Experimental Upper Bound and Theoretical Expectations for Parity-Violating Neutron Spin Rotation in He-4

Published: July 16, 2019


Jeffrey S. Nico, Hans P. Mumm, H E. Swanson, C. D. Bass, T. D. Bass, J M. Dawkins, J C. Horton, D Luo, William M. Snow, S. C. Walbridge, B. E. Crawford, K. F. Gan, A M. Micherdzinska, C. R. Huffer, D M. Markoff, Murad Sarsour, E I. Sharapov, V Zhumabekova, Blayne R. Heckel


Neutron spin rotation is expected from quark-quark weak interactions in the Standard Model, which induce weak interactions among nucleons that violate parity. We present the results from an experiment searching for the effect of parity violation via the spin rotation of polarized neutrons in a liquid He-4 medium. The value for the neutron spin rotation angle per unit length in He-4, d\phi/dz =(+2.1 +/- 8.3 (stat.) +/- 2.9 (sys.))\times10^{-7} rad/m, is consistent with zero. The result agrees with the best current theoretical estimates of the size of nucleon-nucleon weak amplitudes from other experiments and with the expectations from recent theoretical approaches to weak nucleon-nucleon interactions. In this paper we review the theoretical status of parity violation in the n + He-4 system and discuss details of the data analysis leading to the quoted result. Analysis tools are presented that quantify systematic uncertainties in this measurement and that are expected to be essential for future measurements.
Citation: Physical Review C (Nuclear Physics)
Volume: 100
Pub Type: Journals


hadronic parity violation, quantum chromodynamics, neutron polarimetry, cold neutrons, weak interaction
Created July 16, 2019, Updated July 22, 2019