[SLAC] [SLAC Pubs and Reports]

SLAC-PUB-7738
Right-Handed Currents in B Decay Revisited

Abstract

We critically re-examine the case for and against a sizeable right-handed component in the $b\to c$ charged current coupling with a strength $\xi$ relative to the conventional left-handed current. Using data from CLEO on the decay $B\to D^*\ell \nu$, as well as our knowledge of $V_{cb}$ extracted from both inclusive and exclusive processes, we are able to determine the presently allowed parameter space for $\xi$ via HQET. We then identify several observables which could be measured at $B$ factories to either strengthen these constraints or otherwise observe right-handed currents. This parameter space region is found to be consistent with the low degree of $\Lambda_b$ polarization as determined by ALEPH as well as the measurements of the charged lepton and neutrino energy spectra from $b$ decay made by L3. We discuss how future measurements of semileptonic decay distributions may distinguish between exotic $\Lambda_b$ depolarization mechanisms and the existence of right-handed currents. Within the parameter space allowed by CLEO, using the Left-Right Symmetric Model as a guide, we perform a detailed search for specific sub-regions which can lead to a reduction in both the $B$ semileptonic branching fraction as well as the the average yield of charmed quarks in $B$ decay. The results provide a concrete realization of an earlier suggestion by Voloshin but may lead to potential difficulties with certain penguin mediated decay processes.

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