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

S-wave, p-wave?

  1. Aug 17, 2005 #1
    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?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2005 #2
  4. Aug 18, 2005 #3

    Meir Achuz

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    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.
  5. Feb 24, 2010 #4
    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.
  6. Feb 24, 2010 #5
    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.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?