The evaluation of V-ud, experiment and theory Academic Article uri icon


  • The value of the Vud matrix element of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) matrix can be derived from nuclear superallowed beta decays, neutron decay and pion beta decay. We survey current world data for all three. Today, the most precise value of Vud comes from the nuclear decays; however, the precision is limited not by experimental error but by the estimated uncertainty in theoretical corrections. Experimental uncertainty does limit the neutron-decay result, which, though statistically consistent with the nuclear result, is approximately a factor of three poorer in precision. The value obtained for Vud leads to a result that differs at the 98% confidence level from the unitarity condition for the CKM matrix. We examine the reliability of the small calculated corrections that have been applied to the data, and assess the likelihood of even higher quality nuclear data becoming available to confirm or deny the discrepancy. Some of the required experiments depend upon the availability of intense radioactive beams. Others are possible today.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Towner, I. S., & Hardy, J. C.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Towner, IS||Hardy, JC

publication date

  • December 2003