Testing parity with atomic radiative capture of μ -

David McKeen, Maxim E Pospelov

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The next generation of "intensity frontier" facilities will bring a significant increase in the intensity of subrelativistic beams of μ -. We show that the use of these beams in combination with thin targets of Z∼30 elements opens up the possibility of testing parity-violating interactions of muons with nuclei via direct radiative capture of muons into atomic 2S orbitals. Since atomic capture preserves longitudinal muon polarization, the measurements of the gamma ray angular asymmetry in the single photon 2S 1/2-1S 1/2 transition will offer a direct test of parity. We calculate the probability of atomic radiative capture taking into account the finite size of the nucleus to show that this process can dominate over the usual muonic atom cascade and that the as-yet unobserved single photon 2S 1/2-1S 1/2 transition in muonic atoms can be detected in this way using current muon facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number263401
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 29 2012
Externally publishedYes


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