New research led by Professor Chen Suyrong from the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has uncovered the secrets surrounding the origin of the Proton mass. The findings, published in the journal Physical Review D on February 27, suggest that the impact of heavy quarks on a proton’s mass may be significantly greater than previously thought.

Nucleons, consisting of protons and neutrons, make up over 99% of the observable mass of the universe. The mechanisms governing the mass of these nucleons are intricately linked to fundamental phenomena such as conformal anomaly, color charge restriction, and spontaneous symmetry violation.

As a result, investigating the nature of nucleon mass is crucial for understanding nucleon structure and advancing quantum chromodynamics. This research area sheds light on fundamental questions in elementary particle physics and material structure. Unraveling the underlying mechanisms that give rise to protons and neutrons could lead to breakthroughs in physics beyond the standard model.

Previously, it was thought that the mass of quarks within protons came primarily from their constituent quarks – two up quarks and one

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