Most prominently featured are the study of fundamental properties of the neutron, e.g. to search for a possible electric dipole moment of the neutron (nEDM) or to precisely determine the neutron lifetime.
The outcome of these experiments may have far-reaching consequences for the standard model of particle physics, new ideas going beyond that, and for big-bang nucleosynthesis.
The project aims firstly at optimizing the overall performance of the UCN source with respect to the intensity of ultracold neutrons - unpolarized and polarized - delivered to experiments based on a solid understanding of the source via detailed simulation of UCN production and the neutron flight path from production to detection. Corresponding measurements of the UCN source parameters (like total intensity or flux, energy spectrum) will on one side help in the development of the model but on the other side help to deliver optimized operation parameters which are crucial information for the operating staff and the experimentators.
Crucial understanding will also come from the measurement of UCN production in solid, liquid and gaseous D2.
Additionally, we will develop coating facilities which will allow us to provide high quality UCN guides to the source and to experiments. Efficiently guiding the UCN through the several meter thick biological shielding is very important, as on this path many UCN can be lost. A few hundreds nm thick coatings of various materials will be investigated to be applied on neutron guides or storage chamber walls. Most importnat for us at this time are nickel-molybdenum and diamond-like carbon based, non-magnet coatings.