# Physics:Delta baryon

Statistics Fermionic Strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity Δ 4 1232±2 MeV/c2 3 /2,  5 /2,  7 /2 ... 0 0 0 0 3 /2

The Delta baryons (or Δ baryons, also called Delta resonances) are a family of subatomic particle made of three up or down quarks (u or d quarks), the same constituent quarks that make up the more familiar protons and neutrons.

## Properties

Four closely related Δ baryons exist: Δ++ (constituent quarks: uuu), Template:Subatomic Particle (uud), Δ0 (udd), and Δ (ddd), which respectively carry an electric charge of +2 e, +1 e, 0 e, and −1 e.

The Δ baryons have a mass of about 1232 MeV/c2; their third component of isospin $\displaystyle{ \; I_3 = \pm\tfrac{1}{2} ~\mathsf{ or }~ \pm\tfrac{3}{2}\;; }$ and they are required to have an intrinsic spin of  3 /2 or higher (half-integer units). Ordinary nucleons (symbol N, meaning either a proton or neutron), by contrast, have a mass of about 939 MeV/c2, and both intrinsic spin and isospin of 1/ 2 . The Δ+ (uud) and Δ0 (udd) particles are higher-mass spin-excitations of the proton (N+, uud) and neutron (N0, udd), respectively.

The Δ++ and Δ, however, have no direct nucleon analogues: For example, even though their charges are identical and their masses are similar, the Δ (ddd), is not closely related to the antiproton ( p uud).

The Delta states discussed here are only the lowest-mass quantum excitations of the proton and neutron. At higher spins, additional higher mass Delta states appear, all defined by having constant  3 /2 or  1 /2 isospin (depending on charge), but with spin  3 /2,  5 /2,  7 /2, ...  11 /2 in ħ; units. A complete listing of all properties of all these states can be found in Beringer et al. (2013).

There also exist antiparticle Delta states with opposite charges, made up of the corresponding antiquarks.

## Discovery

The states were established experimentally at the University of Chicago cyclotron and the Carnegie Institute of Technology synchro-cyclotron in the mid-1950s using accelerated positive pions on hydrogen targets. The existence of the Δ++, with its unusual +2 electric charge, was a crucial clue in the development of the quark model.

## Formation and decay

The Delta states are created when an energetic-enough probe – such as a photon, electron, neutrino, or pion – impinges upon a proton or neutron, or possibly by the collision of an energetic-enough nucleon pair.

All of the Δ baryons with mass near 1 232 MeV quickly decay via the strong force into a nucleon (proton or neutron) and a pion of appropriate charge. The relative probabilities of allowed final charge states are given by their respective isospin couplings. More rarely and more slowly, the Δ+ can decay into a proton and a photon and the Δ0 can decay into a neutron and a photon.

## List

Delta baryons
Particle
name
Symbol Quark
content
Mass
(MeV/c²)
I3 JP Q
(e)
S C B′ T Mean lifetime
(s)
Commonly
decays to
Delta Δ++(1 232) Up quarkUp quarkUp quark 1232±2 + 3 /2  3 /2+ +2 0 0 0 0 (5.63±0.14)×10−24[a] Proton+ + Pion+
Delta Δ+(1 232) Up quarkUp quarkDown quark 1232±2 +1/ 2   3 /2+ +1 0 0 0 0 (5.63±0.14)×10−24[a] Pion+ + Neutron0, or
Pion0 + Proton+
Delta Δ0(1 232) Up quarkDown quarkDown quark 1232±2 +1/ 2   3 /2+ 0 0 0 0 0 (5.63±0.14)×10−24[a] Pion0 + Neutron0, or
Pion- + Proton+
Delta Δ(1 232) Down quarkDown quarkDown quark 1232±2 + 3 /2  3 /2+ −1 0 0 0 0 (5.63±0.14)×10−24[a] Pion- + Neutron0

[a] ^ PDG reports the resonance width (Γ). Here the conversion $\displaystyle{ \tau = \frac{\hbar}{\Gamma} }$ is given instead.