Four quarks?

jbone at jbone at
Fri Nov 14 21:14:25 PST 2003

Joe says:
> Gee, back when I was a kid, there were about 3 mesons
> and 15 baryons and quarks were just a hypothetical.
> I wonder if we're ever going to stop discovering particles?

It all depends on how many dimensions and degrees of freedom there are 
in the basic fabric.  That determines the maximum number and kinds / 
topologies of knots.  If those characteristics are finite, and it seems 
that they probably are (best evidence suggests that reality is discrete 
/ quantized at the finest levels) then the number of possible "atomic" 
(meaning, indivisible) particles is finite.

Of course, we'll keep inventing names for endless, exotic macro- and 
mezzo-combinations, but that's not the question you're asking.

> P.S. Why is a four-quark entity a meson and not a baryon? Spin?

Spin arithmetic.  Chirality?  Even / odd.  I think:  anybody?  
(Question:  are *all* four-quark entities mesons?  Not sure.  A 
standard meson is a quark-anti-quark, no?)


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