Neutrinos are among the most intriguing, least understood and probably most abundant particles in the Universe. The most exciting discovery of the last decade is that different neutrino types do change their identity as they propagate, suggesting that they are not strictly massless as required by the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Improving our understanding of neutrinos, which is one of the main priorities of the European strategy for particle physics, has the potential to unravel some of the deepest and long-standing issues of particle and astrophysics, such as the origin of matter, the origin of heavy elements, the nature of dark energy, etc. In this project, I aim to exploit data recorded by the T2K experiment in Japan, resulting from the highest intensity muon neutrino beam in the world. T2K will start taking data in 2009 and will run for 10 years, with an upgrade after 5 years. It is an international collaboration of 62 institutions, with European countries undertaking a critical and strategic role in its design and construction. I aim to utilise a new method, which exploits the excellent T2K charged and neutral particle identification, to look for evidence of oscillations of muon into electron neutrinos, which I believe is the most exciting measurement to be made in the near future. A non-zero oscillation value could hint at CP violation in the neutrino sector, which could explain the current matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe. In addition, I intend to search for the presence of sterile neutrinos, which are candidates for dark matter in the Universe. I also intend to improve the neutral current pi0 cross-section measurement, which is an important background in neutrino oscillations. The project will conclude with a global model-dependent fit to the existing world-wide measurements in neutrino physics. To carry out this project, I request funds for a Research Associate, two PhD students, my research time, travel and computing equipment.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics/dark matter
Call for proposal
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