AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WEAK DECAY OF HYPERNUCLEI

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Weak decay of hypernuclei, first cousin to the {beta}-decay of conventional, nonstrange nuclei, was initially observed in the 1950s. Pionic decay rates have proven a challenge--to reconcile nuclear decay rates with that of free {lambda} decay. Pauli blocking of the decay nucleon plays an important role. Nonmesonic decay provides our only practical means of exploring the four-fermion, strangeness-changing N{Lambda} {yields} NN weak interaction. The N{Lambda}{rho} vertex can be investigated in no other way. The large momentum transfer in the nonmesonic decay process suggests a means to probe short distance aspects of the interaction, possibly revealing baryon substructure effects. Whether the ... continued below

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GIBSON, B. F. January 9, 2001.

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Weak decay of hypernuclei, first cousin to the {beta}-decay of conventional, nonstrange nuclei, was initially observed in the 1950s. Pionic decay rates have proven a challenge--to reconcile nuclear decay rates with that of free {lambda} decay. Pauli blocking of the decay nucleon plays an important role. Nonmesonic decay provides our only practical means of exploring the four-fermion, strangeness-changing N{Lambda} {yields} NN weak interaction. The N{Lambda}{rho} vertex can be investigated in no other way. The large momentum transfer in the nonmesonic decay process suggests a means to probe short distance aspects of the interaction, possibly revealing baryon substructure effects. Whether the {Delta}I = 1/2 rule, which governs free {Lambda} decay, also applies to the nonmesonic decay process remains an open question. The free {Lambda} does not decay by emission of a {pi}{sup +}; the {pi}{sup +} decay of {sup 4}He is a puzzle. Finally, the weak decay of strangeness -2 hypernuclei is an important topic, because the pionic decay process is central to current efforts to seek and identify {Lambda}{Lambda} hypernuclei.

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  • Intl' Conf. on Hypernuclear and Strange Particle Physics, Torino, Italy, Oct. 23-27,2000

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-01-20
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 772925
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc722718

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  • January 9, 2001

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 12:49 p.m.

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GIBSON, B. F. AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WEAK DECAY OF HYPERNUCLEI, article, January 9, 2001; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc722718/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.