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Unraveling the Nature of the Invisible Neutrino - Latest Results from the NOvA Experiment

Jul. 13 - 14:30 - 2016

SPEAKER: Alexandre Sousa (University of Cincinnati)

ABSTRACT:  The weakly-interacting neutrino remains the most elusive and difficult to measure of all elementary particles. Yet, it may hold long-sought answers to some of the most profound questions on our understanding of the evolution of the universe, most prominently: why is the universe matter-dominated? The answer to this question is crucially linked to parameters in neutrino physics that remain unmeasured. The present flagship experiment at Fermilab, NOvA, analyzes the world’s most powerful neutrino beam in operation at two different locations, one close to beam production at Fermilab, and one 810 km downstream in Ash River, Minnesota, to probe the neutrino parameters by precisely measuring neutrino flavor oscillations. These measurements have the potential to unravel the remaining unknowns in neutrino oscillation physics, namely the mass hierarchy, the octant of the θ23 mixing angle, and perhaps hint at CP violation in the leptonic sector. In this talk, I will review our current knowledge of the neutrino landscape, describe the current status of the NOvA experiment, and present the latest results from two years of data taking. I will conclude with a discussion of how NOvA and future US neutrino experiments may contribute to solve some of the universe’s deepest mysteries.

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