Limit on Tensor Currents from Li 8 β Decay

M. G. Sternberg, R. Segel, N. D. Scielzo*, G. Savard, J. A. Clark, P. F. Bertone, F. Buchinger, M. Burkey, S. Caldwell, A. Chaudhuri, J. E. Crawford, C. M. Deibel, J. Greene, S. Gulick, D. Lascar, A. F. Levand, G. Li, A. Pérez Galván, K. S. Sharma, J. Van ScheltR. M. Yee, B. J. Zabransky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


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¯ correlation in He6 β decay dating back over a half century. In the present work, the β-ν¯-α correlation in the β decay of Li8 and subsequent α-particle breakup of the Be8∗ daughter was measured. The results are consistent with a purely V-A interaction and in the case of couplings to right-handed neutrinos (CT=-CT′) limits the tensor fraction to |CT/CA|2<0.011 (95.5% C.L.). The measurement confirms the He6 result using a different nuclear system and employing modern ion-trapping techniques subject to different systematic uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 28 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Sternberg, M. G., Segel, R., Scielzo, N. D., Savard, G., Clark, J. A., Bertone, P. F., Buchinger, F., Burkey, M., Caldwell, S., Chaudhuri, A., Crawford, J. E., Deibel, C. M., Greene, J., Gulick, S., Lascar, D., Levand, A. F., Li, G., Pérez Galván, A., Sharma, K. S., ... Zabransky, B. J. (2015). Limit on Tensor Currents from Li 8 β Decay. Physical review letters, 115(18), [182501].