New Neutron Lifetime Measurements with the Big Gravitational Trap and Review of Neutron Lifetime Data

Abstract

Neutron lifetime is one of the most important physical constants which determines parameters of the weak interaction and predictions of primordial nucleosynthesis theory. In our experiment we measure the storage time of UCN in the material trap coated with a hydrogen-free fluorine-containing polymer (Fomblin grease UT-18). The stability of this coating to multiple thermal cycles between 80 K and 300 K was tested. The achieved storage time is only 1.5% less than free neutron lifetime. Using additional surface, which can be plunged into the trap to change the collision frequency of UCN with walls, we calculate free neutron lifetime by extrapolation to zero collision frequency. The result of the measurements with this new experimental setup is