Sep 24, 2020

Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

Posted by in category: particle physics


Through a one-of-a-kind experiment at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have precisely measured the weak interaction between protons and neutrons. The result quantifies the weak force theory as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

The team’s weak observation, detailed in Physical Review Letters, was measured through a precision experiment called n3He, or n-helium-3, that ran at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source, or SNS. Their finding yielded the smallest uncertainty of any comparable weak force measurement in the nucleus of an atom to date, which establishes an important benchmark.

The Standard Model describes the basic building blocks of matter in the universe and fundamental forces acting between them. Calculating and measuring the weak force between protons and neutrons is an extremely difficult task.

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