Mehlman, Michael S (2015-04). Development of the TAMUTRAP Facility for Precision Beta-Decay Studies. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • The Texas A&M University Penning Trap Facility (TAMUTRAP) is an ion trap system currently under construction, that will be used for precision nuclear physics experiments with radioactive beams provided by the Cyclotron Institute. Its primary focus is to search for possible scalar currents in T = 2 superallowed ?-delayed proton decays, which, if found, would be an indication of physics beyond the standard model. In addition, TAMUTRAP will provide a low-energy, spatially localized source of ions for various other applications. The experiment is centered around a unique, compensated cylindrical Penning trap that will employ a specially optimized length/radius ratio in the electrode structure that is not used by any other facility. A Radio Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) Paul trap cooler and buncher will be used to prepare ions for loading into the Penning trap system. This thesis will cover the design and development of the Penning and Paul traps in addition to numerous ancillary components, such as electrostatic beam optics, control systems, electronics, detectors, and mechanical supports. In particular, the TAMUTRAP RFQ cooler and buncher has been designed, fabricated, assembled, and commissioned and has been demonstrated to generate ion bunches with an approximate time spread of 1.8 us full width at half max, suitable for acceptance into the TAMUTRAP measurement Penning trap. A theoretical design of the measurement Penning trap has been completed from first principles, which resulted in the description of a seven-electrode tunable and orthogonalized device of a completely new design. And, finally, numerous other beamline elements were developed, fabricated, and implemented after simulations detailing their behavior were performed.

publication date

  • April 2015