University of Mississippi physicist Jake Bennett studies a group of fleeting subatomic particles in hopes of advancing understanding of the fundamental building blocks that make up matter in the universe, and he is part of a team that has precisely measured the lifespan of one such particle.
Bennett is part of an international group studying charmed baryons, which are similar to protons and neutrons, but contain heavy second-generation quarks not seen in typical matter. These particles, referred to as Λc+, can only exist in high-energy environments such as the universe right after the big bang or in particle accelerators, and they decay, or break down into smaller particles, within fractions of a second.
Physical Review Letters published Bennett’s most recent results, “Measurement of the Λc+ Lifetime,” on Feb. 21.
His work uses data from the Belle II experiment, a global collaboration of physicists and engineers dedicated to studying subatomic particles and their interactions. Launched in 2018, Belle II uses an electron-positron collider at the SuperKEKBfacility in Tsukuba, Japan, to crash electrons and positrons into one another at close to the speed of light.
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