Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 071803 (2016) – Protophobic Fifth-Force Interpretation of the Observed Anomaly in $^{8}\mathrm{Be}$ Nuclear Transitions

Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 071803 (2016) – Protophobic Fifth-Force Interpretation of the Observed Anomaly in $^{8}\mathrm{Be}$ Nuclear Transitions – Recently a 6.8σ anomaly has been reported in the opening angle and invariant mass distributions of e+e− pairs produced in Be8 nuclear transitions. The data are explained by a 17 MeV vector gauge boson X that is produced in the decay of an excited state to the ground state, Be*8→Be8 X, and then decays through X→e+e−. The X boson mediates a fifth force with a characteristic range of 12 fm and has millicharged couplings to up and down quarks and electrons, and a proton coupling that is suppressed relative to neutrons. The protophobic X boson may also alleviate the current 3.6σ discrepancy between the predicted and measured values of the muon’s anomalous magnetic moment.

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