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How do mesons not self-destruct?

  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1
    Hello physicists,

    I was speaking to my friend about mesons when I realised that surely a meson would annihialate at creation due to the fact that it has a quark and anti-quark. I know it doesn't, but I'm wondering why. Clarrification on this would be great.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Well they do. Depending of course on what you mean by "annihilation".

    All mesons decay. Most mesons consist of a quark and antiquark of different types, although some do contain a quark and antiquark of the same variety (see "quarkonium").

    But remember that annihilation is not an instantaneous process, e.g. an electron-positron pair can form a bound state, positronium, which lasts for ~ 10-10 sec (that's a pretty long time!) before decaying.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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