Protophobic Fifth-Force Interpretation of the Observed Anomaly inBe8Nuclear Transitions

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Feng, Jonathan L. ; Fornal, Bartosz ; Galon, Iftah ; Gardner, Susan ; Smolinsky, Jordan ; Tait, Tim M. P ; Tanedo, Philip (2016)

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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