CP-Violating Physics via Nuclear Magnetic Quadrupole Moments in YbOH

Photo by P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF
Year Awarded

2019

Amount Awarded

$1,500,000

Program Area

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. The Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy at Caltech encourages high‐risk, high‐reward work by investing in exceptional experimental facilities and fostering a collaborative environment.

This grant supports the design, construction, and demonstration of the first experimental search for charge, parity(CP)-violating physics via a nuclear magnetic quadrupole moment.

The matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe remains one of the greatest mysteries in physics and cosmology. Models predict that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created in the Big Bang, and that whenever matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate each other, leaving nothing but energy behind. Why then is the Universe today made up almost entirely of matter?

Theories seeking to explain this asymmetry require fundamental interactions that violate CP symmetry by proceeding at different rates when the combined charge and parity of a system are exchanged. A nuclear magnetic quadrupole moment is a tiny magnetic field around the nucleus of a particle that can only occur if CP-symmetry violating physics exists.

Share This