Brad Plaster

  • Associate Professor and Associate Chair
  • Physics & Astronomy
CP-281, CP-354 (Lab)
859-257-3960, 859-257-6720 (Lab)
Research Interests:
Education

B.S. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999)
Ph.D. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003)
Postdoctoral Scholar in Physics, California Institute of Technology (2003-2008)

Research

My research interests in experimental nuclear physics involve low-energy, high-precision tests of fundamental symmetries as probed in experiments utilizing ultracold neutrons (UCN). The driving central theme of our research in these fundamental neutron physics experiments is the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. We are currently involved with two such initiatives. First, we are carrying out a high-precision measurement of the neutron beta-asymmetry at a new UCN source developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. A value for this asymmetry, combined with the neutron lifetime, permits an extraction of the CKM quark-mixing matrix element Vud. The goal is to perform a high-precision test of the unitarity of the CKM matrix. Second, we are involved with a new U.S.-based search for the neutron electric dipole moment (EDM). The existence of a neutron EDM requires violation of the Time-Reversal Symmetry (T-violation). Additional sources of T-violation, equivalent to CP-violation, are needed to explain the fundamental question of the origin of the baryon asymmetry of the universe. This experiment will be conducted at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

Please also see my personal webpage here.

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