An Ortho/Para Deuterium Converter for Ultra-Cold Neutron Production at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Faculty Sponsor

Shirvel Stanislaus


Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Celebration Date

Summer 7-31-2014


The production of Ultra-Cold Neutrons (UCN) is essential for a number of experiments whose goal is to make precise measurements of neutron properties. With order-of-magnitude improvements in precision provided through the use of UCN, scientists plan to push towards physics beyond the Standard Model. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) a solid deuterium target is used for UCN production. As a result of previous studies, it is known that the storage time of UCN is dependent on the spin state of the deuterium target. The spin = 1 state of deuterium (para-D2), in which approximately one-third of the D2 molecules can be found, results in a shorter UCN residence time. Therefore, to lengthen the storage time, a conversion to the ground state (ortho-D2) is required. Because, in a solid sample of D2 it would take months for the sample to spontaneously relax to the required percentage of 99.8% ortho-D2, an Ortho/Para converter is used to accelerate the conversion. This project focuses on the design of a new, improved Ortho/Para Converter. The design requirements for the new Ortho/Para Converter for the LANL UCN system will be discussed.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Adam Clark is a rising senior at Valparaiso University. This is the third year that he has worked as a summer intern for the Department of Physics and Astronomy focusing on nuclear physics. After working with a group at Los Alamos National Laboratory last summer he has returned to continue work for the group. Upon graduation, Adam plans to attend graduate school in pursuit of a PhD in nuclear physics.

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