Physics and Astronomy Colloquium: Neutrinos from Nuclear Reactors: Searches and Surprises

09/18/2015 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Jim Napolitano (Temple University)

Nuclear reactors are very bright sources of neutrinos. The radioactive fission products are neutron rich, and beta decay back to the valley of stability while emitting (electron anti-)neutrinos along the way. This was how the neutrino was discovered, and how we verified that neutrino oscillations explained the Solar Neutrino Problem. More recently, the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment discovered a new mode of neutrino oscillation, and the PROSPECT experiment is being planned to search for "sterile" neutrinos.

This talk will first review the basics of neutrinos, their detection, neutrino oscillations, and nuclear reactors as neutrino sources. We'll then take a tour of recent results and next steps, including some surprises in what we've learned about the reactor neutrino source itself.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM