13. September 2019

Light-meson spectroscopy with COMPASS Light-meson spectroscopy with COMPASS

PPNP review

Authors: Bernhard Ketzer, B. Grube, D. Ryabchikov

Light-meson spectroscopy with COMPASS
Light-meson spectroscopy with COMPASS © Bernhard Ketzer, Boris Grube, Dimitri Ryabchikov
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Despite decades of research, we still lack a detailed quantitative understanding of the way quantum chromodynamics (QCD) generates the spectrum of hadrons. Precise experimental studies of the hadron excitation spectrum and the dynamics of hadrons help to improve models and to test effective theories and lattice QCD simulations. In addition, QCD seems to allow hadrons beyond the three-quark and quark–antiquark configurations of the constituent-quark model. These so-called exotic hadrons contain additional constituent (anti)quarks or excited gluonic fields that contribute to the quantum numbers of the hadron. Hadron spectroscopy is currently one of the most active fields of research in hadron physics. The COMPASS experiment at the CERN SPS is studying the excitation spectrum of light mesons, which are composed of up, down, and strange quarks. The excited mesons are produced via the strong interaction, i.e. by Pomeron exchange, by scattering a 190 GeV/ c pion beam off proton or nuclear targets. On heavy nuclear targets, in addition the electromagnetic interaction contributes in the form of quasi-real photon exchange at very low four-momentum transfer squared. COMPASS has performed the most comprehensive analyses to date of isovector resonances decaying into ηπ , η′π , or πππ+ final states. In this review, we give a general and pedagogical introduction into scattering theory and the employed partial-wave analysis techniques. We also describe novel methods developed for the high-precision COMPASS data. The COMPASS results are summarized and compared to previous measurements. In addition, we discuss possible signals for exotic mesons and conclude that COMPASS data provide solid evidence for the existence of the manifestly exotic π1(1600), which has quantum numbers forbidden for a quark-model state, and of the a1(1420) , which does not fit into the quark-model spectrum. By isolating the contributions from quasi-real photon exchange, COMPASS has measured the radiative widths of the a2(1320) and, for the first time, that of the π2(1670) and has tested predictions of chiral perturbation theory for the process π+γ→πππ+ .

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