No Photo on File

Prof. Eric Hessels

York University
Date of Live Presentation: tba
Location: tba


Measuring the electron's electric dipole moment: Probing physics at higher energies than the LHC with a table-top experiment


The standard model (SM) predicts a very small value for the electric dipole moment of the electron (eEDM). However, the SM fails to predict dark matter and the asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the universe. Extensions to the SM that deal with these deficiencies tend to predict a much larger eEDM, and therefore a precise eEDM measurement directly impacts our understanding of matter/antimatter asymmetry and of dark matter. We propose a new method for measuring the eEDM which uses polar molecules embedded in a solid argon matrix. We refer to this method as EDM-cubed (Electric Dipole Measurements using Molecules in a Matrix). Because of the long observation times available for the stationary molecules, and the large numbers of molecules that can be embedded, EDM-cubed shows promise for improving the eEDM measurements by many orders of magnitude. The extreme accuracy of the measurement allows this table-top experiment to probe physics at higher energies than those available at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Short bio

Prof. Hessels received his Ph.D. from Notre Dame University in 1991. He is a Distinguished Research Professor and York Research in Atomic Physics at York University. He has received many awards, including the John Charles Polanyi Prize, the Herzberg Medal, the Francis M. Pipkin Award, and an E. W. R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Royal Society of Canada. This year, his group has completed a measurement of the atomic hydrogen Lamb shift, which determines the charge radius of the proton and serves to resolve the proton radius puzzle. Also this year, his group has completed an ultra-precise measurement of helium fine structure, which may lead to a determination of the value of the fine-structure constant. His laboratory is now initiating an effort to measure the electron's electric dipole moment.

Return to previous page