A next-generation inverse-geometry spallation-driven ultracold neutron source

Drs. Albert Young & Kent Leung along with collaborators from the European Spallation Source (Lund, Sweden), Los Alamos National Lab, and Oak Ridge National Lab have published a paper describing their concept of how to produce a next-generation ultracold neutron source. Such a source can be used to dramatically improve ultracold neutron experiments or allow whole new type of experiments that address questions in nuclear and particle physics, cosmology, astrophysics and condensed matter physics.

The paper was featured as a Editor’s pick in the Journal of Applied Physics (https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5109879). A Scilight article that was published along with it can be found here: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/10.0000359

New EDM Apparatus Paper Published

Our paper “A New Cryogenic Apparatus to Search for the Neutron Electric Dipole Moment” was recently published in the Journal of Instrumentation, Vol. 14, P11017, 2019. It can be found here: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-0221/14/11/P11017

The apparatus is designed to produce an ultra-high density of ultra-cold neutrons (UNCs), which will be used to constrain the neutron’s electric dipole moment. The design will provide an ultimate statistical uncertainty for the EDM of 2−3× 10−28 e-cm, with anticipated systematic uncertainties below this level.


Ultra-Cold Neutron Updates

In spring we completed cryogenic tests outside biological shield at the PULSTAR reactor and started preparations for tests with neutrons. First test in the biological shield is scheduled for themiddle of October. We will check our radiation shielding and probe neutron fluxes at different locations.

We also successfully cooled down our new Electric Dipole Moment (EDM) cryostat with the dilution refrigerator for the first time. Our next cooldown will be this month, and will be the first time with a test SQUID magnetometer installed.
This summer undergraduate Rami Alshoroogi was performing design work and assembling UCN source parts for the PULSTAR ultra-cold neutron source. New graduate students Cole Teander, Matt Morano and Clark Hickman joined our group and completed research projects related to the neutron EDM.
We are also happy to welcome our new postdoc, Tom Rau, who did his PhD at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL.


Undergraduate Research Updates

Undergraduate Jose Colon Rivera was named a Ronald E. McNair Scholar for the upcoming year, supporting his undergraduate research experience and helping him prepare for admission to a doctoral program and PhD completion.

Undergraduate Zach Hainsel interned at ORNL this summer, performing scintillator R&D in collaboration with the Physics Division aimed at improving reactor neutrino measurements and next-generation searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay.

COHERENT recommended for NSF Major Research Instrumentation funding

The COHERENT Collaboration recently received recommended funding status for an MRI proposal entitled “MRI Consortium: Development of an Array of Germanium Detectors for COHERENT at the Spallation Neutron Source.”  This MRI award will support the construction of a new target for a measurement of Coherent Elastic Neutrino Scattering at the SNS.  Matthew Green is leading the working group designing and constructing the detector.