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Title: Measurement of the neutron lifetime using a magneto-gravitational trap and in situ detection

Here, the precise value of the mean neutron lifetime, τn, plays an important role in nuclear and particle physics and cosmology. It is used to predict the ratio of protons to helium atoms in the primordial universe and to search for physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. We eliminated loss mechanisms present in previous trap experiments by levitating polarized ultracold neutrons above the surface of an asymmetric storage trap using a repulsive magnetic field gradient so that the stored neutrons do not interact with material trap walls. As a result of this approach and the use of an in situ neutron detector, the lifetime reported here [877.7 ± 0.7 (stat) +0.4/–0.2 (sys) seconds] does not require corrections larger than the quoted uncertainties.
Authors:
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Triangle Univ. Nuclear and North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  5. Triangle Univ. Nuclear and North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  6. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
  7. West Point Military Academy, West Point, NY (United States)
  8. Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble (France)
  9. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  10. Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville, TN (United States)
  11. DePauw Univ., Greencastle, IN (United States)
  12. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
  13. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  14. Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow region (Russia)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-24449
Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; FG02-97ER41042; AC52-06NA25396; 20140568DR; 8215; 130692; 1307426; 161454; 1306997; 1553861
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 360; Journal Issue: 6389; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
AAAS
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; Atomic and Nuclear Physics
OSTI Identifier:
1437921
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1440434