Electron electric dipole moment

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The electron electric dipole moment (EDM) de is an intrinsic property of an electron such that the potential energy is linearly related to the strength of the electric field:

The electron's EDM must be collinear with the direction of the electron's magnetic moment (spin).[1] Within the standard model of elementary particle physics, such a dipole is predicted to be non-zero but very small, at most 10−38 e·cm,[2] where e stands for the elementary charge. The existence of a non-zero electron electric dipole moment would imply a violation of both parity invariance and time reversal invariance.[3] In the Standard Model, the electron EDM arises from the CP-violating components of the CKM matrix. The moment is very small because the CP violation involves quarks, not electrons directly, so it can only arise by quantum processes where virtual quarks are created, interact with the electron, and then are annihilated.[2] More precisely, a non-zero EDM does not arise until the level of four-loop Feynman diagrams and higher.[2] An additional, larger EDM (around 10−33 e·cm) is possible in the standard model if neutrinos are majorana particles.[2]

Experimentally, the electric dipole moment is too small to measure in all experiments to date. The Particle Data Group publishes its value as Template:Val. Experiment performed at Imperial College London, published on 26 May 2011, placed an upper bound on (with a 90% confidence level) of |de| < Template:Val.[4] Experimental results submitted on 28 Oct 2013 placed an upper bound on (with a 90% confidence level) of |de| < Template:Val[5]

Many extensions to the Standard Model have been proposed in the past two decades. These extensions generally predict larger values for the electron EDM. For instance, the various technicolor models predict de that ranges from 10−27 to 10−29 e·cm.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Supersymmetric models predict that |de| < 10−26 e·cm.[6] The present experimental limit is therefore close to eliminating some of these theories. Further improvements, or a positive result, would place further limits on which theory takes precedence.

See also


  1. Thomas, Jessica. Synopsis: Particle Physics with Ferroelectrics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Template:Cite doi
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  5. Order of Magnitude Smaller Limit on the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron
  6. {{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}