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Physics Colloquium Series, Spring 2015 and beyond

Apr 27 , Monday at 4:15 in Rockefeller 301

Benjamin Monreal , UCSB

One century of neutrino mass experiments: from radium salts to microwaves

The neutrino mass is one of the longest-standing unanswered questions in particle physics. We've recently learned a tremendous amount about how the weak interaction mixes neutrino mass states together; we've learned that there are three different masses, and we've narrowed the ordering of these masses down to two possibilities; but we still haven't learned what the masses actually are. The KATRIN experiment, soon to start data taking, will use a huge electrostatic spectrometer to search for the signature of a massive neutrino in beta decay, but astrophysicists predict that the mass scale is too small for KATRIN to see. Project 8's microwave spectrometry technique may provide the next, crucial, factor of 10 or more in this search; I will present recent Project 8 data showing our single-electron detection, tracking, and spectroscopy capabilities.
Host: John Ruhl