Measurement of the $^3_{\Lambda}$H lifetime in Au+Au collisions at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

The STAR collaboration
Phys.Rev.C 97 (2018) 054909, 2018.

A precise measurement of the hypertriton lifetime is presented. In this letter, the mesonic decay modes $\mathrm{{^3_\Lambda}H \rightarrow ^3He + \pi^-}$ and $\mathrm{{^3_\Lambda}H \rightarrow d + p + \pi^-}$ are used to reconstruct the hypertriton from Au+Au collision data collected by the STAR collaboration at RHIC. A minimum $\chi^2$ estimation is used to determine the lifetime of $\tau = 142^{+24}_{-21}\,{\rm (stat.)} {\pm} 31\,{\rm (syst.)}$ ps. This lifetime is about 50\% shorter than the lifetime $\tau = 263\pm2$ ps of a free $\Lambda$, indicating strong hyperon-nucleon interaction in the hypernucleus system. The branching ratios of the mesonic decay channels are also determined to satisfy B.R.$_{(^3{\rm He}+\pi^-)}/$(B.R.$_{(^3{\rm He}+\pi^-)}+$B.R.$_{(d+p+\pi^-)})$ = $0.32\rm{\pm}0.05\,{\rm (stat.)}\pm 0.08\,{\rm (syst.)}$. Our ratio result favors the assignment $J(\mathrm{^{3}_{\Lambda}H})$ = $\frac{1}{2}$ over $J(\mathrm{^{3}_{\Lambda}H})$ = $\frac{3}{2}$. These measurements will help to constrain models of hyperon-baryon interactions.

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