Now physicists from Tel Aviv University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility know why quarks, the building blocks of the universe, move more slowly inside atomic nuclei.
"Researchers have been seeking an answer to this for 35 years," says Prof. Eli Piasetzky of TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics & Astronomy. Prof. Piasetzky; Meytal Duer, also of TAU's School of Physics; and Prof. Or Hen, Dr. Barak Schmookler and Dr. Axel Schmidt of MIT have now led the international CLAS Collaboration at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to identify an explanation for the EMC effect. Their conclusions were published on February 20 in the journal Nature.
Researchers - Speed - Quark - Number - Protons
The researchers discovered that the speed of a quark depends on the number of protons and neutrons forming short-ranged correlated pairs in an atom's nucleus. The more such pairs there are in a nucleus, the larger the number of slow-moving quarks within the atom's protons and neutrons.
Atoms with larger nuclei intrinsically have more protons and neutrons, so they are more likely to have a higher number of proton-neutron pairs. The team concluded that the larger the atom, the more pairs it is likely to contain. This results in slower-moving quarks in that particular atom.
Short-range - SRC - Pairs - Atom - Protons
"In short-range correlated or SRC pairs, an atom's protons and neutrons can pair up constantly, but only momentarily, before splitting...
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