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New Search for the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment Using Ultracold Neutrons at the Spallation Neutron Source


Schmid, Riccardo (2014) New Search for the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment Using Ultracold Neutrons at the Spallation Neutron Source. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9K35RMK.


This document introduces the planned new search for the neutron Electric Dipole Moment at the Spallation Neutron Source at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A spin precession measurement is to be carried out using Ultracold neutrons diluted in a superfluid Helium bath at T = 0.5 K, where spin polarized 3He atoms act as detector of the neutron spin polarization. This manuscript describes some of the key aspects of the planned experiment with the contributions from Caltech to the development of the project.

Techniques used in the design of magnet coils for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance were adapted to the geometry of the experiment. Described is an initial design approach using a pair of coils tuned to shield outer conductive elements from resistive heat loads, while inducing an oscillating field in the measurement volume. A small prototype was constructed to test the model of the field at room temperature.

A large scale test of the high voltage system was carried out in a collaborative effort at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The application and amplification of high voltage to polished steel electrodes immersed in a superfluid Helium bath was studied, as well as the electrical breakdown properties of the electrodes at low temperatures. A suite of Monte Carlo simulation software tools to model the interaction of neutrons, 3He atoms, and their spins with the experimental magnetic and electric fields was developed and implemented to further the study of expected systematic effects of the measurement, with particular focus on the false Electric Dipole Moment induced by a Geometric Phase akin to Berry’s phase.

An analysis framework was developed and implemented using unbinned likelihood to fit the time modulated signal expected from the measurement data. A collaborative Monte Carlo data set was used to test the analysis methods.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics; Ultracold Neutrons; Electric Dipole Moment
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Filippone, Bradley W.
Thesis Committee:
  • Filippone, Bradley W. (chair)
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
  • Wise, Mark B.
  • Porter, Frank C.
Defense Date:24 October 2013
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06062014-141539125
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8495
Deposited By: Riccardo Schmid
Deposited On:19 May 2016 21:12
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 18:30

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