New Evidence of ‘Intrinsic’ Charm Quarks Found

Support for ‘intrinsic charm quarks’

Researchers with the NNPDF Collaboration have found new evidence that supports the theory of intrinsic charm quarks. The group describes in their Nature paper how they developed a proton model using a machine-learning model and then compared it with results of real-world particle accelerator collisions to see what they could learn. Ramona Vogt from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published a News & Views article in the same issue of the journal outlining the new work done by the team. Nick Petric Howe, Benjamin Thompson and Nature have also released a podcast in which they discuss the team’s work.

Research using particle accelerators suggests that quarks are bound together by gluons in protons. Evidence suggests that there are two up quarks, and one down quark. Theories have suggested that there may be another quark – the \”charm quark\” – but very little evidence exists. Researchers on the new project have taken a different approach to \”prove\”, that they exist.

The researchers have discovered that a small portion (0.5%) of the proton’s energy comes from a charm-quark. Researchers found the new evidence using a machine-learning model that built a hypothetical proton, which included different quark flavors, and, of course, the elusive charm quaark. The researchers then ran the model and compared the characteristics with data from accelerator collisions that have been observed over the past decade.


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