Particle Physics in Birmingham

Particle Physics Seminar

Wednesday 2th February 2011 at 1:30pm
Poynting Small Lecture Theatre

(tea, coffee and biscuits served at 1:15pm)

Weighing Neutrinos with Cosmology

Shaun Thomas (University College, London)


Recently one of the tightest limits was placed on the sum of the neutrino masses. This was an upper bound of 0.28 eV at the 95% confidence level. However, this result was not the consequence of a new particle physics experiment. Instead it was derived from observations of galaxies over the largest reaches of the observable Universe. I will describe what goes into such a project with an overview of the cosmological model and the significant physical effects that these elusive neutrinos alter. In addition, I will highlight the uncertainties and caveats of such an ambitious attempt to measure the neutrino mass. Finally, I will describe plans for the future and the importance of this interplay between particle physics and cosmology.