Observation of a Large Atomic Parity Violation Effect in Ytterbium
Atomic parity violation has been observed in the 6s2 S01→5d6s D13 408-nm forbidden transition of ytterbium. The parity-violating amplitude is found to be 2 orders of magnitude larger than in cesium, where the most precise experiments to date have been performed. This is in accordance with theoretical predictions and constitutes the largest atomic parity-violating amplitude yet observed. This also opens the way to future measurements of neutron distributions and anapole moments by comparing parity-violating amplitudes for various isotopes and hyperfine components of the transition.