Single-electron detection and spectroscopy via relativistic cyclotron radiation

D. M. Asner, R. F. Bradley, L. De Viveiros, P. J. Doe, J. L. Fernandes, M. Fertl, E. C. Finn, J. A. Formaggio, D. Furse, A. M. Jones, J. N. Kofron, B. H. Laroque, M. Leber, E. L. McBride, M. L. Miller, P. Mohanmurthy, B. Monreal, N. S. Oblath, R. G.H. Robertson, L. J. RosenbergG. Rybka, D. Rysewyk, M. G. Sternberg, J. R. Tedeschi, T. Thümmler, B. A. Vandevender, N. L. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


It has been understood since 1897 that accelerating charges must emit electromagnetic radiation. Although first derived in 1904, cyclotron radiation from a single electron orbiting in a magnetic field has never been observed directly. We demonstrate single-electron detection in a novel radio-frequency spectrometer. The relativistic shift in the cyclotron frequency permits a precise electron energy measurement. Precise beta electron spectroscopy from gaseous radiation sources is a key technique in modern efforts to measure the neutrino mass via the tritium decay end point, and this work demonstrates a fundamentally new approach to precision beta spectroscopy for future neutrino mass experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number162501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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