Measurement of the decay parameter rho and a search for non-Standard Model decays in the muon decay spectrum




Bayes, Ryan David

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The study of the muon decay process μ+ → e+νeν ̄μ is a powerful constraint on the behaviour of the weak interaction, without contamination of the other, stronger, fundamental interactions. The spectrum measured from the momentum and angles of the decay positrons is parametrized using a set of four decay parameters. The purpose of the TWIST experiment is to measure these decay parameters to an unprecedented precision; an order of magnitude improvement in the uncertainties over measurements completed before the TWIST experiment. Measurements of the muon decay parameters constrain the values of a series of 19 weak coupling constants. In the standard model, V-A weak interaction, 18 of these constants are 0, while the remaining constant describes interactions between left handed particles, gV_LL= 1.The decay parameter ρ quantifies the behaviour of the spectrum with respect to momentum. According to the standard model the value of this parameter is 3/4. TWIST measured a value of ρ = 0.74991±0.00009(stat)±0.00028(sys). The measurement is limited by its systematic uncertainty, so a large focus of the experiment was on the determination and control of these uncertainties. The systematic uncertainties are derived from uncertainties in the detector construction and uncertainties in the biases generated by differences between the data and a matching Monte Carlo. Muon decay also limits the possibility of family symmetry breaking interactions. TWIST can be used to search for the possibility of muons decaying into a positron and a single unidentified neutral particle μ+ → e+X0 that does not otherwise interact with normal matter. The large momentum and angle acceptance of the TWIST spectrometer allows for searches of two body decays for masses of the X0 boson mX0 ∈ [0,80] MeV/c, with a variety of behaviours with respect to the angle of the positron track. Upper limits on massive and mass-less X0 decays are set with a 90% confidence level separately at parts per million for massive decays and parts in 10000 for mass-less decays.



muon decay, weak interaction symmetry, familon, majoron, lepton symmetry breaking, Michel parameter