A Precision Measurement of the Neutral Pion Lifetime: Pushing
the Limits of Confinement Scale QCD
Dr. Daniel Dale
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Kentucky
Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is our best theory for describing the interaction
of quarks and gluons at a fundamental level. Experimental tests of the theory
have typically been performed at high energies where the interaction is weak
and calculations involving perturbation theory can be performed. The PrimEx
Collaboration at Jefferson Lab is performing a high precision measurement
of the neutral pion lifetime which will provide a stringent test of the predictions
of quantum chromodynamics in the low energy or confinement scale regime.
To do this, we have built a new calorimeter pion detector and an electron-positron
pair production spectrometer. I will describe this experiment and highlight
some of the experimental challenges involved in measuring a cross section
at the 1.5% level.