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Completing our picture of the neutrino

December 4, 2018 - 4:00pm
Speaker: 
Josh Spitz
Institution: 
University of Michigan

Nearly 90 years after its proposed existence, the neutrino remains largely mysterious and elusive. We don't know if matter neutrinos behave differently than antimatter neutrinos, we don't know which of the neutrinos is heaviest, and we don't know how many types of neutrinos there are. The MiniBooNE short-baseline neutrino experiment has recently reported a significant (4.5sigma) excess of electron-neutrino-like events in an originally muon-neutrino beam. An oscillation interpretation of this data would require at least four neutrino types and indicate new physics beyond the three neutrino paradigm. MiniBooNE is not alone in its anomalous observations of possible new neutrino mixing, as there may be hints from other experiments as well. This talk will present the recent MiniBooNE result and prospects for future accelerator-based measurements. In particular, Fermilab's Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) and the J-PARC Sterile Neutrino Search at the J-PARC Spallation Neutron Source (JSNS2) experiments will directly address these anomalies in the next few years. Along with presenting the recent MiniBooNE results and introducing SBN and JSNS2, I will touch on the first measurement of the 236 MeV kaon decay-at-rest neutrino, recently performed with MiniBooNE. The significance of this and future studies, in terms of elucidating both the neutrino-nucleus interaction and oscillations, will be emphasized.

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