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Measurement of the neutron lifetime using a magneto-gravitational trap and in situ detection

Pattie, R. W., Jr. and Hickerson, K. P. (2018) Measurement of the neutron lifetime using a magneto-gravitational trap and in situ detection. Science, 360 (6389). pp. 627-632. ISSN 0036-8075. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180507-100740959

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Abstract

The precise value of the mean neutron lifetime, τ_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.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aan8895DOIArticle
https://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/science.aan8895/DC1PublisherSupplementary Materials
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Hickerson, K. P.0000-0001-7647-119X
Additional Information:© 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 2 June 2017; accepted 13 March 2018; Published online 6 May 2018. The authors thank the staff of LANSCE for their diligent efforts to develop the diagnostics and new techniques required to provide the proton beam for this experiment. Funding: This work was supported by the Los Alamos Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) office (no. 20140568DR), the LDRD Program of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle (no. 8215), the National Science Foundation (nos. 130692, 1307426, 161454, 1306997, and 1553861), NIST Precision Measurement Grant, IU Center for Space Time Symmetries (IUCSS), the LANSCE Rosen Scholarship program, and U.S. DOE Low Energy Nuclear Physics (nos. DE-FG02-97ER41042 and DE-AC05-00OR22725). Competing interests: None declared. Author contributions: Experiment design was performed by R.W.P., N.B.C., C.C.-W., E.R.A., S.M.C., W.F., P.G., K.P.H., A.T.H., A.K., C.-Y.L., M.M., C.L.M., J.R., D.J.S., A.S., S.J.S., E.I.S., S.K.S., J.V., P.L.W., and A.R.Y.; experiment construction was performed by R.W.P., N.B.C., C.C.-W., E.R.A., S.M.C., S.A.C., X.D., A.T.H., C.-Y.L., S.W.T.M., M.M., C.L.M., J.D.O., D.J.S., A.S., J.V., B.V., W.W., T.L.W., A.R.Y., and B.A.Z.; detector research and development was performed by R.W.P., C.C.-W., E.R.A., D.E.F., M.A.H., M.M., C.L.M., J.D.O., J.R., D.J.S., E.I.S., and Z.W.; data acquisition was performed by R.W.P., N.B.C., C.C.-W., E.R.A., L.J.B., S.M.C., E.B.D., E.M.E., D.E.F., P.G., K.P.H., A.T.H., A.K., C.-Y.L., M.M., C.L.M., J.D.O., D.J.S., A.S., S.J.S., S.K.S., Z.T., P.L.W., W.W., H.L.W., J.W.W., A.R.Y., and B.A.Z.; and data analysis was performed by R.W.P., N.B.C., C.C.-W., E.R.A., S.M.C., A.T.H., C.-Y.L., C.L.M., D.J.S., and S.J.S. Data and materials availability: The data shown in this paper are available as part of the supplementary materials. The raw data that underlie these results are curated at Los Alamos National Laboratory and are available upon request from the corresponding author.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Los Alamos National Laboratory20140568DR
Oak Ridge National Laboratory8215
NSFPHY-130692
NSFPHY-1307426
NSFPHY-161454
NSFPHY-1306997
NSFPHY-1553861
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)UNSPECIFIED
IU Center for Space Time SymmetriesUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-97ER41042
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC05-00OR22725
Issue or Number:6389
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180507-100740959
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180507-100740959
Official Citation:Measurement of the neutron lifetime using a magneto-gravitational trap and in situ detection. BY R. W. PATTIE JR., N. B. CALLAHAN, C. CUDE-WOODS, E. R. ADAMEK, L. J. BROUSSARD, S. M. CLAYTON, S. A. CURRIE, E. B. DEES, X. DING, E. M. ENGEL, D. E. FELLERS, W. FOX, P. GELTENBORT, K. P. HICKERSON, M. A. HOFFBAUER, A. T. HOLLEY, A. KOMIVES, C.-Y. LIU, S. W. T. MACDONALD, M. MAKELA, C. L. MORRIS, J. D. ORTIZ, J. RAMSEY, D. J. SALVAT, A. SAUNDERS, S. J. SEESTROM, E. I. SHARAPOV, S. K. SJUE, Z. TANG, J. VANDERWERP, B. VOGELAAR, P. L. WALSTROM, Z. WANG, W. WEI, H. L. WEAVER, J. W. WEXLER, T. L. WOMACK, A. R. YOUNG, B. A. ZECK. SCIENCE 11 MAY 2018: 627-632
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:86241
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 May 2018 17:25
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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