Physics Seminar: Polarizability of the Neutron: What is it and how do we measure it?
Title: Polarizability of the Neutron: What is it and how do we measure it?
Speaker: Prof. Gerald Feldman (George Washington University)
Date/time: Wednesday, March 16th, 2022 at 10:45am.
Location: Richardson Hall 256
All matter is composed of atoms, and all atoms are composed of protons and neutrons (and electrons). While the electron is a true point particle, we know that protons and neutrons are composite particles which have an internal structure. Any composite object containing charges can be polarized, and the degree to which it can be polarized (i.e. polarizability) can tell us something about its internal structure. Even though we have known about the existence of protons and neutrons for almost a century, it turns out that the polarizability of these fundamental particles is not so well determined. In this talk, we will discuss the concept of polarizability in general, and then relate it specifically to the case of the neutron. Finally, we will describe how we measure the polarizability in nuclear physics experiments using photon scattering and explain where we stand today in terms of the best experimental values that have been obtained.