Precision measurements of low-energy nuclear decays are a sensitive probe for new physics that complements high-energy searches such as at the LHC. The MIT led OLIVIA experiment seeks to measure the Li-8 beta decay process using a novel and non-conventional TPC based experimental setup that enables significant increase in statistics and present different systematics as compared to 'traditional' experiment techniques.

BSM Searches using Nuclear Decays (Back)

OLIVIA Li-8 Beta Decay: The standard model of particle physics sets out to describe the universe using elementary particles and their fundamental interactions. In the last century, its predictions stood rigorous experimental tests with great success, leading to its definition as one of the greatest triumph of modern day physics. However, outstanding questions like the Matter – Anti-Matter asymmetry, Dark Matter, Dark Energy and others indicate that the standard model is still incomplete and new physics must be out there for us to find. 

Searches for new physics beyond the standard model are therefore a main activity in particle and nuclear physics. Low-energy β decay measurements, in particular, offer the possibility of detecting deviations from standard model predictions of the weak interaction, which would signal new physics. These ‘low-energy precision frontier’ searches are complementary to the high-energy searches performed by the LHC and other high-energy/high-luminosity facilities.  

We are leading the OLIVIA experiment, which will measure Li-8 beta decay using a state-of-the-art optical Time-Projection Chamber. This experiment will be the first realization of such a measurement that does not rely on radioactive ion (/atom) trapping, which we expect will allow a two order-of-magnitude increase in statistics.

Funding supported by the Bose foundation

Funding supported by the Bose foundation