New Experimental Limit on the Pauli Exclusion Principle Violation by Electrons—The VIP Experiment

Foundations of Physics 41 (3):282-287 (2011)


We present an experimental test of the validity of the Pauli Exclusion Principle for electrons based on the concept put forward a few years ago by Ramberg and Snow. In this experiment we perform a very accurate search of X-rays from the Pauli-forbidden atomic transitions of electrons in the already filled 1S shells of copper atoms. Although the experiment has a simple structure, it poses deep conceptual and interpretational problems. Here we describe the experimental method and recent experimental results, which we interpret as an upper limit for the probability to violate the Pauli Exclusion Principle. We present also future plans to upgrade the experimental apparatus using Silicon Drift Detectors.

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Esther Redolfi Widmann
University of Innsbruck

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