Physicists have long sought after the ‘glueball’ – a particle comprised entirely of pure force. This concept is essential to our understanding of nuclear energy, but also for our understanding of energy in general. Scientists at University of technology in Vienna, Austria think they have probably found this holy grail of particles. They have been observing the decay of a particle known as f0(1710). These kinds of particles are hard to study, as they can only be measured indirectly, by watching their decay. Gluons are elementary particles that act as the exchange particles for the strong force between quarks, analogous to the exchange of photons in the electromagnetic force between two charged particles. Massless gluons are also called ‘sticky particles’, and are similar to a photon but more complicated. The job of gluons is to exert a strong nuclear force. Anton Rebhan, one of the researchers, says .”In particle physics, every force is mediated by a special kind of force particle, and the force particle of the strong nuclear force is the gluon.”
Photons are not affected by the force they exert, however, gluons are. This means that gluons can be bound together via their own nuclear force to form ‘glueballs’. Gluons may have no mass, but their interactions with each other create the ‘glueball’ mass.
“The existence of glueball particles brings the idea that, not only can particles be forces or force carriers (i.e., photons), but that these massless particles are also contingent upon the force that they are made up of, allowing glueballs to exist in a static state,” says J.E. Reich in the TechTimes.