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Ruediger Picker Colloquium

Fri. Mar. 18 12:30 PM - Fri. Mar. 18 01:20 PM
Location: 1L13

Probing the Universe with Neutrons

Ruediger Picker, Research Scientist at TRIUMF


The knowledge of fundamental properties of the neutron helps us understand many aspect of the universe. It all starts right after the Big Bang: matter wins over antimatter in the Universe, making our existence possible. The main ingredient to that, matter anti-matter asymmetry, requires major violation of another fundamental symmetry, called CP violation. This, in turn might show up in a non-zero electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron, making EDM measurements the flagship of fundamental neutron physics.

Later in the evolution of the Universe, the free neutron lifetime plays a role in nucleo-synthesis, especially of 4He. The lowest limits on the quantities above have been set by experiments using very slow neutrons, called ultra-cold neutrons (UCN). UCNs have energies in the 100 neV region and can be manipulated and stored in traps via gravitational, strong and electromagnetic interaction.

The presentation will introduce the concept of neutron EDM and lifetime measurements, ultra-cold neutrons and their production at the upcoming ultra-cold neutron facility at TRIUMF, Vancouver. It will give a status update and an outlook other physics that can be done with UCN.