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Activity Number: 188 - Innovative Applications of Design of Experiments
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 : 1:30 PM to 3:20 PM
Sponsor: Quality and Productivity Section
Abstract #316814
Title: To the Moon and Back Again: Designing Computer Experiments to Resolve a Controversy in Fundamental Physics
Author(s): Brian Weaver*
Companies: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Keywords: sequential design of experiements; bayesian modeling; computer experiments

The neutron is a fundamental particle of the universe. Unsurprisingly, not all of its properties are known. For example, how long does a free neutron take to decay to a proton? There are currently two methods for measuring the neutron’s lifetime, and they provide conflicting answers. Moreover, physicists cannot determine which method is more accurate. Knowing this quantity is essential for understanding how the universe formed. A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory proposed a third method for estimating the neutron lifetime, which has the potential to resolve this controversy, by using data gathered during NASA’s lunar prospector mission. In this talk, we will discuss how designing computer experiments is being used to help get the answers needed and how the information gained from these experiments is being used to plan the upcoming NEMO mission which is a part of the Artemis 1 launch.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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