A $650,000 grant has recently been given to a nuclear physics research team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Dr. Douglas Beck to carry out a three-year investigation of the strong force, a special interaction in particle physics. The money will go toward creating sensors based on nitrogen vacancy (NV) diamond, which has been proven to be unusually sensitive to electric fields at low temperatures. These sensors will be used in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s nEDM experiment.The nitrogen-vacancy diamond sensor that will be created as a result of this research is illustrated by an artist. (Credit: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering).Dr. Beck said that the impurities in NV are what cause the diamond’s unusual electric field sensitivity.