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Journal Article

How stable is the photon?

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons37613

Heeck,  Julian
Werner Rodejohann - ERC Starting Grant, Junior Research Groups, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

Fulltext (public)

1304.2821.pdf
(Preprint), 165KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Heeck, J. (2013). How stable is the photon? Physical Review Letters, 111(02): 021801, pp. 1-4. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.021801.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-13ED-4
Abstract
Yes, the photon. While a nonzero photon mass has been under experimental and theoretical study for years, the possible implication of a finite photon lifetime lacks discussion. The tight experimental upper bound of the photon mass restricts the kinematically allowed final states of photon decay to the lightest neutrino and/or particles beyond the Standard Model. We discuss the modifications of the well-measured cosmic microwave background spectrum of free streaming photons due to photon mass and lifetime and obtain model-independent constraints on both parameters---most importantly a lower direct bound of 3 yr on the photon lifetime, should the photon mass be at its conservative upper limit. In that case, the lifetime of microwave photons will be time-dilated by a factor order 1015.