# Why do bound states increase cross sections?

I know that resonances in particle physics are the creation of metastable bound states (i.e. particles). I also know that near such a resonance the decay width can be described by a Breit-Wigner curve. But I am confused about why we actually, physically get an increase in the cross section. Consider for example the reaction $e^{-}+e^{+}\rightarrow c \bar c\rightarrow q+\bar q$ and $e^{-}+e^{+}\rightarrow q+\bar q$ Feynman diagrams for which are shown below: Naively I would expect second one to have the larger cross section due to the fewer number of interactions. But this is not the case, as can be seen from this pdg plot. My question is therefore:

Why do particle resonances cause an increase in the cross section of a reaction?

It must be pointed out that I am unsure if the reaction from $c$ to $d$ is via $\gamma$ or $Z$ (please let me know) but this should not change my argument.

• Can the formation of the bound state be described perturbativly by Feynman diagrams? Mar 13, 2017 at 10:49
• Why can't the second vector in first diagram be a gluon? or n-gluons? Anyway, supposing it can be described by pQCD, why shouldn't a narrow resonance results in a spike in cross section as per usual? Mar 13, 2017 at 10:56
• @innisfree Sorry, I was thinking gluons when I wrote $Z$, it could occur via any of them. I will have to think about your second question. Mar 13, 2017 at 11:01

Your higher order diagram is confusing, let us take this first order diagram of e+e- scattering . The large crossection at the mass of the Z is inevitable due to the integral which contains the propagator , when the momentum transfer squared equals the mass squared the contribution under the integral becomes huge.

Experimentally this is what is measured versus energy As I understood in this lecture(page 6) each resonance on this crossection plot is represented by a sum of t channel diagrams that add into the resonance. I was as bemused as you trying to write an s channel feynman diagram for e+e- to e+e- resonating on the rho. So each resonance does not mean a new particle as happens with the Z.

Historical context, when the feynman diagrams used for the e+e- crossection assumed,before QCD was proposed and accepted as part of the standard model, that there was the vector meson dominance model

In particular, the hadronic components of the physical photon consist of the lightest vector mesons, ρ , ω and ϕ . Therefore, interactions between photons and hadronic matter occur by the exchange of a hadron between the dressed photon and the hadronic target.

• Don't understand. If you calculate the amplitude from the Feynman diagram in your answer, there's no e.g., loop momenta to integrate over the propagator. The energy is just $\sqrt{s}$ flowing through the propagator. Mar 19, 2017 at 10:42