Physics:Eta meson

From HandWiki
Eta and eta prime mesons
Compositionη : ≈ [math]\displaystyle{ \mathrm{\tfrac{u\bar{u} + d\bar{d} - 2s\bar{s}}{\sqrt{6}}} }[/math]
η′ : ≈ [math]\displaystyle{ \mathrm{\tfrac{u\bar{u} + d\bar{d} + s\bar{s}}{\sqrt{3}}} }[/math]
InteractionsStrong, Weak, Gravitation, Electromagnetic
Symbolη, η′
Massη : 547.862±0.018 MeV/c2[1]
η′ : 957.78±0.06 MeV/c2[1]
mean lifetimeη: (5.0±0.3)×10−19 s, η′: (3.2±0.2)×10−21 s
Decays intoη :
Photon + Photon or
Pion0 + Pion0 + Pion0 or

Pion+ + Pion0 + Pion-
η′ :
Pion+ + Pion- + η or
(rho0 + Photon) / (Pion+ + Pion- + Photon) or

Pion0 + Pion0 + Photon
electric chargee

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.


The eta was discovered in pionnucleon collisions at the Bevatron in 1961 by A. Pevsner et al. at a time when the proposal of the Eightfold Way was leading to predictions and discoveries of new particles from symmetry considerations.[2]

The difference between the mass of the η and that of the η′ is larger than the quark model can naturally explain. This "η–η′ puzzle" can be resolved[3][4][5] by the 't Hooft instanton mechanism,[6] whose 1/N realization is also known as the Witten–Veneziano mechanism.[7][8] Specifically, in QCD, the higher mass of the η' is very significant, since it is associated with the axial UA(1) classical symmetry, which is explicitly broken through the chiral anomaly upon quantization; thus its mass is not "protected" to be small, like that of the η.

Quark composition

The η particles belong to the "pseudo-scalar" nonet of mesons which have spin J = 0 and negative parity,[9][10] and η and η′ have zero total isospin, I, and zero strangeness and hypercharge. Each quark which appears in an η particle is accompanied by its antiquark (the particle overall is "flavourless") and all the main quantum numbers are zero.

The basic SU(3) symmetry theory of quarks for the three lightest quarks, which only takes into account the strong force, predicts corresponding particles

[math]\displaystyle{ \eta_1 = \tfrac{1}{\sqrt 3} \left( \mathrm{ u\bar{u} + d\bar{d} + s\bar{s} } \right), }[/math]


[math]\displaystyle{ \eta_8 = \tfrac{1}{\sqrt 6} \left( \mathrm{ u\bar{u} + d\bar{d} - 2s\bar{s} } \right) }[/math].

The subscripts refer to the fact that η1 belongs to a singlet (which is fully antisymmetrical) and η8 is part of an octet. However, the weak and electromagnetic forces – which can transform one flavour of quark into another – cause a significant though small amount of "mixing" of the eigenstates (with mixing angle θP = −11.5°),[11] so that the actual quark composition is a linear combination of these formulae. That is:

[math]\displaystyle{ \left( \begin{array}{cc} \cos\theta_\mathrm{P} & - \sin\theta_\mathrm{P} \\ \sin\theta_\mathrm{P} & \cos\theta_\mathrm{P} \end{array}\right) \left( \begin{array}{c} \eta_8 \\ \eta_1 \end{array}\right) = \left( \begin{array}{c} \eta \\ \eta' \end{array} \right) }[/math].

The unsubscripted name η refers to the real particle which is actually observed and which is close to the η8. The η′ is the observed particle close to η1.[10]

The η and η′ particles are closely related to the better-known neutral pion pion0, where

[math]\displaystyle{ \pi^0 = \tfrac{1}{\sqrt 2} \left( \mathrm{ u\bar{u} - d\bar{d} } \right) }[/math].

In fact, π0, η1 and η8 are three mutually orthogonal linear combinations of the quark pairs uu, dd and ss; they are at the centre of the pseudo-scalar nonet of mesons[9][10] with all the main quantum numbers equal to zero.

η′ meson

The η' meson (η′) is a flavor SU(3) singlet, unlike the η. It is a different superposition of the same quarks as the eta meson (η), as described above, and it has a higher mass, a different decay state, and a shorter lifetime.

Fundamentally, it results from the direct sum decomposition of the approximate SU(3) flavor symmetry among the 3 lightest quarks, [math]\displaystyle{ \mathbb{3} \times \bar{\mathbb{3}} = \mathbb{1} + \mathbb{8} }[/math], where 1 corresponds to η1 before slight quark mixing yields η′.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Light Unflavored Mesons as appearing in Olive, K. A.; et al. (PDG) (2014). "Review of Particle Physics". Chinese Physics C 38 (9): 090001. doi:10.1088/1674-1137/38/9/090001. 
  2. Kupść, A. (2007). "What is interesting in η and η′ Meson Decays?". AIP Conference Proceedings 950: 165–179. doi:10.1063/1.2819029. Bibcode2007AIPC..950..165K. 
  3. Del Debbio, L.; Giusti, L.; Pica, C. (2005). "Topological Susceptibility in SU(3) Gauge Theory". Physical Review Letters 94 (3): 032003. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.032003. PMID 15698253. Bibcode2005PhRvL..94c2003D. 
  4. Lüscher, M.; Palombi, F. (2010). "Universality of the topological susceptibility in the SU(3) gauge theory". Journal of High Energy Physics 2010 (9): 110. doi:10.1007/JHEP09(2010)110. Bibcode2010JHEP...09..110L. 
  5. Cè, M.; Consonni, C.; Engel, G.; Giusti, L. (2014). "Testing the Witten–Veneziano mechanism with the Yang–Mills gradient flow on the lattice". 32nd International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory. Bibcode2014arXiv1410.8358C. 
  6. 't Hooft, G. (1976). "Symmetry Breaking through Bell-Jackiw Anomalies". Physical Review Letters 37 (1): 8–11. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.37.8. Bibcode1976PhRvL..37....8T. 
  7. Witten, E. (1979). "Current algebra theorems for the U(1) "Goldstone boson"". Nuclear Physics B 156 (2): 269–283. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(79)90031-2. Bibcode1979NuPhB.156..269W. 
  8. Veneziano, G. (1979). "U(1) without instantons". Nuclear Physics B 159 (1–2): 213–224. doi:10.1016/0550-3213(79)90332-8. Bibcode1979NuPhB.159..213V. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Wikipedia meson article describes the SU(3) pseudo-scalar nonet of mesons including η and η′.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Jones, H. F. (1998). Groups, Representations and Physics. IOP Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7503-0504-4.  Page 150 describes the SU(3) pseudo-scalar nonet of mesons including η and η′. Page 154 defines η1 and η8 and explains the mixing (leading to η and η′).
  11. Quark Model Review as appearing in Beringer, J.; et al. (PDG) (2012). "Review of Particle Physics". Physical Review D 86 (1): 010001. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.010001. Bibcode2012PhRvD..86a0001B.