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Measuring the shape of the electron
Wed 21 June 2017, 17:30 – 18:30 BST
An inaugural lecture by Ben Sauer, Professor of Physics, Imperial College London
One of the unsolved puzzles in understanding what our universe is made of is why the whole world seems to be made of normal matter, with only tiny traces of antimatter. Perhaps surprisingly, this matter-antimatter asymmetry is tied up with the shape of the electron: Are electrons perfectly round, or a tiny bit distorted?
Astronomers have looked right to the edge of the visible universe and even then they see just matter, no great stashes of antimatter. What happened to all the antimatter? Smashing atoms in machines like the Large Hadron Collider is one way of investigating the differences between the behaviour of matter and antimatter, but Professor Ben Sauer has focused much of his career on smaller-scale, highly precise experiments. His work uses delicate quantum measurements of the electrons in molecules to check their shape.
In his inaugural lecture Professor Sauer will tell the story of this investigation, what it has shown us so far, and how he and his team are aiming to make their experiment 1000 times more precise. This may finally shed some light on the mystery of the missing antimatter.
Professor Ben Sauer completed his PhD on quantum chaos in hydrogen Rydberg atoms at SUNY Stony Brook, New York. Ben then worked at Yale on several fundamental symmetry experiments before moving to the University of Sussex to work on the electron EDM experiment and also on cold atom experiments. At Sussex he was an EPSRC advanced fellow, and then a lecturer. Professor Sauer joined Imperial in 2002, where he still works on the electron EDM experiment, and also experiments which use laser cooling to produce ultra-cold molecules.
Date and Time
Lecture Theatre 1, Blackett Building
Imperial College London
South Kensington Campus