17-22 July 2016
Master Cutlers Hall
Europe/London timezone

Light sterile neutrino search with reactor experiments

18 Jul 2016, 12:40
20m
Venue: Cutlers' Main Hall (First Floor); Chair: Priscilla Cushman; Session Managers: Andrew Scarff & Anthony Ezeribe ()

Venue: Cutlers' Main Hall (First Floor); Chair: Priscilla Cushman; Session Managers: Andrew Scarff & Anthony Ezeribe

Speaker

Dr. Julia Haser (MPIK Heidelberg)

Description

Several anomalies were reported by neutrino oscillation experiments in the past few years. The most momentous explanation conjoining these anomalous observations is the existence of a light sterile neutrino. Although not interacting weakly, a sterile neutrino would participate in the lepton flavor mixing and therefore distort the oscillation patterns predicted by the three flavor paradigm. Global fits favor a squared mass difference of $\Delta m^2 \sim 1\mathrm{eV^2}$ and a mixing angle of $\sin^22\theta \sim 0.1$, i.e. of similar size as the smallest mixing angle $\theta_{13}$. Being an intense and heavily monitored source of electron antineutrinos, nuclear reactors are well-suited to study neutrino oscillation parameters. The most recent observation supporting the sterile neutrino hypothesis is known as the "reactor antineutrino anomaly". A re-evaluation of the neutrino flux emitted by nuclear reactors resulted in a $\sim\,$6% deficit in the observed-to-predicted event ratio in the data collected by 19 short-baseline ($L \leq 100\,\mathrm{m}$) reactor experiments. Upcoming reactor experiments will consequently operate at even shorter baselines of 10 meters and less, where a distinct oscillation pattern in space and neutrino energy could be detected. Observing this smoking gun signal would unambiguously prove the existence of sterile neutrinos. In this talk an overview on reactor experiments aiming to discover eV${}^2$ sterile neutrinos will be presented. Their detection technologies will be discussed, details on the current status and discovery prospects will be given.

Primary author

Dr. Julia Haser (MPIK Heidelberg)

Presentation Materials

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