Rare tetra quark with 4 distinct flavors found

Q.  How many flavors do quarks have?
- Published on 01 Mar 16

a. 6
b. 4
c. 2
d. 8

ANSWER: 6
 
  • Scientists have discovered a new elementary particle - a rare tetraquark consisting of four distinct types or 'flavours' of quarks.
  • Quarks are point-like elementary particles that typically come in packages of two or three, the most familiar of which are the proton and neutron (each is made of three quarks).
  • Tetraquarks - four quarks together - are much rarer and are not well understood.
  • There are six types, or "flavours," of quark to choose from - up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. Each of these also has an antimatter counterpart.
  • While all other observed tetraquarks contain at least two of the same flavour, the new particle X(5568) has four different flavours - up, down, strange and bottom.
  • It is exciting to discover a new and unusual particle that will help us understand the strong interaction - one of the four known fundamental interactions in physics.

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