Strongly enhanced atomic parity violation due to close levels of opposite parity

B. M. Roberts, V. A. Dzuba, V. V. Flambaum, Phys. Rev. A 89, 042509 (2014)



We present calculations of nuclear-spin-dependent and nuclear-spin-independent parity-violating amplitudes in Ba, Ra, Ac+, Th, and Pa. Parity nonconservation in these systems is greatly enhanced due to the presence of very close electronic energy levels of opposite parity, large nuclear charge, and strong nuclear enhancement of parity-violating effects. The presented amplitudes constitute several of the largest atomic parity-violating signals predicted so far. Experiments using these systems may be performed to determine values for the nuclear anapole moment, a P-odd T-even nuclear moment given rise to by parity-violating nuclear forces. Such measurements may prove to be valuable tools in the study of parity violation in the hadron sector. The considered spin- independent transitions could also be used to measure the ratio of weak charges for different isotopes of the same atom, the results of which would serve as a test of the standard model and also of neutron distributions. Barium, with seven stable isotopes, is particularly promising in this regard.

Written on 1 April 2014