force particle of the strong nuclear force is the gluon," But there is one big variance between the two: while photons aren’t affected by the force they apply, gluons are. This vital fact means that while photons can’t be present in what’s known as a bound state, gluons can be bound together via their own nuclear force to create glueballs.
J.E. Reich wrote for TechTimes as:
"The existence of glueball particles brings the idea that, not only can particles be forces or force carriers (i.e., photons), but that these massless particles are also contingent upon the force that they are made up of, allowing glueballs to exist in a static state,"
Gluons can be massless on their own, but their contacts with each other give glueballs a mass, which, hypothetically, permits scientists to detect them, if only indirectly through their decay procedure. And although numerous particles have been acknowledged in particle accelerator experiments as being practical candidates for glueballs, until now, no one’s been able to make a definite case for any of them comprising of pure atomic force.
The closest researchers have gotten to spotting a glueball is narrowing in on two probable contenders: f0(1500) and f0(1710), which are subatomic particles called mesons that are composed of one quark and one antiquark each.
The scientists are expecting the new data from experimentations at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (TOTEM and LHCb) in Switzerland and an another accelerator experiment in Beijing (BESIII) will support them strengthen their situation for f0(1710) being a glueball. According to Rebhan:
"These results will be crucial for our theory. For these multi-particle processes, our theory predicts decay rates which are quite different from the predictions of other, simpler models. If the measurements agree with our calculations, this will be a remarkable success for our approach."