In the phenomenological description of the nuclear interaction an important role is traditionally played by the exchange of a scalar I=0 meson, the sigma, of mass 500–600 MeV, which however is not seen clearly in the particle spectrum and which has a very ambiguous status in QCD. I show that a remarkably simple and reasonably controlled combination of ingredients can reproduce the features of this part of the nuclear force. The use of chiral perturbation theory calculations for two pion exchange supplemented by the Omnes function for pion rescattering suffices to reproduce the magnitude and shape of the exchange of a supposed σ particle. I also attempt to relate this description to the contact interaction that enters more modern descriptions of the internucleon interaction.
PHYSICS LETTERS B