Decay law of relativistic particles: Quantum theory meets special relativity

Urbanowski, K. (Institute of Physics, University of Zielona Góra, ul. Prof. Z. Szafrana 4a, 65-516 Zielona Góra, Poland)

03 September 2014

Abstract: Late time properties of moving relativistic particles are studied. Within the proper relativistic treatment of the problem we find decay curves of such particles and we show that late time deviations of the survival probability of these particles from the exponential form of the decay law, that is the transition times region between exponential and non-exponential form of the survival amplitude, occur much earlier than it follows from the classical standard approach boiled down to replace time t by t/γL (where γL is the relativistic Lorentz factor) in the formula for the survival probability. The consequence is that fluctuations of the corresponding decay curves can appear much earlier and much more unstable particles have a chance to survive up to these times or later. It is also shown that fluctuations of the instantaneous energy of the moving unstable particles have a similar form as the fluctuations in the particle rest frame but they are seen by the observer in his rest system much earlier than one could expect replacing t by t/γL in the corresponding expressions for this energy and that the amplitude of these fluctuations can be even larger than it follows from the standard approach. All these effects seem to be important when interpreting some accelerator experiments with high energy unstable particles and the like (possible connections of these effects with GSI anomaly are analyzed) and some results of astrophysical observations.


Published in: Physics letters B 737 (2014) 346-351
Published by: Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2014.08.073
License: CC-BY-3.0



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