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Are right-handed chiral particles usually more stable than left-handed because right-handed particles can't decay using W⁺/W⁻? For example, left-handed muons apparently decay most of the time in such a way that there is a virtual particle W⁻ involved, at least according to this Wikipedia article. Since right-handed muons can't decay this way, do they have longer lifetime?

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    $\begingroup$ Is there such a thing as a "right-handed chiral particle"? Even if there aren't any interactions that can change the chirality of a particular particle, there's nothing preventing every physical particle from being a superposition of the chirality eigenstates. $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2019 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ Linked. $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2019 at 21:07

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Indeed, narrowly speaking, right-chiral muons are stable as they don't decay through the charged weak current (the $W^-$ you mention). The electrons left-chiral muons decay to are also left chiral, a substantially useful handle in the calculation of muon decay rates.

The reason your question is so puzzling, bordering on insignificance, is because left- and right-chiral muons (massive fermions in general), by dint of being massive, interconvert ferociously into each other as they propagate. In that sense, right-chiral muons are as unstable as they go.

Even their +/- helicity flips proportionately to their mass, then, a fact of major utility in charged pion decay, going through a W.

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  • $\begingroup$ Indeed I forgot that a physical muon is a superposition of the two chiral eigenstates. $\endgroup$
    – Kirby
    Nov 16, 2019 at 9:06

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