The physics of strongly interacting particles – hadrons – is dealing with topics which have profound consequences for the understanding of basic questions like the generation of the mass of the visible Universe or the structure of exotic objects – e.g. neutron stars.

To gain information on how strong interaction works, exotic atoms with strangeness provide a unique insight. For example the low-energy observables of the strong interaction of the negatively charged kaon (K-) with the proton can be extracted from X-ray spectroscopy of kaonic hydrogen atoms with very high precision. On the other hand, dedicated experiments are devoted to the search of systems bound by the attractive interaction of negatively charged kaons with nuclei. Several experiments are in preparation at different facilities at J-PARC and LNF.

Moreover, the strong interaction in the field of charm quarks will be studied in the PANDA experiment at FAIR, which is currently under construction. In the meantime to get acquainted with the physics and data analysis techniques and to produce physics results, SMI has joined BELLE for data analysis, within a consortium with HEPHY, the high energy physics institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

QCD with light quarks