Research focuses on the control and understanding of basic symmetries and interactions using the techniques of elementary quantum systems.
Test of gravitation with quantum interference
The aim is to improve the experimental sensitivity to gravity and to hypothetical gravity-like forces. At NQPG we are developing a measuring tool, which is based on resonance spectroscopy without relying on electromagnetic fields. It is suitable for gravity experiments at short distances. Such a technique is a quantum interference technique, and – at short distances – should be based on neutrons, where systematic effects are extremely small. In some domains of dark matter and dark energy searches, this technique provides best limits.
Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with neutron interferometry
The dual nature of neutrons – in some respect a particle, in other respect a wave – is manifested by highly non-local effects observed in neutron interferometry. We are investigating spin ½ systems and questions about coherence, decoherence and quatum-contextuality.
Precision experiments and particle physics
The structure and nature of weak interaction and possible extensions of the Standard Model are addressed by precise electron and proton spectroscopy. In the search for new symmetries, we see these experiments as the next high-precision frontier in the domain of low-energy studies. The focus will be on novel experiments on neutron β-decay. Hypothetical scalar or tensor interactions, which are predicted by supersymmetry, are coming into reach, other related topics are unitarity of quark mixing, right-handed currents or second class currents.
Techniques of neutron physics
Neutron Radiography and 3D-CT
Table of Neutron Scattering Lengths
While the technique of neutron radiography has been known for several decades, it has become a
powerful tool only with the introduction of new digital detectors during the last ten years. Image quality and contrast enhancement have been pushed further ever since and have reached a high
standard. We present the large spectrum of applications.
Ultra Small Angle Neutron Scattering ( USANS ) measures the elastic scattering from scattering length density fluctuations in the order of microns in real space. Examples are in materials of low contrast, opaque materials (for light scattering) or in magnetic structures. In such cases, neutrons are a unique probe when contrast enhancement is necessary.
The experiments are performed at the neutron source at Vienna University of technology, at the European source of the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, and at Helmholtz Centre, Munich. At these places new high intensity sources for ultracold neutrons and neutron decay products are coming into operation having the potential to exceed contemporary source strengths by several orders of magnitude.