High Energy Physics Seminars

ics Joint Nuclear/High Energy Seminar
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Robert Michaels [Host: Donal Day]
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, USA
"208Pb Radius Experiment -- PREX"
The difference between the neutron radius Rn of a heavy nucleus and the proton radius Rp is believed to be several percent. This neutron skin has proven to be elusive to pin down experimentally in a rigorous fashion. The proposed Lead Radius Experiment PREX will measure the parity-violating electroweak asymmetry in the elastic scattering of polarized electrons from 208Pb at an energy of 850 MeV and a scattering angle of 6 degrees. Since the Z0 boson couples mainly to neutrons, this asymmetry provides a clean measurement of Rn with a projected experimental precision of ±1%. In addition to being a fundamental test of nuclear theory, a precise measurement of Rn pins down the density dependence of the symmetry energy of neutron rich nuclear matter which has impacts on neutron star structure and atomic parity violation experiments.

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