A Caltech Library Service

Magnetic Trapping of Atomic Tritium for Neutrino Mass Measurement


Clark, Benjamin Mathias (2014) Magnetic Trapping of Atomic Tritium for Neutrino Mass Measurement. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/N1FG-5H27.


Improved measurement of the neutrino mass via β decay spectroscopy requires the development of new energy measurement techniques and a new β decay source. A promising proposal is to measure the β energy by the frequency of the cyclotron radiation emitted in a magnetic field and to use a high purity atomic tritium source. This thesis examines the feasibility of using a magnetic trap to create and maintain such a source. We demonstrate that the loss rate due to β decay heating is not a limiting factor for the design. We also calculate the loss rate due to evaporative cooling and propose that the tritium can be cooled sufficiently during trap loading as to render this negligible. We further demonstrate a design for the magnetic field which produces a highly uniform field over a large fraction of the trap volume as needed for cyclotron frequency spectroscopy while still providing effective trapping.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:atomic tritium neutrino mass beta spectrometry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Patterson, Ryan B.
Thesis Committee:
  • Stone, Edward C. (chair)
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
  • Filippone, Bradley W.
  • Frautschi, Steven C.
  • Tombrello, Thomas A.
  • Politzer, Hugh David
  • Adhikari, Rana
  • Patterson, Ryan B.
Defense Date:23 May 2014
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07252014-082021105
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8605
Deposited By: Ryan Patterson
Deposited On:25 Jul 2014 17:39
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:06

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page