Physics

Figuring the shape of the electron

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Science  27 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6362, pp. 494-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6362.494-e

Although incomplete, the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics has been generally dependable in making correct experimental predictions. A curious case is the electric dipole moment of the electron (eEDM), which the SM predicts to be a lot smaller than do theories that aim to extend the SM. The eEDM can be measured using experiments with polar molecules and molecular ions, with the former boasting large fluxes and the latter long interrogation times. Cairncross et al. used molecular ions of HfF to find that the eEDM has a magnitude of less than 1.3 × 10−28 e cm, confirming an earlier result from neutral molecule measurements. Future experiments may yield even more precision, improving the ability to distinguish between the various extensions to the SM.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 153001 (2017).

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