The measurement of benchmark cross sections is vital to the development of our understanding of fundamental quantum processes. The positron's matter partner, the electron, has been extensively studied and for simple systems, electron scattering is a well understood process. In the case of positron scattering, the technology for generating positron beams has lagged behind that for electron beams, and it is only recently that it has become possible to make measurements with the precision now accepted as standard in the electron case.
This project will focus on using the low energy ANU positron beamline to make measurements of positron scattering from a variety of simple targets. The project will require working as a part of a team, with collaborators from around the country and around the world. The absolute cross section measurement results from this project are expected to be invaluable towards guiding theorists in accurately developing models for calculation of positron scattering cross sections, and thereby further advance the field of positron physics.
The experiment is the only one of its kind to be performing these measurements worldwide and is at the cutting edge of positron science. The student involved in this project will need to be self motivated, able to operate both independently and as a part of a team and will be expected to develop skills such as computer programming, experiment planning, equipment design, scientific writing and data analysis, as well as a knowledge of atomic and molecular physics in general and charged particle scattering in particular.