Going the Distance: Studying Neutrinos with Long-Baseline Accelerator Experiments

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Date/Time:Monday, 19 Mar 2012 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Physics Hall Room 5
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Dr. Mayly Sanchez (Dept of Physics & Astronomy, Iowa State University)

Neutrinos may hold the key to one of the most fundamental questions yet to be answered: why is the universe matter dominated? The answer to this question is crucially linked to parameters in neutrino physics that are still unknown. By analyzing a neutrino beam at two different locations, one close to the beam production and one hundreds of kilometers downstream, long-baseline experiments can probe these parameters by observing neutrino flavor change. MINOS, based at Fermilab and the Soudan Underground Laboratory, is one of the most successful of these experiments. It has played a leading role in confirming neutrino oscillations and measuring its parameters with ever increasing precision. In this talk, I will discuss latest results from MINOS with an emphasis on electron neutrino appearance. I will also assess the impact of this and other recent measurements on our knowledge of the neutrino landscape. Finally, I will review the prospects for the US long-baseline neutrino program headlined by NOvA, presently under construction, and by LBNE, currently in its design stages. These experiments will produce the next major breakthroughs in unraveling the pieces of the neutrino puzzle.