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Protophobic Fifth-Force Interpretation of the Observed Anomaly inBe8Nuclear Transitions

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

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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