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The Helmut W. Baer Lecture

The Helmut W. Baer Lecture  is a special colloquium supported by  family and friends in honor of Dr. Helmut Baer. Dr. Baer's career in physics began with his work at the University of Michigan where he was awarded a doctorate in nuclear physics in 1967. He published over 100 articles that cover a range of physics topics including nuclear physics and pion interactions. Dr. Baer was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in March of 1989, and to his delight enjoyed countless opportunities over the years to talk about physics at universities and conferences internationally. Dr. Baer set the highest personal standards for himself and his research. This lecture is held approximately every two years.

The 2018 Helmut W. Baer Lecture in Physics

Dr. Kate Scholberg
Professor of Physics (Duke University

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
4:00 PM

340 West Hall

Lecture Title: Detecting the Tine Thump of the Neutrino

Abstract: Neutrinos are “ghostly” particles, interacting only rarely with matter. Coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) was first predicted in 1973; it’s a process in which a neutrino scatters off an entire nucleus. By neutrino standards, CEvNS occurs frequently, but it is tremendously challenging to see. The only way to observe it is to detect the minuscule thump of the nuclear recoil. CEvNS was measured for the first time by the COHERENT collaboration using the unique, high-quality source of neutrinos from the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This talk will describe COHERENT's recent measurement of CEvNS, the status and plans of COHERENT's suite of detectors at the SNS, and the physics we will learn from the measurements. 


Kate Scholberg is Professor of Physics and Bass Fellow at Duke University. She received a B.Sc. in Physics from McGill University in 1989.  She then attended Caltech, receiving an M.S. in 1991 and a Ph.D. in 1997 for thesis research on the MACRO experiment at Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy. As a research associate at Boston University, she joined the Super-Kamiokande collaboration. She was Assistant Professor at MIT from 2000-2004 before moving to Duke University. A recipient of the Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator and National Science Foundation CAREER awards, she is currently a member of the Super-Kamiokande, Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) collaborations. She served as spokesperson of the COHERENT experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She coordinates the SuperNova Early Warning System, an international network of supernova neutrino detectors. She was elected as an Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2013 and was a recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in 2015 as a member of Super-Kamiokande and T2K. She is Past Chair of the National Organizing Committee of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.