Physics at Virginia

Matter-antimatter asymmetry is one of the most outstanding mysteries of the universe that provides a necessary condition to our own existence. There have been various attempts to solve this mystery including 'Baryogenesis' hypothesis. However, the B-factory experiments during the last decade showed that the observed CP-violation (CPV) in the quark sector is not big enough for baryogenesis to be a viable solution to the matter-antimatter asymmetry. This leads us to the 'Leptogenesis' hypothesis, in which CPV in the lepton section plays a crtical role to create the matter-antimater asymmetry at the onset of the Big Bang. Thus, experimental observation of CPV in the lepton sector could prove to be tantamount to one of the most important discoveries in our understanding of the universe.

In 2011, the T2K experiment published a result that provided the first indication for a non-zero $\theta_{13}$, the last unknown mixing angle in the lepton sector at that time, at 2.5 sigma level of significance. In 2013, after analyzing two more years of data taken since 2011, the experiment reported "Observation of electron neutrino appearance from a muon neutrino beam" at 7.3 sigma level of significance. While neutrino oscillation has been well-established since the discovery by the Super-Kamiokande experiment in 1998, there have not been a definitive observation of neutrino oscillation in a so-called "appearance mode", and this new T2K observation is the first time an explicit neutrino flavor (electron) appearance is observed from another neutrino flavor (muon). This observation also opens the door to study CPV in neutrinos. When incorporating recent precision measurements on $\theta_{13}$ by the reactor experiments along with other neutrino oscillation parameter measurements, T2K data show an intriguing initial result on the $\delta_{CP}$, which is further corroborated by the Super-Kamiokande atmospheric neutrino results as well as the most recent results from NOvA.

Ultimately, however, in order to establish unequivocal results on leptonic CPV, we need a next generation experiment with a more powerful beam, and a larger and/or higher resolution detector. The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in US that is newly established as a truly international collaboration, is such an experiment. Physics goals of DUNE include: discovery of CPV in the lepton sector, detrmination of mass hierarchy, discovery of proton decay and observation of neutrinos from the Type-II supernovae. In this talk I will introduce the rapidly developing DUNE experiment and the collaboration, and also discuss possible opportunities for participation.

I will also briefly comment on the Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 as well as The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics 2016 that were given to the
neutrino oscillation experiments.

Friday, November 20, 2015
3:30 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special room.

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