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Measurement and Investigation of the Xenon-129 electric dipole moment

Summary:

The existence of electric dipole moments (EDMs) of atoms or the neutron is still an unresolved question which could indicate new physics beyond the standard model. EDMs could be a source of CP violation which is thought to be responsible for the different behavior of particles and antiparticles. That would explain the apparent matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe.

The precession of co-located 3He/129Xe nuclear spins can be used as ultra-sensitive probe for non-magnetic spin interactions of type Δω ~ dXeE, since the magnetic dipole interaction (Zeeman-term) drops out in the weighted frequency difference Δω of their Larmor frequencies [1]. The measurement principle is based on simultaneously recording the free spin precession of 3He and 129Xe with liquid-helium-cooled SQUIDs. The experiment is being set up inside our magnetically shielded room. The envisioned measurement procedure includes

1. preparation of the polarized gas mixture outside of MSR;
2. a polarization-preserving transfer of the gases into the EDM cell;
3. an adiabatic spin rotation by rotating the field from transverse to vertical;
4. starting spin precession by non-adiabatic switching from vertical to transverse;
5. a long-term measurement of spin precession using LTc SQUID gradiometers.

Reference:

F. Allmendinger, I. Engin, W. Heil, S. Karpuk, H.-J. Krause, B. Niederländer, A. Offenhäusser, M. Repetto, U. Schmidt, S. Zimmer, Measurement of the Permanent Electric Dipole Moment of the 129Xe Atom, Phys. Rev. A 100, 022505 (2019).

Partner: University of Mainz, University of Heidelberg, University of Groningen

Principal investigators: Prof. Werner Heil (Universität Mainz), Prof. Ulrich Schmidt (Universität Heidelberg)

Further information: project website

Status: active


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