Mesons

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mesons are subatomic particles which are composed of one quark and one antiquark. They belong to the hadron particle family. The other members of the hadron family are the baryons, which are subatomic particles composed of three quarks. The main difference between mesons and baryons is that mesons are bosons while baryons are fermions. That is to say that mesons have integer spin while baryons have half-integer spin, which means that the Pauli exclusion principle does not apply to them.

Mesons take part in both the weak and strong interactions. Mesons with net electric charge also participate in the electromagnetic interaction. They are classified depending on their quark content, total angular momentum, parity, and various other properties such as C-parity and G-parity. Each meson has a corresponding antiparticle which is called antimeson.