News of the WeekParticle Physics

DESY Puts the Spin Into Gluons

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Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 27
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.27

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Quarks, the building blocks of protons and neutrons, are held together by a haze of force-carrying particles referred to as subatomic "glue." But it now appears that, unlike any glue in the macroworld, these gluons have a property known as spin. The finding, reported last week at a Moriond meeting in the French Alps by physicists from DESY, Germany's particle physics lab near Hamburg, is a step toward solving a long-standing puzzle about protons and neutrons: What gives these particles their spin?