LTP: Laboratory for Particle Physics
Scientific Highlights and News
Observation of Gravitationally Induced Vertical Striation of Polarized Ultracold Neutrons by Spin-Echo Spectroscopy
We describe a spin-echo method for ultracold neutrons (UCNs) confined in a precession chamber and exposed to a |B0| = 1μT magnetic field. We have demonstrated that the analysis of UCN spin-echo resonance signals in combination with knowledge of the ambient magnetic field provides an excellent method by which to reconstruct the energy spectrum of a confined ensemble of neutrons.
We report a new limit on a possible short range spin-dependent interaction from the precise measurement of the ratio of Larmor precession frequencies of stored ultracold neutrons and 199Hg atoms confined in the same volume. The measurement was performed in a ∼1μT vertical magnetic holding field with the apparatus searching for a permanent electric dipole moment of the neutron at the Paul Scherrer Institute.
The standard model of particle physics describes the fundamental particles and their interactions via the strong, electromagnetic and weak forces. It provides precise predictions for measurable quantities that can be tested experimentally. The probabilities, or branching fractions, of the strange B meson (BS0) and the B0 meson decaying into two oppositely charged muons (μ+ and μ-) are especially inter- esting because of their sensitivity to theories that extend the standard model. The standard model predicts that the BS0 →μ+μ- and B0 →μ+μ- decays are very rare, with about four of the former occurring for every billion Bs0 mesons produced, and one of the latter occurring for every ten billion B0 mesons.
The neutron gyromagnetic ratio has been measured relative to that of the 199Hg atom with an uncertainty of 0.8 ppm. We employed an apparatus where ultracold neutrons and mercury atoms are stored in the same volume and report the result γn/γHg = 3.8424574(30).
We implement a systematic effective field theory approach to the benchmark process μ → eγ, performing automated one-loop computations including dimension 6 operators and studying their anomalous dimensions. We obtain limits on Wilson coefficients of a relevant subset of lepton-flavour violating operators that contribute to the branching ratio μ → eγ at one-loop.