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The bottom quark is a third-generation quark with a charge of -(1/3)e. Although all quarks are described in a similar way by the theory of quantum chromodynamics, the bottom quark's large mass (around 4 GeV, or four times the mass of a proton), combined with low values of the CKM matrix elements Vub and Vcb, gives it a distinctive signature that makes it relatively easy to identify experimentally (using a technique called B-tagging). Because three generations of quark are required for CP violation (see CKM matrix for an explanation of why), mesons containing the bottom quark are the easiest particles to use to investigate the phenomenon; this is being done at the BaBar and Belle experiments. The bottom quark is also notable because it is a product in almost all top quark decays, and a frequent decay product for the hypothetical Higgs boson if it is sufficiently light.
Additional recommended knowledge
The bottom quark was discovered at Fermilab in 1977. On its discovery, a valiant effort was made by many particle physicists to name it "Beauty", paired along with "Truth". Poetic license gave way to pragmatics, and the quarks were named "top" and "bottom" instead.
The bottom quark can decay either into up or charm quark via weak interaction. Both these decays are suppressed by CKM matrix, making lifetimes of most bottom particles ( ~10-12 s ) somewhat higher than those of charmed particles (several times 10-13 s ), but lower than those of strange particles ( 10-10 - 10-8 s ).
Hadrons containing bottom quarks
Some of the hadrons containing bottom quarks include:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bottom_quark". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|