Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Particle physicists from Mainz University participate in JUNO neutrino experiment

28.01.2015

Project designed to undertake precise measurement of neutrino oscillation should provide insight into neutrino mass hierarchy

The construction of the facilities for the JUNO neutrino experiment has been initiated with an official groundbreaking ceremony near the south Chinese city of Jiangmen. Involved in the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) will be more than fifty institutions from China, the US and Europe - with six from Germany alone. Starting in 2020, JUNO will begin to produce new information about the particle characteristics of the neutrino.

"The aim of JUNO is to precisely measure the oscillations of neutrinos for the purpose of investigating one of the major issues in neutrino physics today - the sequence or hierarchy of neutrino masses," explains Prof. Michael Wurm of the Institute of Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). He is acting as one of the German JUNO partners and was at the site to watch the start of work on the underground lab.

Neutrinos are elementary particles that have next to no mass and that are emitted by processes such as fusion in the sun and radioactive decays of fission products in nuclear reactors. They have no electric charge and are subject only to the weak nuclear force. This means that they can penetrate matter almost unhindered and can only be captured using massive detectors that are usually located underground.

There are three different types of neutrinos – electron, muon, and tau neutrinos. They can change from one type to another, a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation. It is possible to determine the mass of the particles by studying the oscillation patterns.

"Oscillations only occur because neutrinos have three different masses. But which is the lightest of the three and which is the heaviest? The JUNO experiment will be sensitive enough to allow us to clearly sequence the three neutrino types," said Wurm.

The particle physicist, who is also participating in the Borexino experiment that investigates solar neutrinos and is located under Italy's Gran Sasso mountain, sees this as an important step forward for the experimental efforts to find a violation of matter/antimatter symmetry in neutrino oscillations. Scientists hope to find out why matter and antimatter did not completely annihilate one another after the Big Bang.

It will only be possible to determine the sequence of neutrino masses through tiny changes in the oscillation patterns that cannot be detected by currently running experiments. The JUNO detector is thus being built in its own underground lab, which is located some 50 kilometers from two reactor complexes on China’s southern coast.

The neutrinos emitted by the reactors will be registered in the form of small light flashes in the liquid scintillator target located at the center of the detector. Carefully shielded from radiation background, 20,000 tons of the mineral oil-like target liquid will be contained in an acrylic sphere of 35 meter diameters. Its outer surface will be equipped by a dense array of light sensors detecting the scintillation light.

Six years of construction are foreseen for the new detector that will be 100 times larger than the Borexino experiment. Upon start of data taking in 2021, the scientists expect that another five years of measurement will be necessary to answer the question of neutrino mass hierarchy.

Images:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/08_physik_etap_juno_spatenstich_eng_01.jpg
Schematic depiction of the JUNO detector showing the shielded acrylic sphere (lower right). The detector is surrounded by a pool of water to protect it against background radiation (upper left).
source/©: Michael Wurm

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/08_physik_etap_juno_spatenstich_02.jpg
JUNO Civil Construction Kick-off Meeting on 10 January 2015 near Jiangmen in China
photo/©: INFN – Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/08_physik_etap_juno_spatenstich_03.jpg
Access road to the planned underground neutrino observatory
photo/©: INFN – Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

Further information:
Professor Dr. Michael Wurm
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone: +49 6131 39-23928
fax: +49 6131 39-25169
e-mail: michael.wurm@uni-mainz.de
http://www.etap.physik.uni-mainz.de/index_ENG.php

Related links:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/17555_ENG_HTML.php -- press release “Detection of pp-neutrinos provides first direct measurement of solar power at its production“, 28 Aug. 2014

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New Insight into Molecular Processes
21.11.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Exoplanet stepping stones
21.11.2018 | W. M. Keck Observatory

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helping to Transport Proteins Inside the Cell

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>