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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Oct 30;115(18):182501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.182501. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Limit on Tensor Currents from ^{8}Li β Decay.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
2
Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
3
Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
4
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
5
Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550, USA.
6
Department of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T8, Canada.
7
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada.
8
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Louisiana 70803, USA.
9
Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.
10
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario K0J 1J0, Canada.
11
Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

In the standard model, the weak interaction is formulated with a purely vector-axial-vector (V-A) structure. Without restriction on the chirality of the neutrino, the most general limits on tensor currents from nuclear β decay are dominated by a single measurement of the β-ν[over ¯] correlation in ^{6}He β decay dating back over a half century. In the present work, the β-ν[over ¯]-α correlation in the β decay of ^{8}Li and subsequent α-particle breakup of the ^{8}Be^{*} daughter was measured. The results are consistent with a purely V-A interaction and in the case of couplings to right-handed neutrinos (C_{T}=-C_{T}^{'}) limits the tensor fraction to |C_{T}/C_{A}|^{2}<0.011 (95.5% C.L.). The measurement confirms the ^{6}He result using a different nuclear system and employing modern ion-trapping techniques subject to different systematic uncertainties.

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