This year’s Michelson Postdoctoral Prizewinner, Amar Vutha of York University, Toronto, will explain how he and a team of Yale and Harvard researchers set new limits on theories of supersymmetry, at the Michelson colloquium in 301 Rockefeller Building at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
Vutha was a PhD student when he helped gather the team that developed new technology to measure the shape of an electron’s charge distribution, called the electron dipole moment. The Holy Grail they seek is to detect and measure asymmetry in the near-perfect spherical shape of the electron’s charge distribution. The shape may help explain such big questions as what happened to anti-matter after the Big Bang and how the universe came to be as it is today.
Their measurement, which was 10 times more sensitive than past efforts, rules out a large range of possible parameters of supersymmetry theories. The scientists are now working to better the sensitivity by another order of magnitude and take new measurements.
The physics department awards the Michelson prize annually to an outstanding junior scholar in physics. Vutha was a unanimous choice.