Four Δ baryons exists: Δ++ (constituent quarks: uuu), Δ+ (uud), Δ0 (udd), and Δ− (ddd), which respectively carry an electric charge of +2 e, +1 e, 0 e, and −1 e.
The Δ baryons have a mass of about 1,232 MeV/c2, a spin of 3/2, and an isospin of 3/2. In many ways, Δ baryons are 'excited' nucleons (symbol N), which are made of the same constituent quarks in a lower-energy spin configuration (spin 1/2). The Δ+ (uud), Δ0 (udd) are the higher-energy equivalent of the proton (N+, uud) and neutron (N0, udd). However, the Δ++ and Δ− have no nucleon equivalent, as these states are forbidden by the Pauli exclusion principle.
The four Δ baryons are distinguished by their electrical charges, which is the sum of the charges their constituent quarks of which they are composed. There are also four antiparticles with opposite charges, made up of the corresponding antiquarks. The existence of the Δ++, with its unusual +2 charge, was a crucial clue in the development of the quark model.
All varieties of Δ baryons quickly decay via the strong force into a nucleon (proton or neutron) and a pion of appropriate charge. The amplitudes of various final charge states given by their respective isospin couplings. More rarely and more slowly, the Δ+ can decay into a proton and a photon and the Δ0 can decay into a neutron and a photon.
|Rest mass (MeV/c2)||I3||JP||Q (e)||S||C||B′||T||Mean lifetime (s)||Commonly decays to|
|Delta||Δ++(1232)||uuu||1,232 ± 2||+3⁄2||3⁄2+||+2||0||0||0||0||(5.63±0.14)×10−24[a]||p+ + π+|
|Delta||Δ+(1232)||uud||1,232 ± 2||+1⁄2||3⁄2+||+1||0||0||0||0||(5.63±0.14)×10−24[a]||π+ + n0 or
|Delta||Δ0(1232)||udd||1,232 ± 2||−1⁄2||3⁄2+||0||0||0||0||0||(5.63±0.14)×10−24[a]||π0 + n0 or
|Delta||Δ−(1232)||ddd||1,232 ± 2||−3⁄2||3⁄2+||−1||0||0||0||0||(5.63±0.14)×10−24[a]||π− + n0|
- J. Beringer et al. (2013): Particle listings – Δ(1232)
- C. Amsler et al. (Particle Data Group) (2008). "Review of Particle Physics". Physics Letters B 667 (1): 1. Bibcode:2008PhLB..667....1P. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2008.07.018.