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Nuclear and Particle Physics Colloquia

Mondays ~ Refreshments 3:30pm Talk: 4:00pm ~ Kolker Room, 26-414

 

Committee:
Markus Klute, Chair ~ William Detmold ~ Mike Williams


 

September 8, 2014

hosted by: Prof. MIKE WILLIAMS

Mark Vagins picture



  Prof. Mark Vagins (University of California, Irvine)

  Zen and the Art of Gadolinium-Loaded Water   Cherenkov Detectors

Abstract: Water Cherenkov detectors have been used for many years to study neutrino interactions and search for nucleon decays. Super-Kamiokande, at 50 kilotons the largest such underground detector in the world, has itself enjoyed close to two decades of interesting and important physics results. Looking to the future, for the last eleven years extensive R&D on a potential upgrade to the detector known as GADZOOKS! has been underway and is now nearly complete. The benefits and challenges of enriching Super-K with 100,000 kilograms of a water-soluble gadolinium compound - thereby enabling it to detect thermal neutrons and dramatically improving its performance as a detector for supernova neutrinos, reactor neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos, and also as a target for the T2K long-baseline neutrino experiment - will be discussed. Enriching other water-based detectors, both existing and planned, for use as remote non-proliferation monitors and short-baseline neutrino experiments, will also be discussed.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



September 15, 2014

hosted by:  Prof. WILLIAM DETMOLD

Sanjay Reddy picture



  Prof. Sanjay Reddy (University of Washington)

  Neutron Stars in the Multi-Messenger Era:   Extreme Matter and Extreme Phenomena

Abstract: Neutron stars are at the core of most extreme astrophysical phenomena. In this talk I will discuss how the properties of matter at extreme density shape observable aspects of these phenomena. I highlight the role of nuclear and neutrino physics in core collapse supernova, neutron star mergers, nucleosynthesis and transient phenomena observed in accreting neutron stars and magnetars. Quantitative predictions for future multi-messenger signals (photon, neutrino and gravitational wave) is within reach and relies on combining advances in theory, simulation, and terrestrial experiments.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



September 22, 2014

hosted by:  Prof. MARKUS KLUTE

Nigel Lockyer picture



  Dr. Nigel Lockyer (Director of Fermilab)

              Neutrinos, Front and Center!
  Towards a New Understanding of the Quantum Universe

Abstract: Neutrinos are the most numerous massive particles in the universe. The masses are tiny and unknown, which neutrino is heaviest is unknown, and whether the neutrino is a Majorana particle is unknown. We do not know whether the Higgs field provides mass to the neutrino. Indeed, the complete chapter on mass and fermion family patterns has yet to be written and at the heart of this discussion is the ubiquitous neutrino. Neutrino masses influence the cosmic microwave background polarization. Neutrinos are a possible source of CP violation in the universe that may play a role in generating the matter excess in the universe. Each of these questions is developing as one of the main quests in particle physics throughout the world. As Fermilab develops its plan for the next two decades with partners around the world, the neutrino will be front and center

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



September 29, 2014

hosted by:  Prof. WILLIAM DETMOLD

Ruth van de Water picture



  Dr. Ruth Van de Water (Fermilab)

  Modern Lattice QCD: Progress & Prospects

Abstract: Numerical lattice-QCD simulations enable the determination of hadronic matrix elements and parameters of the QCD Lagrangian with controlled uncertainties that are systematically improvable. In the past few years, lattice methodology has been validated by comparison with a broad array of measured quantities, including some that were not yet well measured in experiment when the first good lattice calculation became available. In the coming years, numerical lattice-QCD calculations will be needed throughout the experimental high-energy physics program. After briefly introducing numerical lattice QCD, I present recent results for the hadron spectrum, quark masses, and strong coupling that demonstrate the reliability of modern lattice calculations. Next I discuss the role of lattice QCD in quark-flavor physics, for which lattice QCD is already a mature tool. I show recent results for decay constants, form factors, and mixing parameters needed to test the Standard-Model CKM framework and look for evidence of new physics in rare kaon and B decays. I finish by discussing prospects for lattice calculations needed to interpret future measurements as Standard-Model tests and new-physics searches, focusing on three key examples: the muon anomalous magnetic moment, neutrino oscillation parameters, and precision Higgs-boson couplings.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



October 6, 2014

hosted by: Prof. Janet Conrad

Giovanni Petrucciani picture



  Dr. Giovanni Petrucciani (CERN)

  Lee Grodzins Prize Award Winner

  
The CMS Higgs Combination: Challenges and Results

Abstract: The combination of different search channels has been very important for the CMS Higgs boson search program, as in most of the analyzed mass range multiple channels have complementary sensitivity to a signal: combining all the different analyses has allowed first in 2011 to rule out most of the mass range allowed for a standard model Higgs boson, then in 2012 to reach the discovery sensitivity already with the first 5/fb of 8 TeV data, and later with a larger data sample to establish the identity of the observed boson and test its couplings to all other standard model fields. The challenges faced along this path will be presented, together with the results achieved

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



October 13, 2014

COLUMBUS DAY – No NPPC



October 20, 2014

hosted by: Dr. Joshua Spitz

Patrick Huber picture



  Prof. Patrick Huber  (Virginia Tech)

  Project Poltergeist, a Ghostly Neutrino and a   Specter

Abstract: It is not quite Halloween yet... In this talk we will discuss how Project Poltergeist shaped neutrino physics for decades to come and made nuclear reactors the workhorse of early oscillation searches. A renaissance of reactor neutrino experiments around 2010 lead to the very precise measurement of one of the mixing parameters, theta13 -- in the run-up to this measurement flux calculations from the 1980's were scrutinized and surprisingly the flux was found to be higher than previously expected leading to the so-called reactor anomaly. The reactor anomaly points a type of neutrino even more elusive than regular neutrinos, the ghostly sterile neutrino. We will review the calculations performed so far and highlight some of the open questions. In the final part of the talk we will point out how current attempts to settle the question of the sterile neutrino will impact our future ability to use neutrinos to peer into the cores of nuclear reactors to safeguards against the diversion of plutonium, which may play an important role in banishing the specter of nuclear terrorism.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)


October 27, 2014

hosted by: Prof. WILLIAM DETMOLD

Fabio Maltoni Picture



   Prof. Fabio Maltoni (Universite Catholique de Louvain)

   The Top/Higgs Gateway to New Physics

Abstract: The top quark and the Higgs boson are the heaviest elementary particles known so far. They are intimately, yet somewhat mysteriously, related in the SM. Their peculiar phenomenology offers inspiration to new physics model building and provides a unique opportunity for exploring the TeV scale at the LHC. In this talk I survey the exciting opportunities ahead in light of the possibility for the top quark and the Higgs boson to be portals to new physics and the corresponding searches at the LHC.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



November 3, 2014

hosted by: Prof. Janet Conrad

M. Wetstein's picture



  Dr. Matthew Wetstein (University of Chicago)

  Lee Grodzins Prize Award Winner

  
Building Big and Thinking Fast:
New Prospects for Neutrino Physics with Cherenkov
and Scintillating Detectors

Abstract: The neutrino physics community faces stark technological tradeoffs between conventional detectors that offer large target volumes but poor resolution, and advanced, high resolution detector systems with limited scalability. In this talk, I present a third way. By fundamentally reinventing the photodetector, it becomes possible to develop high-resolution Water Cherenkov (WC) or scintillation-based neutrino detectors capable of more complete event reconstruction using precision measurements of the positions and drift times of optical photons. I will give a brief overview of the Large Area Picosecond Photodetector (LAPPD) project, an effort to develop compact, microchannel plate (MCP) photomultiplier tubes capable of sub-millimeter, sub-nanosecond spatial resolutions and with potential for scalability to large experiments. I will also discuss a first effort to realize LAPPDs in a neutrino experiment at Fermilab: the Atmospheric Neutrino Neutron Interaction Experiment (ANNIE). ANNIE is designed to measure the abundance of final-state neutrons produced by neutrinos in water, a critical measurement for future neutrino and proton decay analyses. Finally I will present some thoughts on the long-term implications of new water and scintillation-based technology for next generation experiments approaching megaton-scales.

 

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



November 10, 2014

VETERANS' DAY – No NPPC



November 17, 2014

hosted by:  Prof. WILLIAM DETMOLD

Simona Murgia picture



  Prof. Simona Murgia (University of California, Irvine)

  Indirect Detection of Dark Matter with
  Gamma Rays

Abstract:  Evidence for dark matter is overwhelming. From experimental data we can infer that dark matter constitutes most of the matter in the Universe and that it interacts very weakly, and at least gravitationally, with ordinary matter. However we do not know what it is. Several theoretical models have been proposed that predict the existence of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) that are excellent dark matter candidates. The existence of WIMPs can be tested indirectly, primarily through their annihilation or decay into photons. In this talk I'll present the latest results on these searches by Fermi LAT.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



November 24, 2014

hosted by: Prof. Christoph Paus

Maurizio Pierini picture



   Dr. Maurizio Pierini, (Caltech)

  Search for New Physics in Final States with Jets
  at CMS

Abstract: Thanks to the progresses in jet phenomenology and the accuracy reached by detector descriptions, particle physics entered the era of precise measurements in final states with jets at the LHC, improving our new-physics discovery capability. I will describe a few examples of searches for new physics with jet signatures, discussing how the impact of novel techniques in data taking (so called "scouting"), data analysis (e.g., jet substructure) and new kinematic variables (e.g., the "razor" variables for SUSY) pushed the physics reach of CMS beyond expectations. Based on the results of the LHC Run I, I will describe interesting scenarios for Run II and for future hadron colliders.

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



December 1, 2014

hosted by:  Prof. Richard Milner

Yifang Wang picture



  Dr. Yifang Wang, (IHEP, Beijing)

  Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment and the Future

Abstract: Recently reactor neutrino experiments have made important contributions to the neutrino oscillation. I will introduce the Daya Bay experiment which observed for the first time the neutrino mixing angle q13 with a statistical significance of 5.2 s. The concept of the experiment, the detector construction and data analysis will be described. The next generation reactor neutrino experiment, JUNO, is about to start the construction in China. This experiment can determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and improve the precision of neutrino mixing parameters by one order of magnitude. It is also sensitive to supernova neutrinos, geoneutrinos and many others. I will also describe a new idea of neutrino beam for CP phase determination

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)



December 8, 2014

hosted by: Prof. WILLIAM DETMOLD

Eric Braaten picture



   Prof. Eric Braaten, (Ohio State University)

  Making Sense of the XYZ Mesons from QCD

Abstract: The XYZ mesons are unexpected mesons containing a heavy quark and antiquark that have been discovered in the last decade. Their number has grown to about two dozen. Many of them are surprisingly narrow, and several are electrically-charged tetraquark mesons. Their existence presents a serious challenge to our understanding of the spectrum of QCD. I will explain how the Born-Oppenheimer approximation can be used to begin to understand the XYZ mesons.

 

time:    4:00 p.m.
place:   Kolker Room (26-414)

(refreshments at 3:30 p.m.)