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In the fall of 1998 the program The Physics of Strangeness was held at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington, Seattle. As part of this three month program an intense four day workshop was held from September 29 to October 2. The workshop (organized by T. Fukuda-san, M. Savage, and R. Springer) was designed to bring together theorists and experimentalists working in the broad area of physics involving strangeness to discuss where the field stands at present and what progress is likely and/or possible in the near future (5-10 year period). The areas in the physics of strangeness that were represented at the meeting were Kaon Physics, Strangeness with Leptons, and Hyperons and Hypernuclei. To facilitate fruitful interactions between participants the morning sessions were devoted to presentations, while the afternoon sessions were directed discussion sessions. The organizers specifically asked the morning speakers to be somewhat physics provocative, and generally this provided direction for the afternoon discussions. Our goal was to help focus future inquiries into the physics of strangeness by identifying some pressing problems whose solutions are feasible in the near term.
This document is a summary of progress made during the discussions and also some opinions shared by the majority of participants. It does not represent an overview of the field. Many comprehensive reviews exist elsewhere and it is not our purpose to reiterate this physics here. We emphasize what was highlighted at this workshop and in particular the understanding gained during discussions between theorists and experimentalists. The participants included representatives from the United States, Japan, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Australia, Israel, Argentina, and Brazil, with a broad experience profile ranging from those present at the inception of the concept of strangeness to the young students and postdocs giving the field new energy today.
In the sections that follow we will treat each of the three session topics in turn. First we briefly give the speakers and their subjects, and then turn to resulting discussions.