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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Time reversal violation in nuclear beta decay
Disciplines:  Physics, Applied Physics
Mentor:  John Behr, TRIUMF Research Scientist, (PMA),, Phone: 604-222-1047 x6371
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  NOTE: This project is being offered by a Caltech alumnus and will be conducted at TRIUMF, a Canadian national laboratory located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

We use TRIUMF's atom trap to test the standard model of particle physics by measuring the angular correlation between the electron and neutrino emitted in nuclear beta decay. The neutrino direction is deduced from the low-energy recoiling nucleus by momentum conservation. We are now pursuing a time-reversal symmetry test, by also measuring the gamma-ray sometimes emitted.
Description:  Last summer a SURF student developed and calibrated prototype gamma-ray detectors. This summer we will upgrade these detectors to
a new type of scintillator with better gamma-ray energy resolution and faster timing. The research will then include faster electronics readout.
References:  APS talk on the time-reversal experiment:

Outreach-level web story:

Review with some qualitative info on atom traps for this purpose:
``Standard model tests with trapped radioactive atoms', J.A. Behr and G. Gwinner, J.Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 36 (2009) 033101 or

Technical proposal for the time reversal:
Student Requirements:  QM at Physics 12b level. Physics 5 or equivalent electronics at Horowitz and Hill level would be very helpful. APh23 and 24 optics course and lab would help understand integration with the atom trap.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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