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Interpreting the electron EDM constraint

A preprint version of the article is available at arXiv.


The ACME collaboration has recently announced a new constraint on the electron EDM, |de| < 1.1 × 10−29e cm, from measurements of the ThO molecule. This is a powerful constraint on CP-violating new physics: even new physics generating the EDM at two loops is constrained at the multi-TeV scale. We interpret the bound in the context of different scenarios for new physics: a general order-of-magnitude analysis for both the electron EDM and the CP-odd electron-nucleon coupling; 1-loop SUSY, probing sleptons above 10 TeV; 2-loop SUSY, probing multi-TeV charginos or stops; and finally, new physics that generates the EDM via the charm quark or top quark Yukawa couplings. In the last scenario, new physics generates a “QULE operator” \( \left({q}_f{\overline{\sigma}}^{\mu \nu }{\overline{u}}_f\right)\kern0.5em \cdotp \kern0.5em \left(\ell {\overline{\sigma}}_{\mu \nu}\overline{e}\right) \), which in turn generates the EDM through RG evolution. If the QULE operator is generated at tree level, this corresponds to a previously studied leptoquark model. For the first time, we also classify scenarios in which the QULE operator is generated at one loop through a box diagram, which include (among others) SUSY and leptoquark models. The electron EDM bound is the leading constraint on a wide variety of theories of CP-violating new physics interacting with the Higgs boson or the top quark. We argue that any future nonzero measurement of an electron EDM will provide a strong motivation for constructing new colliders at the highest feasible energies.


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Cesarotti, C., Lu, Q., Nakai, Y. et al. Interpreting the electron EDM constraint. J. High Energ. Phys. 2019, 59 (2019).

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  • Beyond Standard Model
  • Supersymmetric Standard Model