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Oriented Polar Molecules in a Solid Inert-Gas Matrix: A Proposed Method for Measuring the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron

1
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7, Canada
2
Department of Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 5 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Precision Measurements of Fundamental Constants)
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Abstract

We propose a very sensitive method for measuring the electric dipole moment of the electron using polar molecules embedded in a cryogenic solid matrix of inert-gas atoms. The polar molecules can be oriented in the z ^ -direction by an applied electric field, as has recently been demonstrated by Park et al. The trapped molecules are prepared into a state that has its electron spin perpendicular to z ^ , and a magnetic field along z ^ causes precession of this spin. An electron electric dipole moment d e would affect this precession due to the up to 100 GV/cm effective electric field produced by the polar molecule. The large number of polar molecules that can be embedded in a matrix, along with the expected long coherence times for the precession, allows for the possibility of measuring d e to an accuracy that surpasses current measurements by many orders of magnitude. Because the matrix can inhibit molecular rotations and lock the orientation of the polar molecules, it may not be necessary to have an electric field present during the precession. The proposed technique can be applied using a variety of polar molecules and inert gases, which, along with other experimental variables, should allow for careful study of systematic uncertainties in the measurement. View Full-Text
Keywords: Electric dipole moment; testo of the standard model; polar molecules; inert-gas matrices Electric dipole moment; testo of the standard model; polar molecules; inert-gas matrices
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Vutha, A.C.; Horbatsch, M.; Hessels, E.A. Oriented Polar Molecules in a Solid Inert-Gas Matrix: A Proposed Method for Measuring the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron. Atoms 2018, 6, 3.

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