Measurement of a false electric dipole moment signal from 199Hg atoms exposed to an inhomogeneous magnetic field
We report on the measurement of a Larmor frequency shift proportional to the electric-field strength for 199Hg atoms contained in a volume permeated with aligned magnetic and electric fields. This shift arises from the interplay between the inevitable magnetic field gradients and the motional magnetic field. The proportionality to electric-field strength makes it apparently similar to an electric dipole moment (EDM) signal, although unlike an EDM this effect is P- and T-conserving. We have used a neutron magnetic resonance EDM spectrometer, featuring a mercury co-magnetometer and an array of external cesium magnetometers, to measure the shift as a function of the applied magnetic field gradient. Our results are in good agreement with theoretical expectations.
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