Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Conservation of Strangeness (outside of strong interactions)

  1. Apr 29, 2012 #1
    I realise that strangeness must only be conserved in strong interactions,

    but if strangeness is conserved, must it be a strong interaction?

    I'm an A level student so please go easy.. mention spin, colour, charm, top or bottom and I'll know not where to look.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The electromagnetic interaction also conserves strangeness (conserves quark and lepton flavor in general), so no. Without specifying more details, we can't possibly determine which interactions are involved.

    To complicate matters further, there are also weak interactions that conserve strangeness. If you know of the W and Z bosons, then interactions which involve exchange of W bosons change the flavor of quarks and leptons, while those that involve Z bosons do not.
  4. Apr 30, 2012 #3
    Excellent, thank you.

    My text book was just ambiguously worded - I wasn't sure if strangeness was only conserved in strong interactions, or if (as is the case) it's only in strong interactions that strangeness must be conserved.

    You're answer clears that up, thanks.
  5. Apr 30, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Simple example: There are many processes of the weak interaction without any strange quarks, so strangeness is 0 all the time, which means that it is conserved.

    The weak interaction can violate strangeness (and all other interactions cannot), but it does not have to. The same is true for the other similar quantum numbers (charm, top, bottom - they are the same as strangeness, just for other quarks).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook