UHM Physics Department Colloquia

Dr. Andrey Elagin, U. Chicago, on "Reducing Irreducible Background and Revealing the Unique Nature of Neutrino Mass Using Fast Timing"

Monday, 13 March 2017 from to (Pacific/Honolulu)
at Watanabe Hall ( 112 )
An intriguing fundamental question about the neutrino is whether it is its own antiparticle, a possibility proposed by Ettore Majorana more than 80 years ago. Observation of the neutrinoless double-beta decay (zero neutrino double beta decay) would establish that the neutrino is a Majorana particle and would prove that total lepton number is not conserved. Since the lower limit on the life-time of zero neutrinodecay now exceeds the age of the universe by many orders of magnitude, experiments searching for this rare process are required to have an increasingly large active detector mass. A kiloton-scale liquid-scintillator detector deep underground is an attractive option due to size and good energy resolution. In such a detector, neutrino interactions due to 8B decays in the sun become the dominant background. These solar events are usually considered as irreducible background because of an overlap in deposited energy with the 0-decay signal. I will show that in a large liquid scintillator detector surrounded by fast photo-detectors, such as the Large-Area Picosecond Photo-Detectors (LAPPD), it is possible to reconstruct the event topology and separate the two-tracks double beta decay signal from the one-track 8B solar background events. I will also discuss recent advances in the development of the LAPPD.