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Hadron spectroscopy is the subfield of particle physics that studies the masses and decays of hadrons. Hadron spectroscopy is also an important part of the new nuclear physics. The properties of hadrons are a consequence of a theory called quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

QCD predicts that quarks and antiquarks bind into particles called mesons. Another type of hadron is called a baryon, that is made of three quarks. There is good experimental evidence for both mesons and baryons. Potentially QCD also has bound states of just gluons called glueballs. One of the goals of the field of hadronic spectroscopy is to find experimental evidence for exotic mesons, tetraquarks, molecules of hadrons, and glueballs.

An important part of the field of hadronic spectroscopy are the attempts to solve QCD. The properties of hadrons require the solution of QCD in the strong coupling regime, where perturbative techniques based on Feynman diagrams do not work. There are several approaches to trying to solve QCD to compute the masses of hadrons:

Quark models
Lattice QCD
Effective field theory
sum rules

Experimental facilities

Jefferson Lab in the US.
J-PARC in Japan.
GSI Darmstadt Germany.
COMPASS CERN, Switzerland.


Article on Key Issues in Hadronic Physics
Review of the quark model in PDG


FT-IR Raman Resonance Raman Rotational Rotational–vibrational Vibrational Vibrational circular dichroism


Ultraviolet–visible Fluorescence Vibronic Near-infrared Resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) Raman optical activity spectroscopy Raman spectroscopy Laser-induced

X-ray and

Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy Photoelectron Atomic Emission X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy EXAFS


Gamma Mössbauer


NMR Terahertz ESR/EPR Ferromagnetic resonance


Acoustic resonance spectroscopy Auger spectroscopy Astronomical spectroscopy Cavity ring-down spectroscopy Circular dichroism spectroscopy Coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy Cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectroscopy Conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy Correlation spectroscopy Deep-level transient spectroscopy Dual-polarization interferometry Electron phenomenological spectroscopy EPR spectroscopy Force spectroscopy Fourier-transform spectroscopy Glow-discharge optical emission spectroscopy Hadron spectroscopy Hyperspectral imaging Inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy Inelastic neutron scattering Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy Mössbauer spectroscopy Neutron spin echo Photoacoustic spectroscopy Photoemission spectroscopy Photothermal spectroscopy Pump–probe spectroscopy Saturated spectroscopy Scanning tunneling spectroscopy Spectrophotometry Time-resolved spectroscopy Time-stretch Thermal infrared spectroscopy Video spectroscopy Vibrational spectroscopy of linear molecules

Physics Encyclopedia



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