Meson

In particle physics, mesons (/ˈmiːzɒnz/ or /ˈmɛzɒnz/) are hadronic subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark, bound together by strong interactions. Because mesons are composed of quark subparticles, they have physical size, notably a diameter of roughly one femtometer,[1] which is about 1.2 times the size of a proton or neutron. All mesons are unstable, with the longest-lived lasting for only a few hundredths of a microsecond. Charged mesons decay (sometimes through mediating particles) to form electrons and neutrinos. Uncharged mesons may decay to photons. Both of these decays imply that color is no longer a property of the byproducts.

Outside the nucleus, mesons appear in nature only as short-lived products of very high-energy collisions between particles made of quarks, such as cosmic rays (high-energy protons and neutrons) and ordinary matter. Mesons are also frequently produced artificially in cyclotron in the collisions of protons, antiprotons, or other particles.

Mesons are the associated quantum-field particles that transmit the nuclear force between hadrons that pull those together into a nucleus. Their effect is analogous to photons that are the force carriers that transmit the electromagnetic force of attraction between oppositely charged protons and electrons that allow individual atoms to exist, and further, to pull atoms together into molecules. Higher energy (more massive) mesons were created momentarily in the Big Bang, but are not thought to play a role in nature today. However, such heavy mesons are regularly created in particle accelerator experiments, in order to understand the nature of the heavier types of quark that compose the heavier mesons.

Mesons are part of the hadron particle family, and are defined simply as particles composed of an even number of quarks. The other members of the hadron family are the baryons: subatomic particles composed of odd numbers of valence quarks (at least 3), and some experiments show evidence of exotic mesons, which do not have the conventional valence quark content of two quarks (one quark and one antiquark), but 4 or more.

Because quarks have a spin of ​12, the difference in quark number between mesons and baryons results in conventional two-quark mesons being bosons, whereas baryons are fermions.

Each type of meson has a corresponding antiparticle (antimeson) in which quarks are replaced by their corresponding antiquarks and vice versa. For example, a positive pion (
π+
) is made of one up quark and one down antiquark; and its corresponding antiparticle, the negative pion (
π
), is made of one up antiquark and one down quark.

Because mesons are composed of quarks, they participate in both the weak and strong interactions. Mesons with net electric charge also participate in the electromagnetic interaction. Mesons are classified according to their quark content, total angular momentum, parity and various other properties, such as C-parity and G-parity. Although no meson is stable, those of lower mass are nonetheless more stable than the more massive, and hence are easier to observe and study in particle accelerators or in cosmic ray experiments. Mesons are also typically less massive than baryons, meaning that they are more easily produced in experiments, and thus exhibit certain higher-energy phenomena more readily than do baryons. For example, the charm quark was first seen in the J/Psi meson (
J/ψ
) in 1974,[2][3] and the bottom quark in the upsilon meson (
ϒ
) in 1977.[4]

Mesons
Meson nonet - spin 0
CompositionCompositeQuarks and antiquarks
StatisticsBosonic
InteractionsStrong, Weak, Electromagnetic and Gravity
TheorizedHideki Yukawa (1935)
Discovered1947
Types~140 (List)
MassFrom 134.9 MeV/c2 (
π0
)
to 9.460 GeV/c2 (
ϒ
)
Electric charge−1 e, 0 e, +1 e
Spin0, 1

History

From theoretical considerations, in 1934 Hideki Yukawa[5][6] predicted the existence and the approximate mass of the "meson" as the carrier of the nuclear force that holds atomic nuclei together. If there were no nuclear force, all nuclei with two or more protons would fly apart due to electromagnetic repulsion. Yukawa called his carrier particle the meson, from μέσος mesos, the Greek word for "intermediate", because its predicted mass was between that of the electron and that of the proton, which has about 1,836 times the mass of the electron. Yukawa had originally named his particle the "mesotron", but he was corrected by the physicist Werner Heisenberg (whose father was a professor of Greek at the University of Munich). Heisenberg pointed out that there is no "tr" in the Greek word "mesos".[7]

The first candidate for Yukawa's meson, now known in modern terminology as the muon, was discovered in 1936 by Carl David Anderson and others in the decay products of cosmic ray interactions. The mu meson had about the right mass to be Yukawa's carrier of the strong nuclear force, but over the course of the next decade, it became evident that it was not the right particle. It was eventually found that the "mu meson" did not participate in the strong nuclear interaction at all, but rather behaved like a heavy version of the electron, and was eventually classed as a lepton like the electron, rather than a meson. Physicists in making this choice decided that properties other than particle mass should control their classification.

There were years of delays in the subatomic particle research during World War II (1939–1945), with most physicists working in applied projects for wartime necessities. When the war ended in August 1945, many physicists gradually returned to peacetime research. The first true meson to be discovered was what would later be called the "pi meson" (or pion). This discovery was made in 1947, by Cecil Powell, César Lattes, and Giuseppe Occhialini, who were investigating cosmic ray products at the University of Bristol in England, based on photographic films placed in the Andes mountains. Some of those mesons had about the same mass as the already-known meson, yet seemed to decay into it, leading physicist Robert Marshak to hypothesize in 1947 that it was actually a new and different meson. Over the next few years, more experiments showed that the pion was indeed involved in strong interactions. The pion (as a virtual particle) is also believed to be the primary force carrier for the nuclear force in atomic nuclei. Other mesons, such as the virtual rho mesons are involved in mediating this force as well, but to a lesser extent. Following the discovery of the pion, Yukawa was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Physics for his predictions.

In the past, the word meson was sometimes used to mean any force carrier, such as "the Z0 meson", which is involved in mediating the weak interaction.[8] However, this use has fallen out of favor, and mesons are now defined as particles composed of pairs of quarks and antiquarks.

Overview

Spin, orbital angular momentum, and total angular momentum

Spin (quantum number S) is a vector quantity that represents the "intrinsic" angular momentum of a particle. It comes in increments of ​12 ħ. The ħ is often dropped because it is the "fundamental" unit of spin, and it is implied that "spin 1" means "spin 1 ħ". (In some systems of natural units, ħ is chosen to be 1, and therefore does not appear in equations.)

Quarks are fermions—specifically in this case, particles having spin ​12 (S = ​12). Because spin projections vary in increments of 1 (that is 1 ħ), a single quark has a spin vector of length ​12, and has two spin projections (Sz = +​12 and Sz = −​12). Two quarks can have their spins aligned, in which case the two spin vectors add to make a vector of length S = 1 and three spin projections (Sz = +1, Sz = 0, and Sz = −1), called the spin-1 triplet. If two quarks have unaligned spins, the spin vectors add up to make a vector of length S = 0 and only one spin projection (Sz = 0), called the spin-0 singlet. Because mesons are made of one quark and one antiquark, they can be found in triplet and singlet spin states.

There is another quantity of quantized angular momentum, called the orbital angular momentum (quantum number L), that comes in increments of 1 ħ, which represent the angular momentum due to quarks orbiting around each other. The total angular momentum (quantum number J) of a particle is therefore the combination of intrinsic angular momentum (spin) and orbital angular momentum. It can take any value from J = |LS| to J = |L + S|, in increments of 1.

Meson angular momentum quantum numbers for L = 0, 1, 2, 3
S L J P
(See below)
JP
0 0 0 0
1 1 + 1+
2 2 2
3 3 + 3+
1 0 1 1
1 2, 1, 0 + 2+, 1+, 0+
2 3, 2, 1 3, 2, 1
3 4, 3, 2 + 4+, 3+, 2+

Particle physicists are most interested in mesons with no orbital angular momentum (L = 0), therefore the two groups of mesons most studied are the S = 1; L = 0 and S = 0; L = 0, which corresponds to J = 1 and J = 0, although they are not the only ones. It is also possible to obtain J = 1 particles from S = 0 and L = 1. How to distinguish between the S = 1, L = 0 and S = 0, L = 1 mesons is an active area of research in meson spectroscopy.

Parity

If the universe were reflected in a mirror, most of the laws of physics would be identical—things would behave the same way regardless of what we call "left" and what we call "right". This concept of mirror reflection is called parity (P). Gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the strong interaction all behave in the same way regardless of whether or not the universe is reflected in a mirror, and thus are said to conserve parity (P-symmetry). However, the weak interaction does distinguish "left" from "right", a phenomenon called parity violation (P-violation).

Based on this, one might think that, if the wavefunction for each particle (more precisely, the quantum field for each particle type) were simultaneously mirror-reversed, then the new set of wavefunctions would perfectly satisfy the laws of physics (apart from the weak interaction). It turns out that this is not quite true: In order for the equations to be satisfied, the wavefunctions of certain types of particles have to be multiplied by −1, in addition to being mirror-reversed. Such particle types are said to have negative or odd parity (P = −1, or alternatively P = −), whereas the other particles are said to have positive or even parity (P = +1, or alternatively P = +).

For mesons, the parity is related to the orbital angular momentum by the relation:[9]

where the L is a result of the parity of the corresponding spherical harmonic of the wavefunction. The "+ 1" comes from the fact that, according to the Dirac equation, a quark and an antiquark have opposite intrinsic parities. Therefore, the intrinsic parity of a meson is the product of the intrinsic parities of the quark (+1) and antiquark (−1). As these are different, their product is −1, and so it contributes the "+ 1" that appears in the exponent.

As a consequence, all mesons with no orbital angular momentum (L = 0) have odd parity (P = −1).

C-parity

C-parity is only defined for mesons that are their own antiparticle (i.e. neutral mesons). It represents whether or not the wavefunction of the meson remains the same under the interchange of their quark with their antiquark.[10] If

then, the meson is "C even" (C = +1). On the other hand, if

then the meson is "C odd" (C = −1).

C-parity rarely is studied on its own, but more commonly in combination with P-parity into CP-parity. CP-parity was thought to be conserved, but was later found to be violated in weak interactions.[11][12][13]

G-parity

G parity is a generalization of the C-parity. Instead of simply comparing the wavefunction after exchanging quarks and antiquarks, it compares the wavefunction after exchanging the meson for the corresponding antimeson, regardless of quark content.[14]

If

then, the meson is "G even" (G = +1). On the other hand, if

then the meson is "G odd" (G = −1).

Isospin and charge

Meson nonet - spin 0
Combinations of one u, d or s quarks and one u, d, or s antiquark in JP = 0 configuration form a nonet.
Meson nonet - spin 1
Combinations of one u, d or s quarks and one u, d, or s antiquark in JP = 1 configuration also form a nonet.

The concept of isospin was first proposed by Werner Heisenberg in 1932 to explain the similarities between protons and neutrons under the strong interaction.[15] Although they had different electric charges, their masses were so similar that physicists believed that they were actually the same particle. The different electric charges were explained as being the result of some unknown excitation similar to spin. This unknown excitation was later dubbed isospin by Eugene Wigner in 1937.[16] When the first mesons were discovered, they too were seen through the eyes of isospin and so the three pions were believed to be the same particle, but in different isospin states.

This belief lasted until Murray Gell-Mann proposed the quark model in 1964 (containing originally only the u, d, and s quarks).[17] The success of the isospin model is now understood to be the result of the similar masses of the u and d quarks. Because the u and d quarks have similar masses, particles made of the same number of them also have similar masses. The exact specific u and d quark composition determines the charge, because u quarks carry charge +​23 whereas d quarks carry charge −​13. For example, the three pions all have different charges (
π+
(
u

d
),
π0
(a quantum superposition of
u

u
and
d

d
states),
π
(
d

u
)), but have similar masses (c. 140 MeV/c2) as they are each made of a same number of total of up and down quarks and antiquarks. Under the isospin model, they were considered to be a single particle in different charged states.

The mathematics of isospin was modeled after that of spin. Isospin projections varied in increments of 1 just like those of spin, and to each projection was associated a "charged state". Because the "pion particle" had three "charged states", it was said to be of isospin I = 1. Its "charged states"
π+
,
π0
, and
π
, corresponded to the isospin projections I3 = +1, I3 = 0, and I3 = −1 respectively. Another example is the "rho particle", also with three charged states. Its "charged states"
ρ+
,
ρ0
, and
ρ
, corresponded to the isospin projections I3 = +1, I3 = 0, and I3 = −1 respectively. It was later noted that the isospin projections were related to the up and down quark content of particles by the relation

where the n's are the number of up and down quarks and antiquarks.

In the "isospin picture", the three pions and three rhos were thought to be the different states of two particles. However, in the quark model, the rhos are excited states of pions. Isospin, although conveying an inaccurate picture of things, is still used to classify hadrons, leading to unnatural and often confusing nomenclature. Because mesons are hadrons, the isospin classification is also used, with I3 = +​12 for up quarks and down antiquarks, and I3 = −​12 for up antiquarks and down quarks.

Flavour quantum numbers

The strangeness quantum number S (not to be confused with spin) was noticed to go up and down along with particle mass. The higher the mass, the lower the strangeness (the more s quarks). Particles could be described with isospin projections (related to charge) and strangeness (mass) (see the uds nonet figures). As other quarks were discovered, new quantum numbers were made to have similar description of udc and udb nonets. Because only the u and d mass are similar, this description of particle mass and charge in terms of isospin and flavour quantum numbers only works well for the nonets made of one u, one d and one other quark and breaks down for the other nonets (for example ucb nonet). If the quarks all had the same mass, their behaviour would be called symmetric, because they would all behave in exactly the same way with respect to the strong interaction. However, as quarks do not have the same mass, they do not interact in the same way (exactly like an electron placed in an electric field will accelerate more than a proton placed in the same field because of its lighter mass), and the symmetry is said to be broken.

It was noted that charge (Q) was related to the isospin projection (I3), the baryon number (B) and flavour quantum numbers (S, C, B′, T) by the Gell-Mann–Nishijima formula:[18]

where S, C, B′, and T represent the strangeness, charm, bottomness and topness flavour quantum numbers respectively. They are related to the number of strange, charm, bottom, and top quarks and antiquark according to the relations:

meaning that the Gell-Mann–Nishijima formula is equivalent to the expression of charge in terms of quark content:

Classification

Mesons are classified into groups according to their isospin (I), total angular momentum (J), parity (P), G-parity (G) or C-parity (C) when applicable, and quark (q) content. The rules for classification are defined by the Particle Data Group, and are rather convoluted.[19] The rules are presented below, in table form for simplicity.

Types of meson

Mesons are classified into types according to their spin configurations. Some specific configurations are given special names based on the mathematical properties of their spin configuration.

Types of mesons[20]
Type S L P J JP
Pseudoscalar meson 0 0 0 0
Pseudovector meson 0, 1 1 + 1 1+
Vector meson 1 0, 2 1 1
Scalar meson 1 1 + 0 0+
Tensor meson 1 1, 3 + 2 2+

Nomenclature

Flavourless mesons

Flavourless mesons are mesons made of pair of quark and antiquarks of the same flavour (all their flavour quantum numbers are zero: S = 0, C = 0, B = 0, T = 0).[21] The rules for flavourless mesons are:[19]

Nomenclature of flavourless mesons

q

q
content
J PC
I
0−+, 2−+, 4−+, ... 1+−, 3+−, 5+−, ... 1−−, 2−−, 3−−, ... 0++, 1++, 2++, ...

u

d



d

u
1
π+


π0


π
b+
b0
b

ρ+


ρ0


ρ
a+
a0
a
Mix of
u

u
,
d

d
,
s

s
0
η


η′
h
h′

ω


ϕ
f
f′

c

c
0
η
c
hc ψ†† χc

b

b
0
η
b
hb
ϒ
χb

t

t
0
η
t
ht
θ
χt

^ The C parity is only relevant to neutral mesons.
†† ^ For JPC=1−−, the ψ is called the
J/ψ

In addition:

  • When the spectroscopic state of the meson is known, it is added in parentheses.
  • When the spectroscopic state is unknown, mass (in MeV/c2) is added in parentheses.
  • When the meson is in its ground state, nothing is added in parentheses.

Flavoured mesons

Flavoured mesons are mesons made of pair of quark and antiquarks of different flavours. The rules are simpler in this case: the main symbol depends on the heavier quark, the superscript depends on the charge, and the subscript (if any) depends on the lighter quark. In table form, they are:[19]

Nomenclature of flavoured mesons
antiquark →
quark ↓
up down charm strange top bottom
up [21]
D0

K+

T0

B+
down [21]
D

K0

T

B0
charm
D0

D+

D+
s

T0
c

B+
c
strange
K

K0

D
s

T
s

B0
s
top
T0

T+

T0
c

T+
s

T+
b
bottom
B

B0

B
c

B0
s

T
b

In addition:

  • If JP is in the "normal series" (i.e., JP = 0+, 1, 2+, 3, ...), a superscript ∗ is added.
  • If the meson is not pseudoscalar (JP = 0) or vector (JP = 1), J is added as a subscript.
  • When the spectroscopic state of the meson is known, it is added in parentheses.
  • When the spectroscopic state is unknown, mass (in MeV/c2) is added in parentheses.
  • When the meson is in its ground state, nothing is added in parentheses.

Exotic mesons

There is experimental evidence for particles that are hadrons (i.e., are composed of quarks) and are color-neutral with zero baryon number, and thus by conventional definition are mesons. Yet, these particles do not consist of a single quark/antiquark pair, as all the other conventional mesons discussed above do. A tentative category for these particles is exotic mesons.

There are at least five exotic meson resonances that have been experimentally confirmed to exist by two or more independent experiments. The most statistically significant of these is the Z(4430), discovered by the Belle experiment in 2007 and confirmed by LHCb in 2014. It is a candidate for being a tetraquark: a particle composed of two quarks and two antiquarks.[22] See the main article above for other particle resonances that are candidates for being exotic mesons.

List

Pseudoscalar mesons

Pseudoscalar mesons
Particle name Particle
symbol
Antiparticle
symbol
Quark
content
Rest mass (MeV/c2) IG JPC S C B' Mean lifetime (s) Commonly decays to

(>5% of decays)

Pion[23]
π+

π

u

d
139.57018±0.00035 1 0 0 0 0 (2.6033±0.0005)×10−8
μ+
+
ν
μ
Pion[24]
π0
Self [a] 0134.9766±0.0006 1 0−+ 0 0 0 (8.4±0.6)×10−17
γ
+
γ
Eta meson[25]
η
Self [a] 547.853±0.024 0+ 0−+ 0 0 0 (5.0±0.3)×10−19[b]
γ
+
γ
or

π0
+
π0
+
π0
or


π+
+
π0
+
π

Eta prime meson[26]
η′
(958)
Self [a] 957.66±0.24 0+ 0−+ 0 0 0 (3.2±0.2)×10−21[b]
π+
+
π
+
η
or

(
ρ0
+
γ
) / (
π+
+
π
+
γ
) or


π0
+
π0
+
η

Charmed eta meson[27]
η
c
(1S)
Self
c

c
2980.3±1.2 0+ 0−+ 0 0 0 (2.5±0.3)×10−23[b] See
η
c
decay modes
Bottom eta meson[28]
η
b
(1S)
Self
b

b
9300±40 0+ 0−+ 0 0 0 Unknown See
η
b
decay modes
Kaon[29]
K+

K

u

s
493.677±0.016 12 0 1 0 0 (1.2380±0.0021)×10−8
μ+
+
ν
μ
or


π+
+
π0
or


π0
+
e+
+
ν
e
or


π+
+
π0

Kaon[30]
K0

K0

d

s
497.614±0.024 12 0 1 0 0 [c] [c]
K-Short[31]
K0
S
Self [e] 497.614±0.024[d] 12 0 (*) 0 0 (8.953±0.005)×10−11
π+
+
π
or


π0
+
π0

K-Long[32]
K0
L
Self [e] 497.614±0.024[d] 12 0 (*) 0 0 (5.116±0.020)×10−8
π±
+
e
+
ν
e
or


π±
+
μ
+
ν
μ
or


π0
+
π0
+
π0
or


π+
+
π0
+
π

D meson[33]
D+

D

c

d
1869.62±0.20 12 0 0 +1 0 (1.040±0.007)×10−12 See
D+
decay modes
D meson[34]
D0

D0

c

u
1864.84±0.17 12 0 0 +1 0 (4.101±0.015)×10−13 See
D0
decay modes
strange D meson[35]
D+
s

D
s

c

s
1968.49±0.34 0 0 +1 +1 0 (5.00±0.07)×10−13 See
D+
s
decay modes
B meson[36]
B+

B

u

b
5279.15±0.31 12 0 0 0 +1 (1.638±0.011)×10−12 See
B+
decay modes
B meson[37]
B0

B0

d

b
5279.53±33 12 0 0 0 +1 (1.530±0.009)×10−12 See
B0
decay modes
Strange B meson[38]
B0
s

B0
s

s

b
5366.3±0.6 0 0 −1 0 +1 1.470+0.026
−0.027
×10−12
See
B0
s
decay modes
Charmed B meson[39]
B+
c

B
c

c

b
6276±4 0 0 0 +1 +1 (4.6±0.7)×10−13 See
B+
c
decay modes

[a] ^ Makeup inexact due to non-zero quark masses.
[b] ^ PDG reports the resonance width (Γ). Here the conversion τ = ​ħΓ is given instead.
[c] ^ Strong eigenstate. No definite lifetime (see kaon notes below)
[d] ^ The mass of the
K0
L
and
K0
S
are given as that of the
K0
. However, it is known that a difference between the masses of the
K0
L
and
K0
S
on the order of 2.2×10−11 MeV/c2 exists.[32]
[e] ^ Weak eigenstate. Makeup is missing small CP–violating term (see notes on neutral kaons below).

Vector mesons

Vector mesons
Particle name Particle
symbol
Antiparticle
symbol
Quark
content
Rest mass (MeV/c2) IG JPC S C B' Mean lifetime (s) Commonly decays to

(>5% of decays)

Charged rho meson[40]
ρ+
(770)

ρ
(770)

u

d
775.4±0.4 1+ 1 0 0 0 ~4.5×10−24[f][g]
π±
+
π0
Neutral rho meson[40]
ρ0
(770)
Self 775.49±0.34 1+ 1−− 0 0 0 ~4.5×10−24[f][g]
π+
+
π
Omega meson[41]
ω
(782)
Self 782.65±0.12 0 1−− 0 0 0 (7.75±0.07)×10−23[f]
π+
+
π0
+
π
or


π0
+
γ

Phi meson[42]
ϕ
(1020)
Self
s

s
1019.445±0.020 0 1−− 0 0 0 (1.55±0.01)×10−22[f]
K+
+
K
or


K0
S
+
K0
L
or

(
ρ
+
π
) / (
π+
+
π0
+
π
)
J/Psi[43]
J/ψ
Self
c

c
3096.916±0.011 0 1−− 0 0 0 (7.1±0.2)×10−21[f] See
J/ψ
(1S) decay modes
Upsilon meson[44]
ϒ
(1S)
Self
b

b
9460.30±0.26 0 1−− 0 0 0 (1.22±0.03)×10−20[f] See
ϒ
(1S) decay modes
Kaon[45]
K∗+

K∗−

u

s
891.66±0.026 12 1 1 0 0 ~7.35×10−20[f][g] See
K
(892) decay modes
Kaon[45]
K∗0

K∗0

d

s
896.00±0.025 12 1 1 0 0 (7.346±0.002)×10−20[f] See
K
(892) decay modes
D meson[46]
D∗+
(2010)

D∗−
(2010)

c

d
2010.27±0.17 12 1 0 +1 0 (6.9±1.9)×10−21[f]
D0
+
π+
or


D+
+
π0
D meson[47]
D∗0
(2007)

D∗0
(2007)

c

u
2006.97±0.19 12 1 0 +1 0 >3.1×10−22[f]
D0
+
π0
or


D0
+
γ
strange D meson[48]
D∗+
s

D∗−
s

c

s
2112.3±0.5 0 1 +1 +1 0 >3.4×10−22[f]
D∗+
+
γ
or


D∗+
+
π0
B meson[49]
B∗+

B∗−

u

b
5325.1±0.5 12 1 0 0 +1 Unknown
B+
+
γ
B meson[49]
B∗0

B∗0

d

b
5325.1±0.5 12 1 0 0 +1 Unknown
B0
+
γ
Strange B meson[50]
B∗0
s

B∗0
s

s

b
5412.8±1.3 0 1 −1 0 +1 Unknown
B0
s
+
γ
Charmed B meson
B∗+
c

B∗−
c

c

b
Unknown 0 1 0 +1 +1 Unknown Unknown

[f] ^ PDG reports the resonance width (Γ). Here the conversion τ = ​ħΓ is given instead.
[g] ^ The exact value depends on the method used. See the given reference for detail.

Notes on neutral kaons

There are two complications with neutral kaons:[11]

Note that these issues also exist in principle for other neutral flavored mesons; however, the weak eigenstates are considered separate particles only for kaons because of their dramatically different lifetimes.[11]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ D. Griffiths (2008)
  2. ^ J.J. Aubert et al. (1974)
  3. ^ J.E. Augustin et al. (1974)
  4. ^ S.W. Herb et al. (1977)
  5. ^ "Nobel Prize in Physics 1949". Presentation Speech. The Noble Foundation. 1949.
  6. ^ H. Yukawa, (1935)
  7. ^ G. Gamow, (1961)
  8. ^ J. Steinberger, (1998)
  9. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Quark Model
  10. ^ M.S. Sozzi (2008b)
  11. ^ a b c J.W. Cronin (1980)
  12. ^ V.L. Fitch (1980)
  13. ^ M.S. Sozzi (2008c)
  14. ^ K. Gottfried, V.F. Weisskopf (1986)
  15. ^ W. Heisenberg (1932)
  16. ^ E. Wigner (1937)
  17. ^ M. Gell-Mann (1964)
  18. ^ S.S.M Wong (1998)
  19. ^ a b c C. Amsler et al. (2008): Naming scheme for hadrons
  20. ^ W.E. Burcham, M. Jobes (1995)
  21. ^ a b c For the purpose of nomenclature, the isospin projection I3 isn't considered a flavour quantum number. This means that the charged pion-like mesons (π±, a±, b±, and ρ± mesons) follow the rules of flavourless mesons, even if they aren't truly "flavourless".
  22. ^ LHCb collaborators (2014): Observation of the resonant character of the Z(4430)− state
  23. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    π±
  24. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    π0
  25. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    η
  26. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    η′
  27. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    η
    c
  28. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    η
    b
  29. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    K±
  30. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    K0
  31. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    K0
    S
  32. ^ a b C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    K0
    L
  33. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D±
  34. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D0
  35. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D±
    s
  36. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B±
  37. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B0
  38. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B0
    s
  39. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B±
    c
  40. ^ a b C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    ρ
  41. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    ω
    (782)
  42. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    ϕ
  43. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings – J/Ψ
  44. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    ϒ
    (1S)
  45. ^ a b C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    K
    (892)
  46. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D∗±
    (2010)
  47. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D∗0
    (2007)
  48. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    D∗±
    s
  49. ^ a b C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B
  50. ^ C. Amsler et al. (2008): Particle listings –
    B
    s

References

External links

Recent findings

B meson

In particle physics, B mesons are mesons composed of a bottom antiquark and either an up (B+), down (B0), strange (B0s) or charm quark (B+c). The combination of a bottom antiquark and a top quark is not thought to be possible because of the top quark's short lifetime. The combination of a bottom antiquark and a bottom quark is not a B meson, but rather bottomonium which is something else entirely.

Each B meson has an antiparticle that is composed of a bottom quark and an up (B−), down (B0), strange (B0s) or charm antiquark (B−c) respectively.

D meson

The D mesons are the lightest particle containing charm quarks. They are often studied to gain knowledge on the weak interaction. The strange D mesons (Ds) were called the "F mesons" prior to 1986.

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Eta meson

The eta (η) and eta prime meson (η′) are isosinglet mesons made of a mixture of up, down and strange quarks and their antiquarks. The charmed eta meson (ηc) and bottom eta meson (ηb) are similar forms of quarkonium; they have the same spin and parity as the (light) η defined, but are made of charm quarks and bottom quarks respectively. The top quark is too heavy to form a similar meson, due to its very fast decay.

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J/psi meson

The J/ψ (J/psi) meson or psion is a subatomic particle, a flavor-neutral meson consisting of a charm quark and a charm antiquark. Mesons formed by a bound state of a charm quark and a charm anti-quark are generally known as "charmonium". The J/ψ is the most common form of charmonium, due to its low rest mass. The J/ψ has a rest mass of 3.0969 GeV/c2, just above that of the ηc (2.9836 GeV/c2), and a mean lifetime of 7.2×10−21 s. This lifetime was about a thousand times longer than expected.Its discovery was made independently by two research groups, one at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, headed by Burton Richter, and one at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, headed by Samuel Ting of MIT. They discovered they had actually found the same particle, and both announced their discoveries on 11 November 1974. The importance of this discovery is highlighted by the fact that the subsequent, rapid changes in high-energy physics at the time have become collectively known as the "November Revolution". Richter and Ting were rewarded for their shared discovery with the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Kaon

In particle physics, a kaon , also called a K meson and denoted K, is any of a group of four mesons distinguished by a quantum number called strangeness. In the quark model they are understood to be bound states of a strange quark (or antiquark) and an up or down antiquark (or quark).

Kaons have proved to be a copious source of information on the nature of fundamental interactions since their discovery in cosmic rays in 1947. They were essential in establishing the foundations of the Standard Model of particle physics, such as the quark model of hadrons and the theory of quark mixing (the latter was acknowledged by a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008). Kaons have played a distinguished role in our understanding of fundamental conservation laws: CP violation, a phenomenon generating the observed matter–antimatter asymmetry of the universe, was discovered in the kaon system in 1964 (which was acknowledged by a Nobel Prize in 1980). Moreover, direct CP violation was discovered in the kaon decays in the early 2000s by the NA48 experiment at CERN and the KTeV experiment at Fermilab.

List of mesons

This list is of all known and predicted scalar, pseudoscalar and vector mesons. See list of particles for a more detailed list of particles found in particle physics.This article contains a list of mesons, unstable subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark. They are part of the hadron particle family – particles made of quarks. The other members of the hadron family are the baryons – subatomic particles composed of three quarks. The main difference between mesons and baryons is that mesons have integer spin (thus are bosons) while baryons are fermions (half-integer spin). Because mesons are bosons, the Pauli exclusion principle does not apply to them. Because of this, they can act as force mediating particles on short distances, and thus play a part in processes such as the nuclear interaction.

Since mesons are composed of quarks, they participate in both the weak and strong interactions. Mesons with net electric charge also participate in the electromagnetic interaction. They are classified according to their quark content, total angular momentum, parity, and various other properties such as C-parity and G-parity. While no meson is stable, those of lower mass are nonetheless more stable than the most massive mesons, and are easier to observe and study in particle accelerators or in cosmic ray experiments. They are also typically less massive than baryons, meaning that they are more easily produced in experiments, and will exhibit higher-energy phenomena sooner than baryons would. For example, the charm quark was first seen in the J/Psi meson (J/ψ) in 1974, and the bottom quark in the upsilon meson (ϒ) in 1977.Each meson has a corresponding antiparticle (antimeson) where quarks are replaced by their corresponding antiquarks and vice versa. For example, a positive pion (π+) is made of one up quark and one down antiquark; and its corresponding antiparticle, the negative pion (π−), is made of one up antiquark and one down quark. Some experiments show the evidence of tetraquarks – "exotic" mesons made of two quarks and two antiquarks, but the particle physics community as a whole does not view their existence as likely, although still possible.The symbols encountered in these lists are: I (isospin), J (total angular momentum), P (parity), C (C-parity), G (G-parity), u (up quark), d (down quark), s (strange quark), c (charm quark), b (bottom quark), Q (charge), B (baryon number), S (strangeness), C (charm), and B′ (bottomness), as well as a wide array of subatomic particles (hover for name).

Muon

The muon (; from the Greek letter mu (μ) used to represent it) is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with an electric charge of −1 e and a spin of 1/2, but with a much greater mass. It is classified as a lepton. As is the case with other leptons, the muon is not believed to have any sub-structure—that is, it is not thought to be composed of any simpler particles.

The muon is an unstable subatomic particle with a mean lifetime of 2.2 μs, much longer than many other subatomic particles. As with the decay of the non-elementary neutron (with a lifetime around 15 minutes), muon decay is slow (by subatomic standards) because the decay is mediated by the weak interaction exclusively (rather than the more powerful strong interaction or electromagnetic interaction), and because the mass difference between the muon and the set of its decay products is small, providing few kinetic degrees of freedom for decay. Muon decay almost always produces at least three particles, which must include an electron of the same charge as the muon and two neutrinos of different types.

Like all elementary particles, the muon has a corresponding antiparticle of opposite charge (+1 e) but equal mass and spin: the antimuon (also called a positive muon). Muons are denoted by μ− and antimuons by μ+. Muons were previously called mu mesons, but are not classified as mesons by modern particle physicists (see § History), and that name is no longer used by the physics community.

Muons have a mass of 105.66 MeV/c2, which is about 207 times that of the electron. Due to their greater mass, muons are not as sharply accelerated when they encounter electromagnetic fields, and do not emit as much bremsstrahlung (deceleration radiation). This allows muons of a given energy to penetrate far more deeply into matter than electrons since the deceleration of electrons and muons is primarily due to energy loss by the bremsstrahlung mechanism. As an example, so-called "secondary muons", generated by cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere, can penetrate to the Earth's surface, and even into deep mines.

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In particle physics, the phi meson or ϕ meson is a vector meson formed of a strange quark and a strange antiquark. It was the ϕ meson's unusual propensity to decay into K0 and K0 that led to the discovery of the OZI rule. It has a mass of 1019.461±0.020 MeV/c2 and a mean lifetime of 1.55±0.01 × 10−22s.

Pion

In particle physics, a pion (or a pi meson, denoted with the Greek letter pi: π) is any of three subatomic particles: π0, π+, and π−. Each pion consists of a quark and an antiquark and is therefore a meson. Pions are the lightest mesons and, more generally, the lightest hadrons. They are unstable, with the charged pions π+ and π− decaying with a mean lifetime of 26.033 nanoseconds (2.6033×10−8 seconds), and the neutral pion π0 decaying with a much shorter lifetime of 8.4×10−17 seconds. Charged pions most often decay into muons and muon neutrinos, while neutral pions generally decay into gamma rays.

The exchange of virtual pions, along with vector, rho and omega mesons, provides an explanation for the residual strong force between nucleons. Pions are not produced in radioactive decay, but commonly are in high energy collisions between hadrons. Pions also result from some matter-antimatter annihilation events. All types of pions are also produced in natural processes when high energy cosmic ray protons and other hadronic cosmic ray components interact with matter in Earth's atmosphere. In 2013, the detection of characteristic gamma rays originating from the decay of neutral pions in two supernova remnants has shown that pions are produced copiously after supernovas, most probably in conjunction with production of high energy protons that are detected on Earth as cosmic rays.The concept of mesons as the carrier particles of the nuclear force was first proposed in 1935 by Hideki Yukawa. While the muon was first proposed to be this particle after its discovery in 1936, later work found that it did not participate in the strong nuclear interaction. The pions, which turned out to be examples of Yukawa's proposed mesons, were discovered later: the charged pions in 1947, and the neutral pion in 1950.

Rho meson

In particle physics, a rho meson is a short-lived hadronic particle that is an isospin triplet whose three states are denoted as ρ+, ρ0 and ρ−. Along with pions and omega mesons, the rho meson carries the nuclear force within the atomic nucleus. After the pions and kaons, the rho mesons are the lightest strongly interacting particle, with a mass of 775.45±0.04 MeV (roughly 770 MeV) for all three states.The rho mesons have a very short lifetime and their decay width is about 145 MeV with the peculiar feature that the decay widths are not described by a Breit–Wigner form. The principal decay route of the rho mesons is to a pair of pions with a branching rate of 99.9%.

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T meson

T mesons are hypothetical mesons composed of a top quark and either an up (T0), down (T+), strange (T+s) or charm antiquark (T0c). Because of the top quark's short lifetime, T mesons are not expected to be found in nature. The combination of a top quark and top antiquark is not a T meson, but rather toponium. Each T meson has an antiparticle that is composed of a top antiquark and an up (T0), down (T−), strange (T−s) or charm quark (T0c) respectively.

Theta meson

The theta meson (θ) is a hypothetical form of quarkonium (i.e. a flavourless meson) formed by a top quark (t) and top antiquark (t). As a P-odd and C-odd tt state, it is analogous to the ϕ (ss), J/ψ (cc) and ϒ (bb) mesons. Due to the top quark's short lifetime, the theta meson is not expected to be observed in nature.

Upsilon meson

The Upsilon meson (ϒ) is a quarkonium state (i.e. flavourless meson) formed from a bottom quark and its antiparticle. It was discovered by the E288 experiment team, headed by Leon Lederman, at Fermilab in 1977, and was the first particle containing a bottom quark to be discovered because it is the lightest that can be produced without additional massive particles. It has a lifetime of 1.21×10−20 s and a mass about 9.46 GeV/c2 in the ground state.

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