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Department Colloquium | Next Questions for Neutrinos: Recent Results from the NOvA Experiment

Mark Messier (Indiana University)
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
4:00-5:00 PM
340 West Hall Map
The 2015 Nobel prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of neutrino oscillations and mass in 1998. That discovery spawned a world-wide effort to better understand neutrino properties using oscillations of neutrinos produced in the Sun, in the atmosphere, at reactors, and by accelerators. While much has been learned since then, several important questions remain: Which neutrino is heaviest? Do neutrino properties follow a pattern or respect any symmetries? Is the framework we use to understand neutrinos complete or is there more? Do neutrinos break the symmetry between matter and antimatter? The NOvA experiment was designed to address each of these remaining questions by sending a beam of neutrinos 810 km to a 14,000 ton detector located in northern Minnesota. In my talk, I will introduce neutrinos and the questions surrounding them, discuss the important factors that led to the design of the NOvA experiment and summarize the most recent neutrino and antineutrino measurements from the experiment.

Short bio: Mark Messier is a Rudy Professor of Physics at Indiana University who studies the basic properties of a class of fundamental particles called neutrinos. From 2006 - 2018 he served as co-spokesperson of the NOvA experiment at Fermilab guiding the collaboration through proposal, design, construction, and first results.

Prof. Messier began his studies of neutrinos at Boston University working on the Super-Kamiokande experiment in Japan. His doctoral thesis, “Evidence for Oscillations of Atmospheric Neutrinos with Super-Kamiokande”, and accompanying paper in Physical Review Letters documented the first conclusive evidence that neutrinos have a non-zero mass. This paper ranks among the 25 most cited experimental and theoretical results in high energy physics.

After completing his doctoral work, Prof. Messier worked on the MINOS and MIPP experiments at Fermilab as a Research Fellow at Harvard University and joined the faculty at Indiana University in 2002. Messier's early work to develop the NOvA experiment concept earned recognition with a Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator award and he is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Building: West Hall
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Physics, Science
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Physics, Department Colloquia