Exotic hadron

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A regular meson made from a quark (q) and an antiquark (q) with spins s2 and s1 respectively and having an overall angular momentum L

Exotic hadrons are subatomic particles composed of quarks and gluons, but which do not fit into the usual scheme of hadrons. While bound by the strong interaction they are not predicted by the simple quark model. That is, exotic hadrons do not have the same quark content as ordinary hadrons: exotic baryons have more than just the three quarks of ordinary baryons and exotic mesons do not have one quark and one antiquark like ordinary mesons. Exotic hadrons can be searched for by looking for S-matrix poles with quantum numbers forbidden to ordinary hadrons. Experimental signatures for such exotic hadrons have been seen by at least 2003[1][2] but remain a topic of controversy in particle physics.

Jaffe and Low[3] suggested that the exotic hadrons manifest themselves as poles of the P matrix, and not of the S matrix. Experimental P-matrix poles are determined reliably in both the meson-meson channels and nucleon-nucleon channels.


When the quark model was first postulated by Murray Gell-Mann and others in the 1960s, it was to organize the states known then to be in existence in a meaningful way. As Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) developed over the next decade, it became apparent that there was no reason why only 3-quark and quark-antiquark combinations could exist. In addition, it seemed that gluons, the mediator particles of the strong interaction, could also form bound states by themselves (glueballs) and with quarks (hybrid hadrons). Several decades have passed without conclusive evidence of an exotic hadron that could be associated with the S-matrix pole.

In April 2014, The LHCb collaboration confirmed the existence of the Z(4430). Examinations of the character of the particle suggest that it may be exotic.[4]


There are several exotic hadron candidates:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See Tetraquark
  2. ^ See "note on non-q qbar mesons" in PDG 2006, Journal of Physics, G 33 (2006) 1.
  3. ^ R. L. Jaffe and F. E. Low, Phys. Rev. D 19, 2105 (1979). doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.19.2105
  4. ^ LHCb collaboration (7 April 2014). "Observation of the resonant character of the Z(4430) state". arXiv:1404.1903.