Zhaowen Tang has won a DOE Early Career award to conduct an experiment in neutron beta decay to help resolve an existing discrepancy in the measurement of the neutron lifetime.
Zhaowen got his PhD from Indiana University working under W. M. Snow at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Lab on the NPDGamma experiment, which saw for the first time the weak interaction between the neutron and the proton.
Zhaowen then joined Los Alamos National Lab, where he is now a staff scientist. He will conduct his experiment at the ultracold neutron research facility at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), where IU researchers Chen-Yu Liu and Dan Salvat have led the efforts of the UCNtau neutron lifetime experiment which has reported the most precise value of the neutron lifetime. This value is in disagreement with previous work, and Zhaowen’s experiment will attempt to address some of the possible explanations for this discrepancy.