Muon capture on the proton and deuteron

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By measuring the lifetime of the negative muon in pure protium (1H), the MuCap experiment determines the rate of muon capture on the proton, from which the proton's pseudoscalar coupling gp may be inferred. A precision of 15% for gp has been published; this is a step along the way to a goal of 7%. This coupling can be calculated precisely from heavy baryon chiral perturbation theory and therefore permits a test of QCD's chiral symmetry. Meanwhile, the MuSun experiment is in its final design stage; it will measure the rate of muon capture on the deuteron using a similar technique. This process can be related through pionless effective field theory and chiral perturbation theory to other two-nucleon reactions of astrophysical interest, including proton-proton fusion and deuteron breakup. © EDP Sciences and Springer 2008.

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