Two Experiments, One Seminar, OSU!

High Energy Physics Seminar – Luke Corwin (Indiana University) – “Catching Ghost Particles in Iron, Plastic & Oil: the MINOS and NOvA Experiments”

Monday, October 8, 2012 – 2:30pm
Room 4138, Physics Research Building
Neutrinos are fundamental particles that are so weakly interacting they are sometimes referred to as ghost particles. Particle physicists are actively trying to answer many questions about neutrinos, which come in three known flavors. Which neutrino type is heaviest? How do they change from one flavor to another? Do they violate CP symmetry, and could this help account for the dominance of matter over antimatter in the universe? This seminar will review two neutrino oscillation experiments whose purpose is to answer these questions: MINOS and NOvA.
They both use the NuMI neutrino beam at Fermilab. MINOS has been taking data for several years and has produced the world’s most precise measurements of some neutrino oscillation parameters. It consists of a near and far detector composed of alternating planes of steel and plastic scintillator. NOvA is one of the latest generation of neutrino detection experiments; it is currently under construction at Fermilab and in far northern Minnesota. It will consist of a near and far detector composed mainly of PVC extrusions and scintillating mineral oil. A prototype near detector is already taking data. This seminar will review the results from the MINOS experiment and the status and prospects of the NOvA experiment.
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