Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics
Summer 2018 job posting
Job number TR18-2-17

Position Title:

Simulations and experiment development for the TRIUMF UCN source and the neutron EDM project 

Name of Project:

Simulations and experiment development for the TRIUMF UCN source and the neutron EDM project 


Knowledge of fundamental properties of the neutron helps to understand many aspects of the universe. It all starts right after the Big Bang: matter wins over antimatter in the universe, making our existence possible. One essential ingredient for this matter-antimatter asymmetry is violation of a more fundamental symmetry, called CP violation. This, in turn might show up in a non-zero electric dipole moment (EDM) of the neutron, making EDM measurements the flagship of fundamental neutron physics.
About 100 s after the Big Bang, the relevance of the neutron properties continues: neutron beta-decay lifetime plays an important role in primordial nucleosynthesis, influencing, e.g., the helium abundance in the Universe significantly. If neutron lifetime results are combined with experiments determining other decay parameters of the neutron, important coupling constants of the weak interaction of fundamental particles can be determined.These are important for our understanding of solar models and tests of the Standard Model of particle physics.
Owing to its neutrality and long lifetime of around 15 min, one can also look very carefully at the gravitational interaction of neutrons, thus probing the quantum mechanical features of the gravity potential; in turn, this puts constraints on non-Newtonian gravity models.
All the experiments above have in common the need for very slow neutrons, called ultra-cold neutrons (UCN). We are presently building the UCN facility, all major installations are done and we're persuing first UCN production by the end of 2017. Opportunities exist for an undergraduate student to contribute in a significant way to the electric dipole moment experiment or the UCN facility start-up.


The student will work on simulations of ultracold neutrons in magnetic and electric fields and on the design of the high-voltage cell for the neutron EDM experiment. This work will be carried out in a team environment with physicists and graduate students from TRIUMF and the Universities of British Columbia (UBC), Winnipeg (UW), Manitoba (UM), Osaka (RCNP) and Tokio (KEK).

Skills learned during this work experience:

For the particle simulation tasks the student will get familiar with Monte Carlo methods and particle spin-tracking. During the experimental and design tasks skills learned will be related to vacuum techniques, high-voltage and neutron depolarization requirements for the neutron EDM experiment.
Additionally, participation in our weekly international status meetings for the UCN source and EDM experiment is highly recommended for the student to get introduced into the international collaboration.
We are providing a stimulating environment for students to learn new things while contributing significantly to the progress of the project.


Third or Fourth year physics, engineering (Eng.Phys.) or electronics and mechanical engineering students with some experimental experience. Experience using CAD software (ideally SolidWorks) is recommended. Some experience using FEA software (e.g. ANSYS, Opera, FEMM) and C++ (or equivalent) and working in a linux-based environment would be advantageous for the simulation work.
Affinity for experimental techniques and development is what we are looking for in an ideal candidate.

Shiftwork required:


Period of work:

May-August 2018 with possible 4-month extension  
Salary is commensurate with academic progress and previous relevant work experience, and ranges from $ 2080 to $ 2800 per month plus 4% vacation pay.
TRIUMF pays round-trip airfare (this does not apply to Vancouver/Victoria students); for Vancouver Island students, TRIUMF will pay ferry costs.

TRIUMF is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace, and we welcome applications from all qualified undergraduate students as defined below:

  • Canadian undergraduate students or Canadian Permanent Resident undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited post secondary institution in Canada (or outside Canada) who are studying in a vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Foreign full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level, and who are studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration, and who have a valid Canadian study permit which allows for employment off-campus, and who have applied for a Social Insurance Number
  • Foreign undergraduate students enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program of study abroad who have accepted, or are in the process of accepting, an "Invitation to Apply" for a work permit under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program

Applications must be received at TRIUMF by 4:00pm Pacific time on 2018-01-22.

One complete PDF for EACH position must be submitted. Please save the PDF as lastname-job number (eg Smith-15.pdf)

Email to:

Mail to:

TRIUMF Student Program
Job Number TR18-2-17
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, B.C.
V6T 2A3

No phone calls please. TRIUMF wishes to thank all applicants for their interest, and regrets that only those being considered will be contacted.

TRIUMF is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia.
For more information, visit our web site