|Interactions||strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravity|
|Antiparticle||bottom antiquark (|
|Theorized||Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa (1973)|
|Discovered||Leon M. Lederman et al. (1977)|
−0.03 GeV/c2 (MS scheme)
−0.03 GeV/c2 (1S scheme)
|Decays into||charm quark or|
|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 heavy quark with a charge of −1/3 e.
All quarks are described in a similar way by electroweak and quantum chromodynamics, but the bottom quark has exceptionally low rates of transition to lower-mass quarks. The bottom quark is also notable because it is a product in almost all top quark decays, and is a frequent decay product of the Higgs boson.
The bottom quark was first described theoretically 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.
While the name "beauty" is sometimes used, "bottom" became the predominant usage by analogy of "top" and "bottom" to "up" and "down".
The bottom quark's "bare" mass is around 4.18 GeV/c2 – a bit more than four times the mass of a proton, and many orders of magnitude larger than common "light" quarks.
Although it almost exclusively transitions from or to a top quark, the bottom quark can decay into either an up quark or charm quark via the weak interaction. CKM matrix elements Vub and Vcb specify the rates, where both these decays are suppressed, making lifetimes of most bottom particles (~10−12 s) somewhat longer than those of charmed particles (~10−13 s), but shorter than those of strange particles (from ~10−10 to ~10−8 s).
The combination of high mass and low transition rate gives experimental collision byproducts containing a bottom quark a distinctive signature that makes them relatively easy to identify using a technique called "B-tagging". For that reason, mesons containing the bottom quark are exceptionally long-lived for their mass, and are the easiest particles to use to investigate CP violation. Such experiments are being performed at the BaBar, Belle and LHCb experiments.