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Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, September 16, 2011
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Ben Monreal
Department of Physics
University of California, Santa Barbara

"Direct neutrino mass measurements: KATRIN and Project 8''

The only model-independent way to measure the neutrino's mass is the same way we measure the masses of many heavier things: by measuring the kinematics of a reaction and solving the energy-momentum balance. A uniquely-useful reaction for this is tritium beta decay, where the neutrino mass distorts the ~18.6 keV electron endpoint by a tiny, but possibly detectable, amount. I will discuss two experiments looking for this distortion: the large KATRIN spectrometer (now under construction) and the future Project 8 experiment, which proposes to detect microwave radiation from individual tritium decay electrons.

Refreshments will be served in CP 179 at 3:15 PM