Predicting the properties of subatomic particles using large scale computer simulations

The properties of subatomic particles are being studied using supercomputers of the Indian Lattice Gauge Theory Initiative (ILGTI) at TIFR. Credit: TIFR

Predicting the properties of subatomic particles before their experimental discovery has been a big challenge for physicists. In a recent paper published on 28 July in Physical Review Letters Nilmani Mathur from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, and M. Padmanath, a former student from TIFR, have predicted the quantum numbers of five Ω0c baryons which have recently been discovered by an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (the LHCb collaboration) at CERN. These results will help in understanding the nature of strong interactions in the Universe.


A is a composite subatomic particle made of three valence quarks and is bound by gluons through . The most well known baryon is the proton which along with an electron constitutes a hydrogen atom. A simplistic picture of a proton is a combination of two up quarks and one down . In the theory of strong interactions there are six quarks each with three colours charges. This theory allows any combination of a quark and an anti-quark as well as any combination of three quarks in a colour neutral state resulting in varieties of subatomic particles called mesons and baryons, respectively. The discovery of many mesons and baryons since the middle of the 20th century, has played a crucial role in understanding the nature of strong interactions. It is expected that many other mesons and baryons will be discovered in ongoing experiments at CERN and future high energy experiments.

These recently discovered baryons are called Ω0c made of two strange quarks and one charm quark. These are the excited states of Ω0c baryon, much like the excited…

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