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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, April 16, 2010
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Blayne R. Heckel
Department of Physics
University of Washington, Seattle

"Recent Results from a Search for the Permanent Electric Dipole Moment (EDM) of 199Hg''

Observation of a nonzero EDM would imply time reversal symmetry violation and CP violation beyond the Standard Model. Additional sources of CP violation naturally arise in extensions to the standard model such as super- symmetry, and are expected to help explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry observed in our universe. Several years ago, our group established an upper limit of |dHg| < 2.1×10−28 e-cm for the EDM of 199Hg. To further refine these measurements, we switched from two to four spin-polarized Hg vapor cells: two lie in parallel magnetic and anti-parallel electric fields, resulting in EDM-sensitive spin precession; the remaining two cells, at zero electric field, serve to cancel noise generated by magnetic field gradients and test for systematics due to charging and leakage currents.

We have completed a new data set with the four cell system and have reported a new upper limit: |dHg | < 3.1×10−29 e-cm for the EDM of 199Hg. The experiment and measurements that led to our recent result will be presented.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM