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Kaonic hydrogen

Kaonic hydrogen is an exotic atom consisting of a negatively charged kaon orbiting a proton.

Such particles were first seen, through their X-ray spectrum, at the KEK in Tsukuba, Japan. More detailed studies have been performed at DAFNE in Frascati, Italy. Kaonium has been created in very low energy collisions of kaons with protons. In the experiments called DAFNE exotic atoms research (DEAR), kaons were produced by the decay of a φ meson at the φ factory in DAFNE at Frascati. The experiment saw X-rays from three states in kaonic hydrogen. The ground state binding energy was measured to be 193 ± 37 (statistical) ± 6 (systematic) eV.

Unlike in the hydrogen atom, where the electron and proton interact only through quantum electrodynamics, kaons and protons interact also by nuclear forces. This results in the atom being metastable, with a very small lifetime. This lifetime is given as a width of 249 ± 111 (statistical) ± 30 (systematic) eV. The lifetime of kaonium is expected to be as low as 1.18 as.

References and external links

  • Article in CERN Courier
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kaonic_hydrogen". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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