AskDefine | Define strangeness

Dictionary Definition



1 unusualness as a consequence of not being well known [syn: unfamiliarity] [ant: familiarity]
2 the quality of being alien or not native; "the strangeness of a foreigner" [syn: foreignness, curiousness] [ant: nativeness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Condition of being strange, odd, or weird.
  2. one of the quantum numbers of subatomic particles that depends upon the relative number of strange quarks and anti-strange quarks



Related terms

Extensive Definition

In particle physics, strangeness, denoted as S, is a property of particles, expressed as a quantum number for describing decay of particles in strong and electro-magnetic reactions, which occur in a short period of time. The strangeness of a particle is defined as:
S = N_s - N_
where N_ represents the number of strange anti-quarks () and N_s \ represents the number of strange quarks.
The derivation of the phrase "strange" or "strangeness" precedes the discovery of the quark, and was adopted after its discovery in order to preserve the continuity of the phrase; strangeness of anti-particles being referred to as +1, and particles as −1 as per the original definition. For all the quark flavor quantum numbers (strangeness, charm, topness and bottomness) the convention is that the flavor charge and the electric charge of a quark have the same sign. With this, any flavor carried by a charged meson has the same sign as its charge.

Strangeness conservation

Strangeness was introduced by Murray Gell-Mann and Kazuhiko Nishijima to explain the fact that certain particles, such as the kaons or certain hyperons, were created easily in particle collisions, yet decayed much more slowly than expected for their large masses and large production cross sections. Noting that collisions seemed to always produce pairs of these particles, it was postulated that a new conserved quantity, dubbed "strangeness", was preserved during their creation, but not conserved in their decay.
In our modern understanding, strangeness is conserved during the strong and the electromagnetic interactions, but not during the weak interactions. Consequently, the lightest particles containing a strange quark cannot decay by the strong interaction, and must instead decay via the much slower weak interaction. In most cases these decays change the value of the strangeness by one unit. However, this doesn't necessarily hold in second-order weak reactions, where there are mixes of and mesons.


  • Introduction to Elementary Particles
strangeness in German: Strangeness
strangeness in Spanish: Extrañeza
strangeness in French: Étrangeté
strangeness in Japanese: ストレンジネス
strangeness in Dutch: vreemdheid
strangeness in Polish: Dziwność
strangeness in Russian: Странность
strangeness in Ukrainian: Дивність
strangeness in Chinese: 奇异数

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Kern, NMR, aberration, abnormality, absurdity, alienation, alpha particle, anomaly, antibaryon, anticness, antilepton, antimeson, atomic nucleus, atomic particle, baryon, beta particle, bizarreness, bizarrerie, brain damage, brainsickness, brand-newness, callowness, clouded mind, conceit, crackpotism, crank, crankiness, crankism, craziness, crotchet, crotchetiness, curiousness, daftness, deformity, dementedness, dementia, derangement, deviancy, deviation, dewiness, differentness, disorientation, distraction, divergence, dottiness, eccentricity, electron, elementary particle, erraticism, erraticness, fantasticality, folie, freakiness, freakishness, freshness, furor, gloss of novelty, greenness, grotesqueness, grotesquerie, idiocrasy, idiosyncrasy, immaturity, insaneness, insanity, intactness, irrationality, irregularity, kink, lateness, lepton, loss of mind, loss of reason, lunacy, madness, maggot, maidenhood, malformation, mania, mannerism, mental deficiency, mental derangement, mental disease, mental disorder, mental disturbance, mental illness, mental instability, mental sickness, meson, mind overthrown, mindsickness, mint condition, monstrosity, monstrousness, neutron, newbornness, newfangledness, newfangleness, newness, nonconformity, novelness, novelty, nowness, nuclear force, nuclear magnetic resonance, nuclear particle, nuclear resonance, nucleon, nucleosynthesis, nucleus, oddity, oddness, originality, outlandishness, peculiarity, photon, pixilation, possession, presentness, pristineness, proton, quaintness, queerness, quip, quirk, quirkiness, rabidness, rawness, reasonlessness, recency, recentness, senselessness, shattered mind, sick mind, sickness, singularity, strong interaction, teratism, trick, triton, twist, unbalance, unbalanced mind, uncommonness, unconventionality, unfamiliarity, unnaturalness, unsaneness, unsound mind, unsoundness, unsoundness of mind, unusualness, valence electron, virginity, weirdness, whim, whimsicality, whimsy, witlessness
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