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Whitfield Lecture: The Amazing Electron and Its Moments: Making the Most Precise Tests of the Standard Model and Its Proposed Fixes

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Gerald Gabrielse, Harvard University
When
08 October 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where
117 Osmond Laboratory
Contact Name
David Weiss
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The electron's magnetic and electric dipole moments provide some of the most stringent tests of the Standard Model of particle physics and proposed "improvements" to this description.   The most precise prediction of the Standard Model is the value of the electron's magnetic dipole.   Our experimental determination of this moment to 3 parts in 10^{13} -- the most precise determination of an elementary particle property -- shows that the prediction is correct to at least 12 significant figures.   Despite this great triumph, the Standard Model is also a great frustration of modern physics.   It cannot explain why a universe made of matter survived the big bang, nor can it explain dark matter or dark energy.  A number of adjustments to the Standard Model have been proposed.  To test these fixes our ACME collaboration recently completed a 12 times more sensitive measurement of the electron's electric dipole moment, and substantial improvements are planned.  The Standard Model predicts a moment too small to measure, while proposed adjustments (e.g. supersymmetric models) generally cannot avoid predicting an electric dipole moment that could be within range of our measurement sensitivity.

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