The international T2K collaboration announced today that they have observed an indication of a new type of neutrino transformation or oscillation from a muon neutrino to an electron neutrino. Boston University Professor of Physics Edward Kearns is among the team of researchers responsible for this discovery.
Evidence of this new type of neutrino oscillation may lead the way to new studies of a matter/ anti-matter asymmetry called charge-parity (CP) violation. This phenomenon has been observed in quarks (for which Nobel prizes were awarded in 1980 and 2008), but never in neutrinos. CP violation in the early universe may be the reason that the observable universe today is dominated by matter and no significant anti-matter. If the T2K result does indicate this third oscillation, then a search for CP violation in neutrinos will be a major scientific quest in the coming years.
"Even though we have studied neutrino oscillations for years, there is still a great thrill in seeing these six events. The neutrino beam technique that we use is working beautifully and the interpretation is simple and direct. I can hardly wait to collect more data. It has been a privilege for all of us at Boston University to participate in this series of experiments in Japan, and we greatly appreciate the efforts at J-PARC and KEK to restart the T2K beam," says Kearns.
Neutrinos come in three types, or "flavors"; electron, muon, and tau. In the T2K experiment in Japan, a muon neutrino beam was produced in the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex, called J-PARC, located in Tokai village, Ibaraki prefecture, on the east coast of Japan, and was aimed at the gigantic Super-Kamiokande underground detector in Kamioka, near the west coast of Japan, 295 km (185 miles) away from Tokai. An analysis of the detected neutrino-induced events in the Super-Kamiokande detector indicates that a very small number of muon neutrinos traveling from Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) transformed themselves into electron neutrinos.
Further steps towards this goal will continue to require global scientific collaborations, like T2K, to overcome the significant technical challenges in this search. The T2K experiment utilizes the J-PARC complex that accelerates protons onto a target to produce an intense secondary particle beam that is focused by special magnets called neutrino horns. The focused particle beam decays into a beam of neutrinos, which is monitored by a neutrino detector 280 meters from the target. This beam of neutrinos travels 295 km underground to be detected in the Super-Kamiokande detector.
The work of the T2K experiment is located in Japan and primarily supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. However, the experiment was constructed and is operated by an international collaboration, which consists of about 500 physicists from 59 institutions in 12 countries [Japan, US, UK, Italy, Canada, Korea, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Poland, and Russia]. The data collected by the experiment is also analyzed by the collaboration. The US T2K collaborating team of approximately 70 members [Boston University, Brookhaven National Lab, UC Irvine, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Duke University, Louisiana State University, Stony Brook University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, and University of Washington (Seattle)] is funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science. The US groups have built superconducting corrector magnets, proton beam monitor electronics, the second neutrino horn and a GPS time synchronization system for the T2K neutrino beamline; and a pi-zero detector and a side muon range detector (partial detector) in the T2K near detector complex.
They are also part of the team that built, upgraded and operates the Super-Kamiokande detector.
The March 2011 earthquake in eastern Japan caused damage to the accelerator complex at JPARC, and the data-taking run of the T2K experiment was abruptly discontinued. Fortunately, however, no scientists working on T2K or technical staff supporting their work were injured in the earthquake or its aftermath. The T2K experiment will be ready to take data when J-PARC resumes its operation, which is planned to occur at the end of 2011.
More details on this measurement have been provided in a press report at http://jnusrv01.kek.jp/public/t2k/ and attached to this document.
Prof. Edward Kearns, Boston University (Boston, MA), firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 617-353-3425
For more details, visit http://physics.bu.edu/sites/neutrino/?p=97
About the Boston University Department of Physics — The mission of the Physics Department at Boston University is to provide excellence in teaching physics and advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship. The Department's strengths are in experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics and biological physics. In elementary particle experiment, BU physicists host major experimental efforts with the DØ experiment at Fermilab; the Super-K neutrino experiment in Kamioka, Japan; two major detector efforts at the LHC at CERN and the MuLan experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute, both in Switzerland. The BU Department of Physics ranks in the top 10 in private universities in statistical measures of the number of refereed papers, the number of citations per year, and the number of citations per paper.
About Boston University — Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.
Edward Kearns | EurekAlert!
Electrocatalysis can advance green transition
23.01.2017 | Technical University of Denmark
Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin
23.01.2017 | Ferdinand-Braun-Institut Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering