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Measurement of the H Λ3 lifetime in Au+Au collisions at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

Abstract

An improved measurement of the HΛ3 lifetime is presented. In this paper, the mesonic decay modes HΛ3→He3 + π- and HΛ3→d+p+π- are used to reconstruct the HΛ3 from Au+Au collision data collected by the STAR collaboration at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). A minimum χ2 estimation is used to determine the lifetime of τ=142-21+24(stat.)±29(syst.) ps. This lifetime is about 50% shorter than the lifetime τ=263±2 ps of a free Λ, indicating strong hyperon-nucleon interaction in the hypernucleus system. The branching ratios of the mesonic decay channels are also determined to satisfy B.R.(He3+π-)/(B.R.(He3+π-)+B.R.(d+p+π-))=0.32±0.05(stat.)±0.08(syst.). Our ratio result favors the assignment J(HΛ3)=12 over J(HΛ3)=32. These measurements will help to constrain models of hyperon-baryon interactions.

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