Preliminary Exam

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Events on Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

Subatomic to Supernova: Two unrelated tales of neutrinos and dark matter
Time: 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Place: 2314 Chamberlin
Speaker: Daniel Heimsoth, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: I will present my work on two recent papers. First, supernovae expel a large fraction of their energy in neutrinos, making them a potentially useful detection channel to understand properties of stellar core collapse. With the construction of new, larger neutrino experiments such as Hyper-Kamiokande, DUNE, and IceCube Gen2 in the near future, we will have the capability to measure the time-dependent neutrino flux from nearby core-collapse supernovae. I will show how using the neutrino signal from a theorized hadron-quark phase transition during core collapse can allow us to not only triangulate the position of the supernova in the sky to good precision but also set limits on the absolute neutrino mass scale.

Turning our attention from neutrinos to dark matter, I will then describe my work on quantifying uncertainties in direct detection dark matter experiments stemming from uncertainties in nuclear modeling. As these experiments shift from considering only the spin-independent and spin-dependent operators to a complete set of operators coupling dark matter to nuclei, it becomes especially important to understand all sources of uncertainty. I will explain how we calculated the nuclear model uncertainties for xenon, a common choice of target in direct detection experiments, and how these uncertainties can be significantly large for certain operators.
Host: Baha Balantekin
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