Lambda baryon

Lambda baryon

In particle physics, Lambda (Λ) baryons are baryons containing an up quark, a down quark, and a third quark, either a strange quark a charm quark or a bottom quark (). The first Lambda particle discovered was discovered in 1947 during a study of cosmic ray interactions. Though the particle was expected to live 10-23 seconds, it actually survived for 10-10 seconds. The property which caused it to live so long was dubbed strangeness, and led to the discovery of the strange quark. Furthermore, these discoveries led to a principle known as the conservation of strangeness, wherein lightweight particles do not decay as quickly if they exhibit strangeness (due to the fact that non-weak methods of particle decay must preserve the strangeness of the decaying baryon). The Lambda particle decays into a proton and a negative pion or a neutron and a neutral pion.

List of Lambda baryons

Lambda baryons
Particle Symbol Makeup Rest mass
Q S C B Mean lifetime
Decays to
Lambda 1115.683(6) 0 + 0 −1 0 0
charmed Lambda 2286.46(14) 0 + +1 0 +1 0 See Decay Modes
bottom Lambda 5620.2±1.6 0 + 0 0 0 −1 See Decay Modes

In popular culture

See also


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