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Investigating Neutrino Oscillations Using Accelerator Neutrino Beams and Nuclear Reactors
Start Date: 4/21/2022Start Time: 3:30 PM
End Date: 4/21/2022End Time: 4:30 PM

Event Description
Pierce Weatherly
Drexel University
Neutrinos are sub-atomic particles created by interactions involving the weak force. It has been shown by data collected from neutrinos produced in the Sun’s core and in the Earth’s atmosphere that the three different types (flavors) of these particles shift between each other (oscillate). The best explanation for these oscillations is due to them having a non-zero mass, in contradiction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics which assumes they are massless. Oscillations between neutrino flavor states are described by several mixing parameters that must be measured by experiments. One possibility for how neutrinos obtain their mass is if there exists a fourth flavor (sterile) neutrino that the three standard flavors can oscillate into. If sterile neutrinos exist, they complicate the oscillation physics while adding additional parameters. However, measurements of antineutrinos produced in nuclear reactors, such as those performed by the PROSPECT experiment, constrain the possible existence of sterile neutrinos. Particle accelerators are used to create controlled beams of neutrinos to perform measurements for a selection of the neutrino oscillation parameters. Amongst other searches, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) aims to perform precision measurements of the parameter which describes the amount neutrino and antineutrino oscillations differ. Constraints from reactor antineutrino experiments like PROSPECT on oscillations to sterile neutrinos can be leveraged to clarify future DUNE results. 
Contact Information:
Name: Dr. Charles Lane
Phone: 215-895-1545
Email: cel22@drexel.edu
Drexel University
Department of Physics
Disque Hall, Room 919
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