Associated strangeness production in pp collisions near threshold


Motivated by the ongoing discussion concerning the nature of the scalar resonances f0(980) and a0(980), the COSY-11 collaboration has taken exclusive data on the pp->ppK+K- reaction near the production threshold. A first total cross section sigma=(1.80±0.27 (+0.28/-0.35)) nb for the excess energy Q=17 MeV has been determined. In contrary to the eta, omega, and eta' single meson production studies which clearly show the strong pp final state interaction (FSI), the cross section values obtained at COSY-11 and DISTO can be both described by a fit with a four-body phase space including the proton-proton final state interaction as well as with one-meson exchange calculations neglecting FSI effects. Therefore, one might think about a compensation of the strong pp interaction through a pK- FSI effect or an additional degree of freedom caused by the four-body final state. In the latter case, strong FSI effects can be expected at Q-values very close to the K+K- production threshold. Such a motivation triggered - in combination with the investigation of the K anti-K interaction being relevant to the structure of the f0(980) - further measurements at the excess energies Q=10 and Q=28 MeV at COSY-11.

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AIP Conf.Proc. 717 (2004) 912-918