NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forums

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Organized by: Prof. Lu Lu

Events on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Faculty Candidate Seminar
Measuring the Neutrino Mass with Tritium Beta Decays
Time: 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Noah Oblath, MIT
Abstract: Neutrinos are the most common matter particles in the universe, and yet many fundamental questions about them remain unanswered. They are a crit- ical part of our understanding of everything from cosmology and astrophysics to nuclear reactors and particle accelerators. The absolute neutrino mass scale is one of those unanswered questions, and the most sensitive direct measure- ments of it are made by tritium beta-decay experiments. I will discuss two such experiments: the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), and Project 8. The KATRIN experiment will use a large electromagnetic spectrometer to improve the sensitivity to the neutrino mass scale by an order of magnitude over the previous generation of tritium beta-decay experiments. The Project 8 experiment will allow us to further improve the sensitivity to the neutrino mass using a novel technique: measuring the frequency of the cyclotron radiation emitted by beta-decay electrons as they travel in a mag- netic field. I will describe these experimental efforts, including recent results from Project 8, and discuss how, over the next several years, they will both contribute to our knowledge of the properties of neutrinos and their role in the universe.
Host: Dasu
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