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Physics Seminar: The search for the neutron’s permanent electric dipole moment at the Spallation Neutron Source

March 15, 2023, 11:50 am - 1:00 pm
Location Richardson Hall - 256
SponsorPhysics Club, Physics & AstronomyPosted InCollege of Science and Mathematics
Alina Aleksandrova

Title: The search for the neutron’s permanent electric dipole moment at the Spallation Neutron Source

Speaker: Dr. Alina Aleksandrova (Caltech)
Dr. Aleksandrova received her PhD in physics from the University of Kentucky. She is currently a postdoc at Caltech. Her interests lie in tests of fundamental symmetries, specifically in the use of ultracold neutrons as probes of physics beyond the Standard Model.

Date/Time: Wednesday, March 15th, 11:50am

Location: Richardson Hall 256

One of the most puzzling questions that physicists are trying to answer is: Why is there matter in the Universe? Whenever matter is created in a laboratory, it is created in a matter/antimatter particle pair and these particle pairs tend to combine and annihilate, forming a burst of energy. This informs us that matter and antimatter should have been created in equal amounts during the Big Bang. If this is the case, why didn't all of the particles annihilate to form a Universe full of radiation gas? Why is the Universe full of matter instead?

Many scientific theories have been put forth to explain this preponderance of matter. These theories also predict that the neutron has an electric dipole moment (nEDM). An nEDM is an observable that can be measured and could help in the search for an answer to our question. This talk will present and explain how the scientists of the nEDM@SNS experiment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) look for the nEDM using a novel technique and cutting-edge technology. It will also highlight the design and testing of the cryogenic magnet system of the nEDM@SNS experiment.