Observation of non-exponential orbital electron capture decays of hydrogen-like 140Pr and 142Pm ions

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Abstract

We report on time-modulated two-body weak decays observed in the orbital electron capture of hydrogen-like 140Pr59+ and 142Pm60+ ions coasting in an ion storage ring. Using non-destructive single ion, time-resolved Schottky mass spectrometry we found that the expected exponential decay is modulated in time with a modulation period of about 7 seconds for both systems. Tentatively this observation is attributed to the coherent superposition of finite mass eigenstates of the electron neutrinos from the weak decay into a two-body final state. © 2008.

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Litvinov, Y. A., Bosch, F., Winckler, N., Boutin, D., Essel, H. G., Faestermann, T., … Winkler, M. (2008). Observation of non-exponential orbital electron capture decays of hydrogen-like 140Pr and 142Pm ions. Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics, 664(3), 162–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2008.04.062

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