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Title: Leptonic Decays of Charged Pseudoscalar Mesons - 2015

We review the physics of purely leptonic decays of $$\pi^\pm$$, $$K^\pm$$, $$D^{\pm}$$, $$D_s^\pm$$, and $$B^\pm$$ pseudoscalar mesons. The measured decay rates are related to the product of the relevant weak-interaction-based CKM matrix element of the constituent quarks and a strong interaction parameter related to the overlap of the quark and antiquark wave-functions in the meson, called the decay constant $$f_P$$. The leptonic decay constants for $$\pi^\pm$$, $$K^\pm$$, $$D^{\pm}$$, $$D_s^\pm$$, and $$B^\pm$$ mesons can be obtained with controlled theoretical uncertainties and high precision from {\it ab initio} lattice-QCD simulations. The combination of experimental leptonic decay-rate measurements and theoretical decay-constant calculations enables the determination of several elements of the CKM matrix within the standard model. These determinations are competitive with those obtained from semileptonic decays, and also complementary because they are sensitive to different quark flavor-changing currents. They can also be used to test the unitarity of the first and second rows of the CKM matrix. Conversely, taking the CKM elements predicted by unitarity, one can infer "experimental" values for $$f_P$$ that can be compared with theory. These provide tests of lattice-QCD methods, provided new-physics contributions to leptonic decays are negligible at the current level of precision. This review is the basis of the article in the Particle Data Group's 2016 edition, updating the versions in Refs. [1-3].
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Chicago U., EFI
  2. Syracuse U.
  3. Fermilab
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
EFI-15-21; FERMILAB-PUB-15-384-T; arXiv:1509.02220
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Particle Data Book
Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States