‘Impossible’ Particle Adds a Piece to the Strong Force Puzzle

The unexpected discovery of the double-charm tetraquark gives physicists fresh insight into the strongest of nature’s fundamental forces.

This spring, at a meeting of Syracuse University’s quark physics group, Ivan Polyakov announced that he had uncovered the fingerprints of a semi-mythical particle.

“We said, ‘This is impossible. What mistake are you making?’” recalled Sheldon Stone, the group’s leader.

Polyakov went away and double-checked his analysis of data from the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment the Syracuse group is part of. The evidence held. It showed that a particular set of four fundamental particles called quarks

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