Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, spectrometers, detectors and associated equipment vol:503 issue:3 pages:567-579
An experimental set-up is described for the precise measurement of the recoil energy spectrum of the daughter ions from nuclear beta decay. The experiment is called WITCH, short for Weak Interaction Trap for CHarged particles, and is set up at the ISOLDE facility at CERN. The principle of the experiment and its realization are explained as well as the main physics goal. A cloud of radioactive ions stored in a Penning trap serves as the source for the WITCH experiment, leading to the minimization of scattering and energy loss of the decay products. The energy spectrum of the recoiling daughter ions from the β-decays in this ion cloud will be measured with a retardation spectrometer. The principal aim of the WITCH experiment is to study the electroweak interaction by determining the beta-neutrino angular correlation in nuclear β-decay from the shape of this recoil energy spectrum. This will be the first time that the recoil energy spectrum of the daughter ions from β-decay can be measured for a wide variety of isotopes, independent of their specific properties.