Quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the generally accepted theory for strong interactions, describes the interactions between quarks and gluons. The strongly interacting particles that are seen in nature are hadrons, which are composites of quarks and gluons. Since QCD is a strongly coupled theory at distance scales that are characteristic of observable hadrons, there are no rigorous, first-principle methods to derive the spectrum and properties of the hadrons from the QCD Lagrangian, except for lattice QCD simulations that are not yet able to cope with all aspects of complex and short-lived states. Instead, a variety of "QCD inspired" phenomenological models have been proposed. Common features of these models are predictions for the existence of hadrons with substructures that are more complex than the standard quark-antiquark mesons and the three-quark baryons of the original quark model that provides a concise description of most of the low-mass hadrons. Recently, an assortment of candidates for nonstandard multiquark mesons, meson-gluon hybrids, and pentaquark baryons that contain heavy (charm or bottom) quarks has been discovered. Here the experimental evidence for these states is reviewed and some general comparisons of their measured properties with standard quark model expectations and predictions of various models for nonstandard hadrons are made. The conclusion is that the spectroscopy of all but the simplest hadrons is not yet understood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)