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Published May 2017 | Published
Journal Article Open

A new method for measuring the neutron lifetime using an in situ neutron detector


In this paper, we describe a new method for measuring surviving neutrons in neutron lifetime measurements using bottled ultracold neutrons (UCN), which provides better characterization of systematic uncertainties and enables higher precision than previous measurement techniques. An active detector that can be lowered into the trap has been used to measure the neutron distribution as a function of height and measure the influence of marginally trapped UCN on the neutron lifetime measurement. In addition, measurements have demonstrated phase-space evolution and its effect on the lifetime measurement.

Additional Information

© 2017 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Received 14 October 2016; accepted 3 May 2017; published online 30 May 2017. This work was supported by the Los Alamos LDRD office, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation (Nos. 1307426 and 1553861), and DOE Low Energy Nuclear Physics (No. DE-FG02-97ER41042). The authors would like to thank the staff of LANSCE for their diligent efforts to develop the diagnostics and new techniques required to provide beam for this experiment. This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023