Experimental limits on the free-proton lifetime for two- and three-body decay modes

G. Blewitt, J. M. Losecco, R. M. Bionta, C. B. Bratton, D. Casper, P. Chrysicopoulou, R. Claus, B. G. Cortez, S. Errede, G. W. Foster, W. Gajewski, K. S. Ganezer, M. Goldhaber, T. J. Haines, T. W. Jones, D. Kielczewska, W. R. Kropp, J. G. Learned, E. Lehmann, H. S. ParkF. Reines, J. Schultz, S. Seidel, E. Shumard, D. Sinclair, H. W. Sobel, J. L. Stone, L. Sulak, R. Svoboda, J. C. Van Der Velde, C. Wuest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lower partial-lifetime limits for the decay of the free proton are obtained in the range 1030 to 1032 yr, from a 417-d exposure of a water Cherenkov detector with a fiducial mass of 370 metric tons of hydrogen. In this time, 401 contained events were observed, at a rate consistent with atmospheric neutrino interactions. Eleven of these events are compatible with both neutrino interactions and the neutrinoless decay of the free proton. These results are of the same order of magnitude as previously published limits for bound plus free protons, but are independent of models for proton decay in oxygen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2114-2117
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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