Weighing Neutrinos (Speaker: Joseph Formaggio, MIT)

Tuesday, March 6, 4:00pm
Marlar Lounge 37-252

The mass of the neutrino has been an elusive quantity physicists have tried to measure since the very inception of the particle.  The most sensitive direct method to establish the absolute neutrino mass is observation of the endpoint of the tritium beta-decay spectrum. A lower bound of iis set by observations of neutrino oscillations, while the KATRIN Experiment -- the current-generation tritium beta-decay experiment that is based on Magnetic Adiabatic Collimation with an Electrostatic (MAC-E) filter -- will achieve a sensitivity of better than 250 meV.  Project 8 is a new experiment that uses Cyclotron Radiation Emission Spectroscopy (CRES) to probe much of the unexplored neutrino mass range with greater resolution. In this talk, I will review the current status of these two experiments (KATRIN and Project 8) as they seek to finally measure the mass of the neutrino.

Host: John Belcher