Theoretical calculations show that glueballs should exist at energy ranges accessible with current collider technology. However, due to the mentioned difficulty, they have so far not been observed and identified with certainty.
Glueballs are so named because they are composed of subatomic particles called gluons, which have the all-important job of gluing together particles called quarks, which in turn combine to form protons, neutrons, and other particles.
Physicists are eager to experimentally verify glueballs because their existence, which to this day has only been hypothesized, is one of the key features that distinguish quantum chromodynamics from quantum electrodynamics two theories that are used to explain the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force, respectively.
He adds that the scalar glueball exhibits this decay pattern because the strong nuclear force barely changes the spin direction of very light quarks, a phenomenon that reveals itself in the scalar glueball's inclination to decay to quark-antiquark pairs of the heavier strange quark.
The glueball quest is connected with a popular theory called quantum chromodynamics, which claims matter’s most basic components are tiny entities called quarks.
But his calculations, he added, shows that when the glueball undergoes one common type of decay—into pairs of particles—those tend to consist of a particular type of quark, called the strange quark.
The glueball quest might lead to further interesting findings about the nature of matter, Chanowitz told World Science, because glueballs are linked to poorly understood aspects of quantum chromodynamics that in turn affect the properties of other particles.
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