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Properties and behavior of hyperons
All hyperons are fermions. That is, they have half-integer spin and obey Fermi-Dirac statistics. They all interact via the strong nuclear force, making them types of hadron. They are composed of three light quarks, at least one of which is a strange quark, which makes them effectively strange baryons. Hyperons decay, directly or indirectly, into a proton or neutron and one or more mesons in 10−10 to 10−8 seconds. If they decay into a neutron, this may further decay into a proton. They are classified through the quark model.
The Ω− has strangeness −3, so it takes multiple flavor-changing weak decays for it to decay into a proton or neutron. One such three-step decay was observed in a cosmic ray experiment, but it was not until other Ω− particles were produced and observed using particle accelerators that Murray Gell-Mann's SU(3) model (sometimes called the Eightfold Way) was considered confirmed.
The first research into hyperons happened in the 1950s, and spurred physicists on to the creation of an organized classification of particles. Today, research in this area is carried out on data taken at many facilities around the world, including CERN, Fermilab, SLAC, JLAB, Brookhaven National Laboratory, KEK, and others. Physics topics include searches for CP violation, measurements of spin, studies of excited states (commonly referred to as spectroscopy), and hunts for exotic states such as pentaquarks.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hyperon". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.