Parity violating measurements of neutron densities

C. J. Horowitz, S. J. Pollock, P. A. Souder, R. Michaels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

337 Scopus citations


Parity violating electron nucleus scattering is a clean and powerful tool for measuring the spatial distributions of neutrons in nuclei with unprecedented accuracy. Parity violation arises from the interference of electromagnetic and weak neutral amplitudes, and the Z0 of the standard model couples primarily to neutrons at low Q2. The data can be interpreted with as much confidence as electromagnetic scattering. After briefly reviewing the present theoretical and experimental knowledge of neutron densities, we discuss possible parity violation measurements, their theoretical interpretation, and applications. The experiments are feasible at existing facilities. We show that theoretical corrections are either small or well understood, which makes the interpretation clean. The quantitative relationship to atomic parity nonconservation observables is examined, and we show that the electron scattering asymmetries can be directly applied to atomic parity nonconservation because the observables have approximately the same dependence on nuclear shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025501
Pages (from-to)255011-2550118
Number of pages2295108
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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