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Special Colloquium: Julieta Gruszko
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 02:00pm

Dr. Julieta Gruszko, MIT

“Shedding 'Nu' Light on the Nature of Matter: The Search for Majorana”

Abstract: Why is the universe dominated by matter, and not antimatter? Neutrinos, with their changing flavors and tiny masses, could provide an answer. If the neutrino is its own antiparticle, it would reveal the origin of the neutrino's mass, demonstrate that lepton number is not a conserved symmetry of nature, and provide a path to leptogenesis in the early universe. To discover whether this is the case, we must search for neutrinoless double-beta decay.

Detecting this extremely rare process requires us to build very large low-background experiments. Germanium-based experiments like the Majorana Demonstrator and LEGEND-200 are a promising strategy to explore life-times of up to 10^28 years, with the next generation of these advancing quickly. Going beyond that will require new techniques for kiloton-scale detectors, which we're developing in NuDot, a proof-of-concept liquid scintillator experiment. I'll discuss the progress we've already made in these measurements, the near-term prospects for ton-scale germanium experiments, and the technologies we're  developing for future efforts.


Location: RLM 11.204