NPA Seminar: Michael P. Mendenhall, NIST - “Measuring the electron-neutrino angular correlation in neutron beta decay with the aCORN spectrometer”

Event time: 
Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 3:45pm
Wright Lab, EAL 108 Conference Room (EAL108) See map
268 Whitney Avenue
New Haven 06520
(Location is wheelchair accessible)
Event description: 

The aCORN experiment measures the angular correlation between electrons and neutrinos in neutron beta decay. How do we do this, and why? From the discovery of neutrinos to parity violation to quark mixing, observations of nuclear beta decays have a long history of revolutionizing our understanding of how the universe works. This talk includes an overview of how beta decay measurements inform our present standard model of particle physics, and provide opportunity for discoveries beyond the standard model. In particular, decays of the simplest unstable nucleus ‐‐‐ the neutron ‐‐‐ provide a unique experimental window into the weak interaction. I will then describe how the aCORN apparatus works as a “virtual neutrino detector” to characterize angular correlations in neutron decay.