Lifetime Expectancy May be Longer Than What We Expected
Steven Blusk, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in the Physics World story “Charmed baryon puzzles particle physicists by living longer.”
Blusk and others have taken the time to remeasure the charmed baryon. The researchers found that lifetime is actually four times longer compared to the average previous measurements. Finding the discrepancies between the two measurements can lead to better theoretical understanding of quark structure and interaction say the researchers.
Blusk says it is unclear where the discrepancy comes from, or which experiments are correct. He adds, “I’d rather not speculate. It’s very hard to go back to a paper from 20 years ago and try to figure out if they did anything wrong.”
The newly found measurement “should really get people thinking about how to make the theory more precise,” says Blusk.
Blusk recommends where theorists need to start, he says that theorists need to figure out the magnitude of a phenomenon called Pauli interference, which affects the lifetime.
Blusk says that the LHCb collaboration plans to re-measure the lifetime, based on Ωc0 particles directly produced in proton collisions. Although the signals from these particles will have about 40 times more noise, the measurement has different systematic biases and this could lead to a better understanding of what the actual lifetime is.