The Mysterious Muon
at the new intermediate energy facilities (meson factories, proton or electron accelerators), particle physics and nuclear physics coexist. The similarities of the techniques used make it easy for the physicist to switch from one field to the other.
in the field of intermediate energy the nuclear and particle aspects are strongly coupled and it becomes increasingly difficult for the physicist to ignore one or the other. Elementary particles are used as probes of the nucleus and therefore their fundamental interactions must be understood. On the other hand the atomic nucleus is often used as a laboratory for the study of fundamental interactions. A good example is given by the study of weak interactions. The fundamental questions in this field will be answered not only by high-energy physics experiments (done with neutrino beams, electron-positron colliding beams, hadron-hadron colliding beams) but also by careful experiments done in intermediate-energy physics (for instance, rare decay modes of pions and muons), in low-energy physics (for instance, parity violation in nuclear forces) and even in atomic physics (parity violation in atoms). In the past, the atomic nucleus has proven to be an efficient laboratory for the study of weak interactions: parity violation in β-decay, determination of the structure of charged weak currents, conserved-vector-current theory, current-current interaction, induced pseudoscalar interaction, second-class currents, and hopefully the existence of parity-violating neutral currents.
KeywordsGauge Theory Weak Interaction Vector Boson Parity Violation Neutrino Beam
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- 1.For a detailed review of the historical development of weak interactions the reader is referred to L. Jauneau in “Weak interactions”, a book based on lectures presented at the International School of Elementary-Particle Physics, Basko Polje (Yugoslavia), edited by M.K. Gaillard and M. Nikolic, available from the “Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules”, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France.Google Scholar
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