Experiments on the Structure of an Individual Elementary Particle

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Science  02 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4942, pp. 539-545
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4942.539


Research begun in the early 1970s on geonium is reviewed. Genoium is a man-made atom, created at liquid-helium temperature in ultrahigh vacuum from an individual electron in magnetic and electric trapping fields. For this atom the electron gyromagnetic ratio g = 2. 000 000 000 110(60) has been measured in microwave spectroscopy experiments after subtraction of quantum electrodynamics shifts. The g - gDirac = 11 x 10-11 excess over the value gDirac = 2 for the theoretical Dirac point electron suggests for the electron of nature a corresponding excess radius Re - RDirac over the Dirac radius RDirac = 0 and a spatial structure. From a plot of measured g and R values for the near-Dirac particles electron, proton, triton, and helium-3 an electron radius Re ≈ 10-20 centimeter is extrapolated. In a speculation, the triton-proton-quark model has been extended to the electron, to a succession of subquarks, and finally to the "cosmon." Rapid decay of a cosmon-anticosmon pair created from the "nothing" state in a spontaneous quantum jump initiated the Big Bang.

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