Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New DFG Research Group: “What Does a Neutrino Weigh?”

14.04.2015

German Research Foundation provides approximately two million euros in funding

A new research group, established at Heidelberg University with funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG), is working on determining the mass of the elementary particle neutrino.

The research, which began in April 2015, will receive funds of nearly two million euros over a three-year period. Beside physicists of Ruperto Carola researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and the Universities of Mainz and Tübingen are part of the project.

Prof. Dr. Christian Enss of the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at Heidelberg University is the spokesperson for the “Neutrino Mass Determination by Electron Capture in Holmium-163“ (ECHo) DFG research group.

“For a long time the neutral elementary particle neutrino was thought to be massless, which turned out to be wrong. Since then, particle physicists all over the world have been pursuing the fundamental task of determining the neutrino’s tiny mass,” says Prof. Enss.

To get closer to answering the question of the neutrino’s weight, the new DFG research group intends to develop and deploy a special detector technology known as the magnetic microcalorimeter.

These detectors will be used in experiments to measure the decay spectrum of the radioactive element holmium-163 with extreme precision. As Prof. Enss explains, holmium-163 decays into dysprosium-163 when an electron from the holmium shell is “captured” by the nucleus. A neutrino is released at the same time.

The missing energy at the end point of the decay spectrum should point to the mass of the neutrino. “We want to develop this approach over the long term to make it the most sensitive method of directly determining the mass of neutrinos,” says the Heidelberg physicist.

The researchers are also hoping to gain some new basic knowledge of elementary particles in general. “This new detector technology also holds a great deal of potential for further experiments in particle physics and related fields,” underscores Prof. Enss. Approximately 1.4 million euros of the total DFG funding is earmarked for Heidelberg arm of the ECHo DFG research group.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Christian Enss
Kirchhoff Institute for Physics
Phone: +49 6221 54-9861
christian.enss@kip.uni-heidelberg.de

Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone: +49 6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.kip.uni-heidelberg.de/~enss/?lang=en

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Breakthrough Prize for Kim Nasmyth
04.12.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht The key to chemical transformations
29.11.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

11.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

What makes corals sick?

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>