skip to main content

Title: The neutron electric dipole moment experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source
Novel experimental techniques are required to make the next big leap in neutron electric dipole moment experimental sensitivity, both in terms of statistics and systematic error control. The nEDM experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source (nEDM@SNS) will implement the scheme of Golub & Lamoreaux [Phys. Rep., 237, 1 (1994)]. The unique properties of combining polarized ultracold neutrons, polarized 3 He, and superfluid 4 He will be exploited to provide a sensitivity to ∼ 10 −28   e  · cm. Our cryogenic apparatus will deploy two small (3 L) measurement cells with a high density of ultracold neutrons produced and spin analyzed in situ. The electric field strength, precession time, magnetic shielding, and detected UCN number will all be enhanced compared to previous room temperature Ramsey measurements. Our 3 He co-magnetometer offers unique control of systematic effects, in particular the Bloch-Siegert induced false EDM. Furthermore, there will be two distinct measurement modes: free precession and dressed spin. This will provide an important self-check of our results. Following five years of “critical component demonstration,” our collaboration transitioned to a “large scale integration” phase in 2018. An overview of our measurement techniques, experimental design, and brief updates are described in these proceedings.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Date Published:
Journal Name:
EPJ Web of Conferences
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Ultracold polyatomic molecules are promising candidates for experiments in quantum science and precision searches for physics beyond the Standard Model. A key requirement is the ability to achieve full quantum control over the internal structure of the molecules. In this work, we established coherent control of individual quantum states in calcium monohydroxide (CaOH) and demonstrated a method for searching for the electron electric dipole moment (eEDM). Optically trapped, ultracold CaOH molecules were prepared in a single quantum state, polarized in an electric field, and coherently transferred into an eEDM-sensitive state where an electron spin precession measurement was performed. To extend the coherence time, we used eEDM-sensitive states with tunable, near-zero magnetic field sensitivity. Our results establish a path for eEDM searches with trapped polyatomic molecules.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The futureRicochetexperiment aims at searching for new physics in the electroweak sector by providing a high precision measurement of the Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering (CENNS) process down to the sub-100 eV nuclear recoil energy range. The experiment will deploy a kg-scale low-energy-threshold detector array combining Ge and Zn target crystals 8.8 m away from the 58 MW research nuclear reactor core of the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France. Currently, theRicochetCollaboration is characterizing the backgrounds at its future experimental site in order to optimize the experiment’s shielding design. The most threatening background component, which cannot be actively rejected by particle identification, consists of keV-scale neutron-induced nuclear recoils. These initial fast neutrons are generated by the reactor core and surrounding experiments (reactogenics), and by the cosmic rays producing primary neutrons and muon-induced neutrons in the surrounding materials. In this paper, we present theRicochetneutron background characterization using$$^3$$3He proportional counters which exhibit a high sensitivity to thermal, epithermal and fast neutrons. We compare these measurements to theRicochetGeant4 simulations to validate our reactogenic and cosmogenic neutron background estimations. Eventually, we present our estimated neutron background for the futureRicochetexperiment and the resulting CENNS detection significance. Our results show that depending on the effectiveness of the muon veto, we expect a total nuclear recoil background rate between 44 ± 3 and 9 ± 2 events/day/kg in the CENNS region of interest, i.e. between 50 eV and 1 keV. We therefore found that theRicochetexperiment should reach a statistical significance of 4.6 to 13.6 $$\sigma $$σfor the detection of CENNS after one reactor cycle, when only the limiting neutron background is considered.

    more » « less
  3. The UCNA experiment was designed to measure the neutron β-asymmetry parameter A 0 using polarized ultracold neutrons (UCN). UCN produced via downscattering in solid deuterium were polarized via transport through a 7 T magnetic field, and then directed to a 1 T solenoidal electron spectrometer, where the decay electrons were detected in electron detector packages located on the two ends of the spectrometer. A value for A 0 was then extracted from the asymmetry in the numbers of counts in the two detector packages. We summarize all of the results from the UCNA experiment, obtained during run periods in 2007, 2008–2009, 2010, and 2011–2013, which ultimately culminated in a 0.67% precision result for A 0 . 
    more » « less
  4. The precise value of the mean neutron lifetime, tau_n, plays an important role in nuclear and particle physics and cosmology. It is used to predict the ratio of protons to helium atoms in the primordial universe and to search for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. We eliminated loss mechanisms present in previous trap experiments by levitating polarized ultracold neutrons above the surface of an asymmetric storage trap using a repulsive magnetic field gradient so that the stored neutrons do not interact with material trap walls. As a result of this approach and the use of an in situ neutron detector, the lifetime reported here [877.7 +/- 0.7 (stat) +0.4/-0.2 (sys) seconds] does not require corrections larger than the quoted uncertainties. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Inertial navigation systems generally consist of timing, acceleration, and orientation measurement units. Although much progress has been made towards developing primary timing sources such as atomic clocks, acceleration and orientation measurement units often require calibration. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) gyroscopes, which rely on continuous measurement of the simultaneous Larmor precession of two co-located polarized noble gases, can be configured to have scale factors that depend to first order only on fundamental constants. The noble gases are polarized by spin-exchange collisions with co-located optically pumped alkali-metal atoms. The alkali-metal atoms are also used to detect the phase of precession of the polarized noble gas nuclei. Here we present a version of an NMR gyroscope designed to suppress systematic errors from the alkali-metal atoms. We demonstrate rotation rate angle random walk (ARW) sensitivity of 16μHz/Hz and bias instability of ∼800 nHz. 
    more » « less