Optimizing ultracold neutron storage for precision measurements
Neutrons in beams can typically be observed for only a few milliseconds, due to velocities exceeding a kilometer per second. But with trapped "ultracold neutrons" we can make some of the most numerically precise measurements in modern physics, by storing extremely slow neutrons in a closed container for many minutes. Precision measurements with ultracold neutrons address such fundamental questions as: "Why does the universe contain matter, but not antimatter?", "What are the most fundamental symmetries obeyed in nature?", and "Is there new physics beyond the Standard Model that we have been unable to detect with colliders?" This project seeks to extend recent progress on storing ultracold neutrons for extremely long times, approaching the beta-decay lifetime of the neutron itself. The exploration and characterization of new wall-coating materials, such as fluoropolymers and crystalline diamond, is foreseen. A focus will be on designing and optimizing test apparatus, to identify the ultimate limits of such materials. Students interested in developing familiarity with vacuum, cryogenics, or precision measurements in neutron science are particularly encouraged. There may also be opportunities to participate in beamtime measurements, at the Institut Laue-Langevin's world-leading source of ultracold neutrons in Grenoble, France.
Veröffentlicht am: 2021-07-27