In-medium properties of mesons
1 II. Physikalisches Institut, Universität Gießen, Germany
2 Helmholtz Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik, Universität Bonn, Germany
Published online: 26 January 2017
In the project B.4, the modification of meson properties (mass, width) in a nuclear medium has been studied in photoproduction of mesons off nuclear targets. This work has been motivated by theoretical expectations of in-medium modifications of hadrons based on the conjecture of a partial restoration of chiral symmetry in a strongly interacting medium. It has been shown that these in-medium changes can be discussed in a compact form in terms of an optical potential describing the meson-nucleus interaction. Experimental approaches to determine the real and imaginary part of the meson-nucleus potential have been developed. The experiments have been performed with the Crystal Barrel/TAPS detector at the electron accelerator ELSA (Bonn) and the Crystal Ball/TAPS detector at MAMI (Mainz). Measuring the excitation function and momentum distribution for photo production of ω and η′ mesons, the real parts of the ω and η′-nucleus potential, given by the in-medium mass shift, have been determined. For the η′ meson a lowering of the mass at normal nuclear matter density by -(39±7(stat)±15(syst)) MeV is observed, while for the ω meson a slightly smaller mass shift is found, however, with much larger uncertainties, not excluding a zero mass shift. The imaginary part of the potentials has been extracted from the measurement of the transparency ratio which compares the meson production cross section per nucleon within a nucleus to the production cross section off the free proton. For the η′ meson the imaginary part of the potential is found to be smaller than the real part. In case of the ω meson the opposite is observed. This makes the η′ meson a good candidate for the search for meson-nucleus bound states while no resolved ω mesic states can be expected. The results are compared with theoretical predictions. An outlook on future experiments is given.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.