Search for Parity Non-Conserving Optical Rotation in Atomic Bismuth
Bouchiat and Bouchiat pointed out1 soon after the discovery of weak neutral currents2 that their existence might lead to parity non-conserving (PNC) effects of observable magnitude in atoms. One of the most promising possibilities3 is to look for optical rotation close to an allowed M1 absorption line in a heavy element. We report here preliminary results from our experiment4 on the 648 nm J = 3/2 J = 5/2 transition in bismuth. We find that the optical rotation, if it exists, must be somewhat smaller than had been expected.
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