Northwestern University

Fri 4:00 PM

Colloquium: Dr. Geoffrey Greene: The Neutron Lifetime “Problem”

When: Friday, November 9, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Technological Institute, L211, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Yassaman   847.491.7650

Group: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia

Category: Academic


Within a nucleus, the neutron may be unconditionally stable. However, when liberated from a nucleus, it is unstable and beta decays with a lifetime of approximately 10 minutes. Since neutron decay is the simplest example of nuclear beta decay, the value of the neutron lifetime is a parameter of considerable importance to a wide variety of physical systems. These range from astrophysics to particle physics to cosmology. Particularly noteworthy is role played by the neutron lifetime in the Big Bang where it sets the time scale for nucleosynthesis and thus determines the cosmic abundance distribution of light elements. Given the interest in the neutron lifetime, it is somewhat distressing to observe that the measurements of the neutron lifetime having the lowest quoted uncertainties are in substantial disagreement with one another. After a brief overview, I will discuss this “neutron lifetime problem,” outline the experimental landscape, and conclude with the prospects for future experiments.


Seminar Speaker: Dr. Geoffrey Greene, University of Tennessee

 Host: Velasco

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Seminar, Colloquium

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