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Nov 11, 2020

Physicists say they’ve found a ‘tetraquark’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The finding marks a major breakthrough in a search of almost 20 years, carried out in particle physics labs all over the world.

To understand what a tetraquark is and why the discovery is important, we need to step back in time to 1964, when particle physics was in the midst of a revolution. Beatlemania had just exploded, the Vietnam war was raging and two young radio astronomers in New Jersey had just discovered the strongest evidence ever for the Big Bang theory.

On the other side of the U.S., at the California Institute of Technology, and on the other side of the Atlantic, at CERN in Switzerland, two particle physicists were publishing two independent papers on the same subject. Both were about how to make sense of the enormous number of new particles that had been discovered over the past two decades.

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