CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Fundamental physics experiments with ultracold neutrons (UCN) are limited by neutron counting statistics. New developments to increase UCN intensities would push the limits of our knowledge further, e.g. on the not-yet understood asymmetry observed between matter and antimatter in our Universe, on the production of light elements after the Big Bang, and on important parameters of the Standard Model of particle physics.
The strategy for the next generation n2EDM experiment based at PSI in Switzerland is to increase UCN statistics by a larger precession chamber volume, and by enhancing the PSI UCN source output several factors due to an improved control of the material structure of the solid deuterium (sD2) converter.
The Laboratory of Particle Physics (LTP) at the Paul Scherrer Institute pursues fundamental research, addressing the most up to date questions in modern physics. Together with researchers from Switzerland and abroad, we use the world’s most intensive sources for low-energy muons, pions and ultracold neutrons at PSI.
The main strategy in this PhD work is exploiting material structure information from the UCN energy spectra extracted from the sD2 converter, including the time evolution of the sD2 at around 5 K, and implementing this into neutron scattering kernels for the simulation of the UCN output matching all experimental observations. The expected result of this project is improving the modeling capabilities of converter materials to enhance the PSI UCN source output especially for the n2EDM project, and the output of UCN sources in general for fundamental physics experiments. A novel neutronics simulation model linking consistently all neutron observations from the sD2 converter operation and dedicated test experiments would help in our optimization strategy to increase the UCN output.
We offer a 48 months position for a PhD student with starting date 1 September 2018. The academic supervisor will be Prof. Klaus Kirch from ETHZ/PSI. The PhD student will work in a very active expert environment in experimental neutron physics involving the UCN physics group and the neutronics simulation group at PSI.
University degree in physics with strong background in mathematical, numerical and experimental methods, advanced programming skills, a creative personality focused on problem-solving, excellent communication skills in English.
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Deadline for applying is the 15. June 2018