Much Ado About Sterile Neutrinos: Continuing the Quest for Discovery

Friday, February 12, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Marriott Balcony A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Peter Wilson, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL
Neutrino oscillation experiments around the world have seen exciting hints that cannot be explained by the prevailing three neutrino oscillation model. While not of sufficient significance to declare a discovery, these could be evidence for sterile neutrinos. Several new experiments using neutrinos from radioactive sources, nuclear reactors, or particle accelerators will start data taking over the next few years with the goal of determining whether there are sterile neutrinos. This talk will explore the capabilities of these new experiments. For example, at Fermilab the accelerator-based Short-Baseline Neutrino program, using three Liquid Argon Time-Projection-Chamber (LAr-TPC) detectors with a total mass exceeding 1000 tons, has been launched. The first of the three detectors, known as MicroBooNE, started receiving neutrinos from a particle beam in 2015. The second and largest detector, known as ICARUS, completed a successful physics run at the Gran Sasso National laboratory in Italy in 2014 and is now in the midst of a two-year upgrade at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). ICARUS will be transported to Fermilab and installed in a new building in 2017. The final detector, the Short Baseline Near Detector, now being designed and constructed by a collaboration of Swiss, British and U.S. universities working with CERN and Fermilab, will be installed in another new building in 2018. Together these detectors will provide the most powerful accelerator probe for sterile neutrino searches.