Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology (UT Wien) have come up with data that may prove that the meson f0(1710) particle could actually be the long sought-after "glueball" — a particle comprised entirely of pure force, which is integral to how we understand not only nuclear energy, but all energy.
Published in the scientific journal Physics Review Letters, the discovery of the possible particle link was made by Anton Rebhan and Frederic Brünner, who used a particle accelerator to measure the decay process and rate of the meson f0(1710) — the only way in which a glueball can conceivably be quantified and qualified, due to its short shelf life.
"Our calculations show that it is indeed possible for glueballs to decay predominantly into strange quarks," said Rebhan, dictating one of the major signs for possible gluons (with "quarks" referring to fundamental, indivisible, subatomic particles that act as the building blocks for hadrons, aka protons and neutrons).
The term "glueball" is a nickname for gluons, the particles that act as an adhesive of sorts for nuclear particles (another apt nickname for them is "sticky particles"). The existence of glueball particles brings the idea that, not only can particles be forces or force carriers (i.e., photons), but that these massless particles are also contingent upon the force that they are made up of, allowing glueballs to exist in a static state.
However, pinpointing a definitive glueball isn't as simple as it seems: even with the results gleaned from data collected by a particle accelerator — and even though the unusual decay patterns of the meson f0(1710) point to its instability as a charged particle — we do not have enough information about general decay patterns to begin with to make a positive ID.
Further comparative results are expected from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and one from Beijing (BES III), where a large-scale experiment is currently being conducted.