In the quest to unravel the characteristics of the mysterious neutrino particle, millions of which pass through us undetected every day, scientists from several international universities have joined forces with UK research colleagues to build a unique engineering technology demonstrator at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. Known as MICE [Muon Ionisation Cooling Experiment] the experiment will prove one of the key requirements to produce intense beams of neutrinos at a dedicated Neutrino Factory to be built later this decade.
Announcing funding for the experiment Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury said, “It is a testament to the UK’s world class science and facilities that leading experimental physicists from across the globe have supported conducting a project of this calibre in the UK. The Government’s investment in this experiment will provide a unique showcase of UK scientific and engineering technology.The support for using the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is a further demonstration of the UK’s position as a leading base for scientific research and innovation.”
Recent observations of solar neutrinos have shown that they change state [oscillate], between three forms – electron, tau and muon – during their journey from the Sun to the Earth. This discovery is extremely significant since oscillations can only occur if neutrinos have mass. The Standard Model of particle physics, on which our current understanding how our universe was created and is held together, assumes that neutrinos have no mass. The ability for neutrinos to change state, therefore having mass, means the Standard Model is wrong or incomplete.
Gill Ormrod | alfa
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