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Thursday, September 12

Fundamental Interactions with 6He

Alejandro Garcia, University of Washington, Seattle
ORNL Physics Division Seminar
3:00 PM — 4:00 PM, ORNL, Building 6008, Large Conference Room
Contact: Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri (, 865.574.6124


The nucleus 6He is one of the lightest nuclei with a large endopoint and for which ab-initio nuclear-structure calculations can be performed. It gives a good opportunity to understand some long-standing problems. For example, we have recently made an accurate determination of the halflife and extracted a value of gA in agreement with that from neutron beta decay. The renormalization of gA is at most a few percent for this nucleus.

We are starting experiments to search for a form of new physics that is not allowed in the standard model, but in principle, could be found in nuclear beta decays when looking with high-precision probes. The physics we are looking for violates chirality conservation and goes under the name of "tensor currents". It is motivated by unification schemes. Measuring the correlation between the electron and the neutrino and the electron-energy spectrum could reveal them. Laser trapping provides with a way of holding the atoms with minimum interference for the determination of the decay-particles kinematics. The present status and future goals of this experiment will be described.