Particle Physics in Birmingham

Particle Physics Seminar

Wednesday 4th March 2009 at 1:30pm
Poynting Small Lecture Theatre

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

Long Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments

Alfons Weber (RAL)


Since its birth, postulated by Pauli in 1930, the neutrino has proven to be an elusive particle. It took more than 25 years before the neutrino was finally discovered and even more time to understand and measure its properties. Even today, neutrinos hold surprises for us. In fact, the neutrino may be the very reason why we are here.

It has been firmly established over the last decade that neutrinos are not as the standard model predicted them, but that they have mass and can undergo flavour transitions (oscillations) transforming from one type to another.

MINOS is a long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, which measures neutrino oscillation parameters using the NuMI beam generated at Fermilab. The beam mainly consists of muon neutrinos and is measured by two functionally identical detectors. The near detector is located on the Fermilab site around 1 km away from the neutrino production target, while the far detector is 734 km further in the Soudan Underground Laboratory. MINOS has started to take accelerator neutrino data in 2005 and has now collected neutrino interactions from more than 5×1020 protons on target.

The recent and new results from MINOS will be presented together with a short outlook into the next generation of experiments.