Particle Physics Seminar: The search for the tetraneutron

Dr. Meytal Duer, TU Darmstadt, IKP

06 May 2021, 10:00 
Particle Physics Seminar




The search for chargeless nuclei consisting only of neutrons has been a long-standing challenge in nuclear physics, dating about 60 years back. The tetraneutron (4n), in particular, has attracted a lot of attention from physicists around the world. Its properties, however, has remained elusive despite many experimental and theoretical efforts.


Its existence, whether as bound or resonant states, would have far-reaching implications for many aspects of nuclear physics, from the nature of the nuclear force to neutron-rich nuclei and the equation of state for neutron-rich matter, which is a key for understanding and predicting properties of neutron stars.


In the last two decades two experimental results claimed for a possible observation of bound or low-lying resonant tetraneutron states, which motivated new experiments and new theoretical studies.


We performed an experiment at the Radioactive Isotope Beam Facility (RIBF) at the RIKEN facility in Japan in order to investigate the 4n system. The measurement was conducted at the SAMURAI setup using the 8He(p, pα)4n knockout reaction in inverse kinematics at large momentum transfer. By a precise and kinematically complete mea- surement of the charged particles involved in the reaction, and using the missing-mass technique, the energy spectrum of the four-neutron system can be reconstructed, independent of the neutron detection. This will reveal information about the correlations of the 4n, and therefore the possible existence of a tetraneutron state will be pinned down. 



Seminar Organizers: Prof. Erez Etzion & Dr. Liron Barak


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