Fundamental paritcles called quarks are held together by the strong nuclear force to form the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of every atom. However, the majority of the mass we observe in the visible universe comes not from these quarks but from the “glue” that binds the quarks through the strong nuclear force, described by the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).
There are world-wide efforts to determine the spectrum of quarks that form subatomic particles and exploring the spectrum of QCD is a flagship project of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab). Mesons are subatomic particles made of one quark and one antiquark held together by the strong nuclear force. The excited meson spectrum is of particular interest because it may reveal the presence of exotic mesons that would directly signal presence of the “glue.” The new GlueX experiment at Jefferson Lab has been built to discover and explore properties of exotic meson states.
This project aims to compute the excited-state meson spectrum of QCD. The goal of the computational research is to predict from theory and simulation the masses of possible exotic meson states in advance of the first experimental results from GlueX, which has commenced measurements in 2016. These calculations will guide future experimental searches and advance our understanding of matter and fundamental particle physics.
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