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Soon after, they calculated that the lightest glueball would have a mass (expressed in energy units) of about 1,707 megaelectronvolts (MeV).
To determine whether such a glueball would stick together long enough to be observed in a particle accelerator, the researchers calculated the glueball's rate of decay into different combinations of other particles.
The calculation demonstrated that a glueball has a sufficiently long lifetime for the particle to be detectable.
The result suggests that glueballs may be observed in particle accelerators when electrons or protons and their antimatter counterparts collide at high energies.
Quantum chromodynamics theory predicts that under certain circumstances, gluons themselves can stick together briefly to form composite particles called glueballs.