On the existence of heavy pentaquarks: The large Nc and heavy quark limits and beyond

Thomas D. Cohen, Paul M. Hohler, Richard Lebed

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33 Scopus citations


We present a very general argument that the analogue of a heavy pentaquark (a state with the quantum numbers of a baryon combined with an additional light quark and a heavy antiquark Q̄) must exist as a particle stable under strong interactions in the combined heavy quark and large Nc limits of QCD. Moreover, in the combined limit these heavy pentaquark states fill multiplets of SU(4)×O(8)×SU(2). We explore the question of whether corrections in the combined 1/Nc and 1/mQ expansions are sufficiently small to maintain this qualitative result. Since no model-independent way is known to answer this question, we use a class of realistic hadronic models in which a pentaquark can be formed via nucleon-heavy-meson binding through a pion-exchange potential. These models have the virtue that they necessarily yield the correct behavior in the combined limit, and the long-distance parts of the interactions are model independent. If the long-distance attraction in these models were to predict bound states in a robust way (i.e., largely insensitive to the details of the short-range interaction), then one could safely conclude that heavy pentaquarks do exist. However, in practice the binding does depend very strongly on the details of the short-distance physics, suggesting that the real world is not sufficiently near the combined large Nc, mQ limit to use it as a reliable guide. Whether stable heavy pentaquarks exist remains an open question.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number074010
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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