Theoretical Particle Physics

QCD Sum-Rules Studies of Exotic Hadrons

The research of the theoretical particle physics group (Derek Harnett and Robin Kleiv) deals with bound states of quarks and gluons, called hadrons. The most familiar hadrons are the neutron and proton, which are found in the atomic nucleus. However, more unusual exotic hadrons are predicted to exist; in fact, experiments have recently discovered particles that are widely suspected to be exotic hadrons. Research performed in the theoretical high energy physics group at UFV will help to ascertain the true identities of these recently discovered particles.

The strong nuclear force is the interaction responsible for binding protons and neutrons together inside atomic nuclei, or, on a more fundamental level, for binding quarks together inside the protons and neutrons themselves.  The well-established theory that governs the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics (QCD).  In it, the interaction between quarks is mediated by the exchange of particles called gluons.

Our research program focuses on hadrons, bound states of quarks and gluons, the most familiar of which being protons and neutrons.  However, QCD suggests that more unusual hadrons exist including those comprised of four quarks (tetraquarks or meson molecules), gluons only (glueballs), and both quarks and gluons (hybrids).  Such so-called exotic hadrons have not yet been conclusively identified experimentally although there are a number of tantalizing candidates.

We use a technique called QCD sum-rules to predict the physical properties of hadrons.  Our work will help to determine the identities of several recently observed, possibly exotic hadrons, and to complement current and future experimental efforts aimed at discovering new particles.  Links to our publications can be found at or

The theoretical particle physics group at UFV (Derek Harnett and Robin Kleiv) conducts this work in cooperation with students from UFV and the University of Saskatchewan as well as other researchers from Canada, China, and Europe. Students interested in participating are encouraged to contact Derek Harnett ( or Robin Kleiv ( for more information.

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