|Interactions||Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic force, Gravity|
|Antiparticle||Bottom antiquark (b)|
|Theorized||Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa (1973)|
|Discovered||Leon M. Lederman et al. (1977)|
−0.03 GeV/c2 ( 4.651S scheme)
Charm quark, orup quark
|Electric charge||−1⁄3 e|
|Weak isospin||LH: −1⁄2, RH: 0|
|Weak hypercharge||LH: 1⁄3, RH: −2⁄3|
The bottom quark or b quark, also known as the beauty quark, is a third-generation quark with a charge of −1⁄3 e. Although all quarks are described in a similar way by quantum chromodynamics, the bottom quark's large bare mass (around GeV/c2, 4.2  a bit more than 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), mesons containing the bottom quark are the easiest particles to use to investigate the phenomenon; such experiments are being performed at the BaBar, Belle and LHCb experiments. The bottom quark is also notable because it is a product in almost all top quark decays, and is a frequent decay product for the Higgs boson.
The bottom quark was theorized in 1973 by physicists Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa to explain CP violation. The name "bottom" was introduced in 1975 by Haim Harari. The bottom quark was discovered in 1977 by the Fermilab E288 experiment team led by Leon M. Lederman, when collisions produced bottomonium. Kobayashi and Maskawa won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for their explanation of CP-violation. On its discovery, there were efforts to name the bottom quark "beauty", but "bottom" became the predominant usage.
The bottom quark can decay into either an up quark or charm quark via the weak interaction. Both these decays are suppressed by the CKM matrix, making lifetimes of most bottom particles (~10−12 s) somewhat higher than those of charmed particles (~10−13 s), but lower than those of strange particles (from ~10−10 to ~10−8 s).
Some of the hadrons containing bottom quarks include:
- B mesons contain a bottom quark (or its antiparticle) and an up or down quark.
c and B
s mesons contain a bottom quark along with a charm quark or strange quark respectively.
- There are many bottomonium states, for example the ϒ meson and χb(3P), the first particle discovered in LHC. These consist of a bottom quark and its antiparticle.
- Bottom baryons have been observed, and are named in analogy with strange baryons (e.g. Λ0
- M. Kobayashi; T. Maskawa (1973). "CP-Violation in the Renormalizable Theory of Weak Interaction". Progress of Theoretical Physics 49 (2): 652–657. Bibcode:1973PThPh..49..652K. doi:10.1143/PTP.49.652.
- "Discoveries at Fermilab – Discovery of the Bottom Quark" (Press release). Fermilab. 7 August 1977. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- J. Beringer (Particle Data Group); et al. (2012). "PDGLive Particle Summary 'Quarks (u, d, s, c, b, t, b′, t′, Free)'" (PDF). Particle Data Group. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- H. Harari (1975). "A new quark model for hadrons". Physics Letters B 57 (3): 265. Bibcode:1975PhLB...57..265H. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(75)90072-6.
- K.W. Staley (2004). The Evidence for the Top Quark. Cambridge University Press. pp. 31–33. ISBN 978-0-521-82710-2.
- L.M. Lederman (2005). "Logbook: Bottom Quark". Symmetry Magazine 2 (8).
- S.W. Herb; Hom, D.; Lederman, L.; Sens, J.; Snyder, H.; Yoh, J.; Appel, J.; Brown, B.; Brown, C.; Innes, W.; Ueno, K.; Yamanouchi, T.; Ito, A.; Jöstlein, H.; Kaplan, D.; Kephart, R.; et al. (1977). "Observation of a Dimuon Resonance at 9.5 GeV in 400-GeV Proton-Nucleus Collisions". Physical Review Letters 39 (5): 252. Bibcode:1977PhRvL..39..252H. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.39.252.
- 2008 Physics Nobel Prize lecture by Makoto Kobayashi
- 2008 Physics Nobel Prize lecture by Toshihide Maskawa
- L. Lederman (1978). "The Upsilon Particle". Scientific American 239 (4): 72. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1078-72.
- R. Nave. "Quarks". HyperPhysics. Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- A. Pickering (1984). Constructing Quarks. University of Chicago Press. pp. 114–125. ISBN 0-226-66799-5.
- J. Yoh (1997). "The Discovery of the b Quark at Fermilab in 1977: The Experiment Coordinator's Story" (PDF). Proceedings of Twenty Beautiful Years of Bottom Physics. Fermilab. Retrieved 2009-07-24.