Sambamurti Lecture

"Finger-printing a nuclear reactor with neutrinos"

Presented by Thomas Langford, Yale University

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 3:30 pm — Large Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

Neutrinos have been the most consistently surprising particle of the last few decades. The onset of high-precision experiments has lead to the discovery of neutrino oscillations, possible evidence for beyond the Standard Model sterile neutrinos, and the beginnings of neutrino-based geophysics. Recent measurements of antineutrinos from nuclear reactors have observed flux and spectral discrepancies compared to leading theoretical models. Experiments like Daya Bay and PROSPECT are able to observe the small differences of neutrino emission from different mixtures of nuclear fuel, which may illuminate the origin of this disagreement. These neutrino finger-prints can also be used to investigate the mixture of fuel inside an operating reactor, rekindling interest in neutrino-based reactor monitoring. I will present recent advances which have demonstrated how small-scale experiments utilizing new technologies can advance both fundamental and applied science.

Hosted by: John Haggerty

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