PSD Mixer this Friday, June 28th!

Science Division Shared Account sciencediv at
Tue Jun 25 14:15:11 PDT 2019

Hello, PSD Member!

Please join us this coming Friday, June 28th, for the June PSD Mixer! It will take place in the Auditorium at 2:30pm.

This month's agenda is as follows:

  *   Jens Dilling - Division Updates (15 minutes);
  *   Q&A with Jens (10 minutes);
  *   David McKeen - "The Mystery of the Disappearing Neutrons." Abstract below (15-20 minutes);
  *   Discussion period w/ PIZZA!

Hope to see you there!

for the Mixer Committee

"The Mystery of the Disappearing Neutrons"

Neutrons, along with protons, are what make up nuclei comprising all the matter that we see around us. However, if you pull a neutron outside of a nucleus it will decay with a half life of about 10 minutes. Studying how neutrons decay tells us about the weak nuclear force and is an important input into our understanding of how the sun and other stars shine, the formation of light elements in the early Universe, and the structure of the standard model of particle physics itself. Roughly speaking, there are two ways to measure how long a neutron lives: the "bottle" and "beam" methods. Strangely, these two techniques result in different values for the lifetime of a neutron which could be the sign of neutrons decaying to something we can't see, such as dark matter. This would have deep implications for neutron stars, city-sized objects made up of about a Sun's worth of neutrons. I'll describe theories that can explain the difference in neutron lifetime measurements and how the existence of heavy neutron stars and other observational tests can rule them out. I will then mention a simple extension of these theories that can evade these constraints and how we might test that possibility.

Allayne McGowan
Administrative Assistant - Physical Sciences Division
t   604-222-7438
amcgowan at<mailto:amcgowan at>
sciencediv at<mailto:sciencediv at>

TRIUMF Canada's particle accelerator centre<> @TRIUMFLab

4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 2A3

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