Chen-Yu Liu, Indiana University
First Experimental Limit on the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron in GGG Paramagnetic Insulator
Argonne Physics Division Seminar - 20 Dec 2010

The electric dipole moment (EDM) is defined as the spatial separation of the center of charge and the center of mass of the electron. Due to the different discrete symmetry of the EDM and the intrinsic spin, the co-existence of the EDM polar vector and the spin axial-vector in the electron requires that the fundamental physics framework violate both the time-reversal and parity-inversion symmetry. Parity violation has been firmly established in the electroweak theory. On the other hand, the time-reversal symmetry is often assumed implicitly because one does not expect the microscopic physics processes, such as two particles scattering off each other, would be any different if the same process were reversed backward in time. However, there is nothing to warrant this assumption other than physicists’ naïve intuitions. The only way to verify whether the time reversal symmetry is preserved by Nature is through experimental tests. Searching for the intrinsic EDM of the electron provides a unique opportunity to search for evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model, with extremely small background from the known Standard Model physics. In this talk, I will discuss a new experimental approach using a solid-state system to measure the intrinsic electric dipole moment (EDM) of the electron, and present our first backgroud-free result.

Argonne Physics Division Seminar Schedule