Colloquium: New Results and Future Prospects in Fundamental Symmetry Tests with Neutrons

09/01/2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Professor Brad Plaster (University of Kentucky)
Type of Event (for grouping events):

The overarching goal of probing fundamental symmetries in experiments with neutrons is to carry out tests of the symmetries (i.e., Time Reversal, Parity) underlying the Standard Model. In the quest for ever more precision, the experiments have become highly technically challenging, requiring large collaborations across many institutions, and usually requiring more than a decade to complete.  We will present a new result from such a decade-long effort in which a measurement of the Parity violating asymmetry in the beta decay of the neutron was carried out with spin-polarized ultracold neutrons.  This asymmetry determines fundamental parameters of the weak interaction, such as the weak axial-vector coupling constant, and contributes to a global test of the Standard Model.  We will then discuss the prospects for another decade of sustained work in this field, including the ultimate goal of searching for the Time Reversal Symmetry-violating neutron electric dipole moment, the existence of which would contribute to an understanding of the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, under Award Number DE-SC-0014622.

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