November 20, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Data Analysis in the Search for the Pentaquark

By Max Camp
B.S. physics, Class of 2016

I worked with Dr. Ken Hicks on looking for an exotic hadron called the pentaquark using data from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, VA.

The pentaquark is made of quarks, just like the proton and neutron, however the pentaquark is made from five quarks (specifically four light quarks and one anti-quark), whereas the proton and neutron each have just three light quarks. Evidence for a pentaquark was published a few years ago by a Japanese research group.

I tried to reproduce the analysis done by the Japanese group but now from a different experiment done under similar conditions. I had some trouble with understanding some programming code I needed, but I had help from graduate students and Google. I met with Dr. Hicks regularly, sometimes multiple times a day.

I felt great when I finished my analysis and wrote everything up. It felt like I had contributed in some way to our understanding of particle physics.

Max Camp – Intern with Dr. Kenneth Hicks – junior at Ohio University – College of Arts & Sciences – physics major

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