# S-wave, p-wave?

fliptomato
Greetings--what is meant by "s-wave" or "p-wave" annihilation? I've been trying to figure out what this refers to by looking through the standard QM and QFT texts, but I keep missing this. Does anyone have a handy reference I can look up?

Thanks,
Flip

Homework Helper
Gold Member
fliptomato said:
Greetings--what is meant by "s-wave" or "p-wave" annihilation? I've been trying to figure out what this refers to by looking through the standard QM and QFT texts, but I keep missing this. Does anyone have a handy reference I can look up?

Thanks,
Flip
s-wave and p-wave refer to the orbital angular momentum of the initial state.
The notation is related to early spectroscopic notation, with the connection:

Spectral line type
s wave L=0 Sharp
p wave L=1 Principal
d wave L=2 Diffuse
f wave L=3 Fine
and so on.

Oldtimers remember that it came from the appearance of spectral lines.

zelrik
Hi there, I have a more interesting question about s and p-wave amplitudes.

Why the s-wave contribution to hyperon radiative decays is parity violating and the p-wave contribution is parity conserving?

Not sure I can get an answer here but at least I tried :p.

humanino
Not sure I can get an answer here but at least I tried :p.
Indeed, I do not think this is where you should ask your question.

It seems the reason you cannot solve your problem is because you do not know the parity assignment following the knowledge of the spin of a hadron in its ground state. We can calculate this parity because we know (or assume, since it has been safe so far) that strong interactions respect parity, and hadrons are bound by the strong interaction. Please note that, the reason those hyperon decay are interesting is because they are not purely strong (we say semi-leptonic) and violate CP (the P violation in their decay is not the same in charge conjugate channels). If you do not know the intrinsic parity of hadrons, please open a separate thread (or search in older threads).

If you know the intrinsic parity of hadrons, the above information provided by Meir Achuz should suffice to solve your question.