Departmental Oral Examination (Thesis Title: "A high-precision measurement of the pi -> e nu branching ratio")

Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2016-09-22 09:00 - 11:00
Henn 318
Local Contact: 
Physics and Astronomy, UBC
Intended Audience: 

The value of the pi -> e nu branching ratio has been calculated within the Standard Model of particle physics to be (1.2352 ± 0.0002) × 10^-4.

The PIENU experiment at TRIUMF aims to measure this quantity to a precision of < 0.1%. This tests e − μ universality at the 0.05% level, and provides stringent constraints on many other extensions to the Standard Model. The PIENU data set contains four years of data, taken from 2009- 2012. The analysis of a subset of the 2010 data was published in 2015.

The 2012 data set is the largest, and its analysis is presented here. The statistical error using only this data set is 0.09%; incorporating the other data sets will reduce this to 0.07%. The systematic error in the 2012 analysis remains considerably larger than this, 0.27%, and the prospects for reducing it to the level needed to reach the precision goal of the experiment will be presented.

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