DOE Awards Spinlab Early Career Research Funding


Towards a Next Generation Search for Time-Reversal Violation Using Optically Addressable Nuclei in Cryogenic Solids

Certain rare pear-shaped nuclei have unmatched sensitivity to new kinds of forces between subatomic particles that are not the same when the arrow of time is reversed. Such forces are believed to be responsible for the near absence of antimatter in the observable Universe. These rare isotopes, some for the first time, will be produced in large numbers at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams currently under construction at Michigan State University providing an unprecedented opportunity to probe for new physics. In anticipation, we will use abundant isotopes to develop new techniques to manipulate nuclei embedded inside an optically transparent solid at cryogenic temperatures. Implantation into a solid, such as neon and argon, is potentially an effective way to both efficiently capture and repeatedly probe the small number of rare nuclei, such as radium and protactinium. An optically transparent host medium at cryogenic temperatures would allow for the laser manipulation of the nuclei in a thermally quiet and stable environment for a wide variety of guest species such as polar molecules. In such systems, the nuclei are exposed to extraordinarily large electric fields and magnetic field gradients, which significantly amplifies the measurability of certain time-reversal violating effects. The potential sensitivity of this new approach could be at least a few hundred times greater than the current leading experiment which uses mercury atoms. -JTS