Publication: Calibration of high voltages at the ppm level by the difference of 83mKr conversion electron lines at the KATRIN experiment
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The neutrino mass experiment KATRIN requires a stability of 3 ppm for the retarding potential at − 18.6 kV of the main spectrometer. To monitor the stability, two custom-made ultra-precise high-voltage dividers were developed and built in cooperation with the German national metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Until now, regular absolute calibration of the voltage dividers required bringing the equipment to the specialised metrology laboratory. Here we present a new method based on measuring the energy difference of two 83mKr conversion electron lines with the KATRIN setup, which was demonstrated during KATRIN’s commissioning measurements in July 2017. The measured scale factor M=1972.449(10) of the high-voltage divider K35 is in agreement with the last PTB calibration 4 years ago. This result demonstrates the utility of the calibration method, as well as the long-term stability of the voltage divider.