May 27, 2024

Gluons, quarks, and the mystery of what makes a proton spin

Posted by in category: particle physics

For decades, nuclear physicists have been working to uncover the mysterious origins of the proton’s spin. According to a new study, they seem to have finally made some progress.

By combining experimental data with state-of-the-art calculations, researchers have revealed a more detailed picture of the spin contributions from the very glue that holds protons together, paving the way for imaging the proton’s 3D structure.

The mystery of the proton’s spin began in 1987 when measurements revealed that the proton’s building blocks, its quarks, only provide about 30% of the proton’s total measured spin. This unexpected finding left physicists wondering about the sources of the remaining spin.

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