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Precision Physics with Muons and Ultracold Neutrons

Applicant Kirch Klaus
Number 172639
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Teilchen- und Astrophysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Particle Physics
Start/End 01.05.2017 - 30.04.2021
Approved amount 1'541'153.00
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Keywords (6)

electric dipole moment; slow muons; ultracold neutrons; precision particle physics; phase space compression; muon spin rotation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Präzisionsteilchenphysik mit Myonen und Ultrakalten NeutronenUnsere ETH-Gruppe entwickelt und betreibt Experimente der Präzisionsteilchenphysik am Hochintensitätsprotonenbeschleuniger HIPA am PSI. Das Projekt enthält zwei Unterprojekte, beide mit dem Ansatz, möglichst langsame Teilchen im Experiment zur Verfügung zu stellen, um fundamentale Symmetrien zu testen oder Teilcheneigenschaften zu messen. Das eine Unterprojekt betrifft wesentliche Beiträge zu einer deutlich verbesserten Messung des elektrischen Dipolmoments des Neutrons, das andere entwickelt einen neuartigen, hochbrillianten Strahl langsamer, positver Myonen für vielfältige Experimente der Teilchen- und der Festkörperphysik.
Lay summary

Ein von Null verschiedenes elektrisches Dipolmoment des Neutrons (nEDM) hätte weitreichende Implikationen. Es würde die Invarianz der Physik gegenüber Zeitumkehr verletzen und damit unter sehr allgemeinen Annahmen auch die Symmetrie zwischen Materie und Antimaterie, sogenannte CP-Verletzung. Diese Verletzung ist wichtig, um theoretische Erklärungen dafür anbieten zu können, wieso das Universum heute grosse Mengen an Materie enthält, aber offenbar kaum Antimaterie. Wir arbeiten an der Analyse des bislang besten Experiments zur Messung des nEDM und bauen gemeinsam mit internationalen Partnern am Nachfolgeexperiment n2EDM an der weltweit intensivsten Quelle für ultrakalte Neutronen am PSI. Besondere Aspekte unserer Arbeit betreffen die Datenaufnahme, die Magnetfeldabschirmung, Datenauswertungen und insbesondere dabei auch die Suche nach unbekannten Effekten, die durch Teilchen der sogenannten Dunklen Materie hervorgerufen werden könnten. Die Entdeckung eines nEDM oder von Effekten Dunkler Materie würden das heutige Bild der Teilchenphysik prägend ändern.

Viele Experimente der fundamentalen Myonenphysik würden von einer stark verbesserten Strahlqualität profitieren. Gegenüber normalen Myonenstrahlen verspricht unser Strahlkonzept eine zehnmilliardenfache Verbesserung des Phasenraumes bei einem Intensitätverlust von nur einem Faktor tausend. Wir arbeiten am Nachweis der Machbarkeit unseres Strahlkonzepts und möchten in diesem Projekt alle möglichen Probleme lösen, so dass ein solcher Strahl gebaut warden kann. Die möglichen Anwendungen sind weitreichend von Experimenten der Teilchenphysik, wie zum Beispiel einer Messung des elektrischen Dipolmoments des Myons, über Spektroskopie von Atomen aus positiven Myonen und Elektronen bis zu Anwendungen der Festkörperphysik mit sogenannter Myonenspinrotation, wo die Myonen sehr empfindlich magnetische Felder an Oberflächen oder in Proben messen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.04.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Data blinding for the nEDM experiment at PSI
Ayres N. J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chanel E., Chiu P.-J., Crawford C. B., Daum M., Emmenegger S., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Flaux P., Grujić Z., Harris P. G., Hild N., Hommet J., Kasprzak M., Kermaïdic Y., Kirch K., Komposch S., Kozela A., Krempel J., Lauss B., Lefort T., et al. (2021), Data blinding for the nEDM experiment at PSI, in The European Physical Journal A, 57(4), 152-152.
A search for neutron to mirror-neutron oscillations using the nEDM apparatus at PSI
Abel C., Ayres N.J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chanel E., Chiu P.-J., Crawford C., Daum M., Dinani R.T., Emmenegger S., Flaux P., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Griffith W.C., Grujić Z.D., Hild N., Kirch K., Koch H.-C., Koss P.A., Kozela A., Krempel J., Lauss B., Lefort T., et al. (2021), A search for neutron to mirror-neutron oscillations using the nEDM apparatus at PSI, in Physics Letters B, 812, 135993-135993.
Demonstration of Muon-Beam Transverse Phase-Space Compression
Antognini A., Ayres N. J., Belosevic I., Bondar V., Eggenberger A., Hildebrandt M., Iwai R., Kaplan D. M., Khaw K. S., Kirch K., Knecht A., Papa A., Petitjean C., Phillips T. J., Piegsa F. M., Ritjoho N., Stoykov A., Taqqu D., Wichmann G. (2020), Demonstration of Muon-Beam Transverse Phase-Space Compression, in Physical Review Letters, 125(16), 164802-164802.
Development of next generation muon beams at the Paul Scherrer Institute
Iwai Ryoto, Antognini Aldo, Ayres Nicholas, Bao Yu, Belosevic Ivana, Bondar Vira, Eggenberger Andreas, Hildebrandt Malte, Kaplan Daniel M., Kettle Peter R., KIRCH KLAUS, Knecht Andreas, Nuber Jonas, Papa Angela, Petitjean Claude, Phillips Thomas J., Piegsa Florian M., Ritt Stefan, Stoykov Alexey, Taqqu David, Wichmann Gunther (2020), Development of next generation muon beams at the Paul Scherrer Institute, SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies, Proceedings of Science, Trieste.
Optically pumped Cs magnetometers enabling a high-sensitivity search for the neutron electric dipole moment
Abel C., Afach S., Ayres N. J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chanel E., Chiu P.-J., Crawford C. B., Chowdhuri Z., Daum M., Emmenegger S., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Fertl M., Franke B., Griffith W. C., Grujić Z. D., Hayen L., Hélaine V., Hild N., Kasprzak M., Kermaidic Y., Kirch K., et al. (2020), Optically pumped Cs magnetometers enabling a high-sensitivity search for the neutron electric dipole moment, in Physical Review A, 101(5), 053419-053419.
Search for electric dipole moments
Kirch Klaus, Schmidt-Wellenburg Philipp (2020), Search for electric dipole moments, in EPJ Web of Conferences, 234, 01007-01007.
Measurement of the Permanent Electric Dipole Moment of the Neutron
AbelC et al. (2020), Measurement of the Permanent Electric Dipole Moment of the Neutron, in Physical Review Letters, 124, 081803.
Neutron optics of the PSI ultracold-neutron source: characterization and simulation
Bison G., Blau B., Daum M., Göltl L., Henneck R., Kirch K., Lauss B., Ries D., Schmidt-Wellenburg P., Zsigmond G. (2020), Neutron optics of the PSI ultracold-neutron source: characterization and simulation, in The European Physical Journal A, 56(2), 33-33.
Physics beyond colliders at CERN: beyond the Standard Model working group report
Beacham J, Burrage C, Curtin D, De Roeck A, Evans J, Feng J L, Gatto C, Gninenko S, Hartin A, Irastorza I, Jaeckel J, Jungmann K, Kirch K, Kling F, Knapen S, Lamont M, Lanfranchi G, Lazzeroni C, Lindner A, Martinez-Vidal F, Moulson M, Neri N, Papucci M, Pedraza I, et al. (2020), Physics beyond colliders at CERN: beyond the Standard Model working group report, in Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, 47(1), 010501-010501.
muCool: a novel low-energy muon beam for future precision experiments
Belosevic Ivana, Antognini Aldo, Bao Yu, Eggenberger Andreas, Hildebrandt Malte, Iwai Ryoto, Kaplan Daniel M., Khaw Kim Siang, Kirch Klaus, Knecht Andreas, Papa Angela, Petitjean Claude, Phillips Thomas J., Piegsa Florian M., Ritjoho Narongrit, Stoykov Alexey, Taqqu David, Wichmann Gunther (2019), muCool: a novel low-energy muon beam for future precision experiments, in Hyperfine Interactions, 240(1), 41-41, SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, CHAM, CH-6330, SWITZERLAND 240(1), 41-41.
nEDM experiment at PSI: Data-taking strategy and sensitivity of the dataset
Abel C., Ayres N.J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chanel E., Chiu P.-J., Daum M., Emmenegger S., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Flaux P., Griffith W.C., Harris P.G., Hild N., Kermaidic Y., Kirch K., Koss P.A., Krempel J., Lauss B., Lefort T., Lemiere Y., Leredde A., Mohanmurthy P., et al. (2019), nEDM experiment at PSI: Data-taking strategy and sensitivity of the dataset, in EPJ Web of Conferences, 219, 02001-02001.
Statistical sensitivity of the nEDM apparatus at PSI to n − n ′ oscillations
Abel C., Ayres N.J., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chiu P.-J., Daum M., Emmenegger S., Flaux P., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Griffith W.C., Grujić Z.D., Hild N., Kirch K., Koss P.A., Kozela A., Krempel J., Lauss B., Lefort T., Leredde A., Mohanmurthy P., Naviliat-Cuncic O., Pais D., Piegsa F.M., et al. (2019), Statistical sensitivity of the nEDM apparatus at PSI to n − n ′ oscillations, in EPJ Web of Conferences, 219, 07001-07001.
The n2EDM experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute
Abel C., Ayres N. J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Chanel E., Chiu P.-J., Clement B., Crawford C., Daum M., Emmenegger S., Flaux P., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Griffith W.C., Grujić Z.D., Harris P.G., Heil W., Hild N., Kirch K., Koss P.A., Kozela A., Krempel J., Lauss B., et al. (2019), The n2EDM experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute, in EPJ Web of Conferences, 219, 02002-02002.
Characterization of Cryogenic SiPM Down to 6.5 K
Iwai Ryoto, Sakurai Mikio, Antognini Aldo, Belosevic Ivana, Hildebrandt Malte, Kirch Klaus, Knecht Andreas, Papa Angela, Stoykov Alexey (2019), Characterization of Cryogenic SiPM Down to 6.5 K, The Physical Society of Japan, JPS conference proceedings, Japan.
PicoTesla absolute field readings with a hybrid 3He/87Rb magnetometer
Abel Christopher, Bison Georg, Griffith W. Clark, Heil Werner, Kirch Klaus, Koch Hans-Christian, Lauss Bernhard, Mtchedlishvili Alexander, Pototschnig Martin, Schmidt-Wellenburg Philipp, Schnabel Allard, Pais Duarte, Voigt Jens (2019), PicoTesla absolute field readings with a hybrid 3He/87Rb magnetometer, in The European Physical Journal D, 73(7), 150-150.
muCool: a next step towards efficient muon beam compression
Belosevic I., Antognini A., Bao Y., Eggenberger A., Hildebrandt M., Iwai R., Kaplan D. M., Khaw K. S., Kirch K., Knecht A., Papa A., Petitjean C., Phillips T. J., Piegsa F. M., Ritjoho N., Stoykov A., Taqqu D., Wichmann G. (2019), muCool: a next step towards efficient muon beam compression, in The European Physical Journal C, 79(5), 430-430.
Magnetic-field uniformity in neutron electric-dipole-moment experiments
Abel C., Ayres N. J., Baker T., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Crawford C. B., Chiu P.-J., Chanel E., Chowdhuri Z., Daum M., Dechenaux B., Emmenegger S., Ferraris-Bouchez L., Flaux P., Geltenbort P., Green K., Griffith W. C., van der Grinten M., Harris P. G., Henneck R., Hild N., Iaydjiev P., et al. (2019), Magnetic-field uniformity in neutron electric-dipole-moment experiments, in Physical Review A, 99(4), 042112-042112.
Symmetries and fundamental interactions: Precision experiments at low energies
Kirch K. (2018), Symmetries and fundamental interactions: Precision experiments at low energies, in The European Physical Journal Plus, 133(10), 414-414.
Solid deuterium surface degradation at ultracold neutron sources
Anghel A., Bailey T. L., Bison G., Blau B., Broussard L. J., Clayton S. M., Cude-Woods C., Daum M., Hawari A., Hild N., Huffman P., Ito T. M., Kirch K., Korobkina E., Lauss B., Leung K., Lutz E. M., Makela M., Medlin G., Morris C. L., Pattie R. W., Ries D., Saunders A., Schmidt-Wellenburg P., et al. (2018), Solid deuterium surface degradation at ultracold neutron sources, in The European Physical Journal A, 54(9), 148-148.
A simple method of coil design
Rawlik M., Eggenberger A., Krempel J., Crawford C., Kirch K., Piegsa F. M., Quéméner G. (2018), A simple method of coil design, in American Journal of Physics, 86(8), 602-608.
Demonstration of sensitivity increase in mercury free-spin-precession magnetometers due to laser-based readout for neutron electric dipole moment searches
Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Daum M., Fertl M., Franke B., Grujić Z.D., Heil W., Horras M., Kasprzak M., Kermaidic Y., Kirch K., Koch H.-C., Komposch S., Kozela A., Krempel J., Lauss B., Lefort T., Mtchedlishvili A., Pignol G., Piegsa F.M., Prashanth P., Quéméner G., Rawlik M., et al. (2018), Demonstration of sensitivity increase in mercury free-spin-precession magnetometers due to laser-based readout for neutron electric dipole moment searches, in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detector, 896, 129-138.
Studying Antimatter Gravity with Muonium
Antognini Aldo, Kaplan Daniel, Kirch Klaus, Knecht Andreas, Mancini Derrick, Phillips James, Phillips Thomas, Reasenberg Robert, Roberts Thomas, Soter Anna (2018), Studying Antimatter Gravity with Muonium, in Atoms, 6(2), 17-17.
Search for Axionlike Dark Matter through Nuclear Spin Precession in Electric and Magnetic Fields
Abel C., Ayres N. J., Ban G., Bison G., Bodek K., Bondar V., Daum M., Fairbairn M., Flambaum V. V., Geltenbort P., Green K., Griffith W. C., van der Grinten M., Grujić Z. D., Harris P. G., Hild N., Iaydjiev P., Ivanov S. N., Kasprzak M., Kermaidic Y., Kirch K., Koch H.-C., Komposch S., Koss P. A., et al. (2017), Search for Axionlike Dark Matter through Nuclear Spin Precession in Electric and Magnetic Fields, in Physical Review X, 7(4), 041034-041034.
High-power closed-cycle 4He cryostat with top-loading sample exchange
Piegsa F.M., van den Brandt B., Kirch K. (2017), High-power closed-cycle 4He cryostat with top-loading sample exchange, in Cryogenics, 87, 24-28.
Losses and depolarization of ultracold neutrons on neutron guide and storage materials
Bondar V., Chesnevskaya S., Daum M., Franke B., Geltenbort P., Göltl L., Gutsmiedl E., Karch J., Kasprzak M., Kessler G., Kirch K., Koch H.-C., Kraft A., Lauer T., Lauss B., Pierre E., Pignol G., Reggiani D., Schmidt-Wellenburg P., Sobolev Yu., Zechlau T., Zsigmond G. (2017), Losses and depolarization of ultracold neutrons on neutron guide and storage materials, in Physical Review C, 96(3), 035205-035205.
Comparison of ultracold neutron sources for fundamental physics measurements
Bison G., Daum M., Kirch K., Lauss B., Ries D., Schmidt-Wellenburg P., Zsigmond G., Brenner T., Geltenbort P., Jenke T., Zimmer O., Beck M., Heil W., Kahlenberg J., Karch J., Ross K., Eberhardt K., Geppert C., Karpuk S., Reich T., Siemensen C., Sobolev Y., Trautmann N. (2017), Comparison of ultracold neutron sources for fundamental physics measurements, in Physical Review C, 95(4), 045503-045503.
Statistical uncertainty in quantitative neutron radiography
Piegsa Florian M., Kaestner Anders, Antognini Aldo, Eggenberger Andreas, Kirch Klaus, Wichmann Gunther (2017), Statistical uncertainty in quantitative neutron radiography, in The European Physical Journal Applied Physics, 78(1), 10702-10702.
Active compensation of magnetic field distortions based on vector spherical harmonics field description
Wyszyński G., Bodek K., Afach S., Bison G., Chowdhuri Z., Daum M., Franke B., Komposch S., Lauss B., Ries D., Zsigmond G., Perkowski M., Rozpedzik D., Zejma J., Fertl M., Koss P. A., Severijns N., Wursten E., Kirch K., Kozela A., Quéméner G., Schnabel A. (2017), Active compensation of magnetic field distortions based on vector spherical harmonics field description, in AIP Advances, 7(3), 035216-035216.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
International nEDM collaboration at PSI (www.psi.ch/en/nedm/collaborating-institutions) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
nEDM 2017 Talk given at a conference several 15.10.2017 Harrison Hot Springs, Canada Rawlik Michal Mateusz; Emmenegger Solange Francine; Ayres Nicholas;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Magnetically shielded from the rest of the world PSI media release German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2021
Talks/events/exhibitions Mit kosmischen Teilchen den Geheimnissen des Universums auf der Spur German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Muon rakers bring particles into line PSI Scientific Highlight Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International 2021
Talks/events/exhibitions Materie-Antimaterie-Asymmetrie des Universums German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Tracking down the mystery of matter ETH News, PSI media release German-speaking Switzerland International 2020
Media relations: print media, online media A null result full of insights ETH news and events International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media A Touch of Magnetism SCNAT press release International Italian-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Awards

Title Year
PSI Thesis Medal 2020 2021
CHIPP prize for best PhD student in Swiss particle physics 2019

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
177008 Field Generation and Control System for the n2EDM spectrometer 01.12.2017 R'EQUIP
157079 Search for the neutron EDM at the high intensity ultracold neutron source at PSI with an upgraded high sensitivity spectrometer - Follow-up application II. 01.10.2014 Project funding
186179 n2EDM: The next measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment 01.04.2019 FLARE
163413 Improving ultracold neutron intensities for frontier precision experiments in fundamental physics 01.11.2015 Project funding
201473 n2EDM: The next measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment (II) 01.04.2021 FLARE
200441 Precision Physics with Muons and Ultracold Neutrons II 01.05.2021 Project funding
188700 A new search for an electric dipole moment of the neutron with increased sensitivity and an improved UCN source. 01.09.2020 Project funding
162574 Measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment 01.11.2015 Project funding
162574 Measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment 01.11.2015 Project funding
140421 Optical magnetometry for a new neutron EDM experiment 01.04.2012 Project funding
139140 Passive magnetic shield for the new neutron electric dipole moment experiment n2EDM 01.01.2013 R'EQUIP
159754 Development of a new very bright beam of positive muons, novel muonium production methods and first steps towards a new muonium spectroscopy experiment 01.05.2015 Project funding

Abstract

With this grant application I propose to pursue research in the domain ofhigh-intensity and precision particle physics. The research is being carried outin our laboratory at the ETH Zurich and in beam times at the muon and ultracoldneutron (UCN) beams at the High Intensity Proton Accelerator HIPA at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). HIPA is a world leading user facility for high intensity pion, muon and neutron beams. In particular, for precision particle physics experiments using these lightest unstable particles of their kind, unique opportunities exist to conduct some of the most stringent tests of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, to measure parameters of the theory to high precision and accuracy and to search for physics beyond the SM. The project grant with its two subprojects applied for here will exploit some unique opportunitieswhich are in a major way driven by my group at the ETH Zurich: One is an improved measurement of theelectric dipole moment of the neutron (nEDM) using the high intensity source of UCN within the international nEDM collaboration at PSI. The other one is, within the muCool collaboration, the proof of principle of a novel method to produce a high brilliance beam of slow positive muons with the promise to outperform all existing and planned such beams by orders of magnitudein phase space quality while providing top of the line intensities. These two subprojects follow the same logic, namely to generate or use the lowest energy particles available to carry out crucial tests of the SM and to search for physics beyond it. The nEDM collaboration at PSI is running the world-leading experiment and presently data taking. The ETH group is contributing in a major way to its operation, to the data acquisition and to the data analysis. The analysis targets the value of the EDM itself and, in addition, after an initial search for axion-like particles (ALPs), we are pioneering a completely new search for ultra-light ALPs which could be the dark matter or part of it. With the present grant request we will finalize nEDM analyses and contribute to the construction, commissioning and operation (2017-21) of the successor experiment n2EDM which will boost the intrinsic sensitivity to the neutron EDM by a factor of about 5 and will therefore need a considerably improved control of systematic effects. We will push our ALPs search and apply the very sensitive tests of time series developed for it, to the study of various systematics. We are strongly engaged in the present nEDM compensation coil system, in prototyping at ETH and designing the compensation coil system for n2EDM to counteract external magnetic field disturbances. We aim at transferring our methods also to the design and construction of its most important inner magnetic field coil system. With the final results of nEDM and the first result from n2EDM, this subproject will deliver the next two major steps forward in sensitivity in the search for the electric dipole moment of the neutron.Our collaboration has pioneered several side analyses with measurements of magnetic moments and searches for exotic physics, and more fundamentally new results will be obtained. This subproject will also deliver ground breaking work on systematic effects and techniques relevant to the field of neutron EDM searches with interest to various competing efforts around the world. The muCool collaboration is developing a most brilliant beam of slow muons, with our ETH group being the major driver. If successful, we could pursue highly complementary experiments to the nEDM search with muons, e.g. search for a muon EDM. We could also perform precision spectroscopy of muonium and even measure the gravitational fall of this second generation, antimatter dominated system. The novel muCool concept for phase space compression of a positive muon beam relies on the combination of three crucial steps, two of which we have separately demonstrated by now. Within the present project, we aim at completing the theoretical understanding and simulation of all involved low energy muon scattering processes, demonstrating the third step and finally the combination of all steps in the full scheme.The goal is to complete a full proof-of-principle experiment and to deliver the design of an optimal setup. This could be built after this grant period and would boost many fundamental physics measurements with muons and muonium. On top of that, this beam would present itself as a major breakthrough also for muon spin rotation (muSR) spectroscopy of very small samples and allow for scanning larger samples. To that end our subproject here will already demonstrate the polarization of the positive slow muonsand therefore their suitability for fundamental muon spin and muSR experiments.
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