Parity violation in nuclear physics

The field of nuclear parity violation existed well before the Standard Model. My first single authored paper (written while Golowich and Holstein were away for the summer) was the first to apply the Standard Model to this topic, following crucial work by Altarelli, Ellis, Maiani and Petronzio. .

This set the stage for subsequent work. Later on with Bertrand Desplanques and Barry Holstein, we systematically explored the sensitivity of nuclear parity violation in the Standard Model to uncertainties in the hadronic matrix elements. This paper became a classic in its field, known by its intials – DDH. While it was certainly a good summary of the science, it also benefited from some useful packaging, as we provided both a “best value” for each coupling, and also a “reasonable range”. These became the benchmarks for future theory and experiment. The uncertainties of the field turned into a discussion of where in our reasonable range the correct couplings should be. In retrospect, this was almost like parametrizing the physics as one would in an effective field theory, although we did not know that language at the time.

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Research and teaching pages for John Donoghue