Neutrinos, Fruit Flies, and the Rule of Three

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Date/Time:Monday, 03 Dec 2018 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Phys 0003
Phone:515-294-5441
Channel:Colloquium
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Dr. Robert Svoboda, University of California Davis

Abstract: "The Rule of Three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things - Wikipedia." For reasons we do not understand, it seems this rule also applies to the Fundamental Fermions. Despite the central role the Rule of Three plays in the Standard Model of particle physics, there is a disheartening paucity of theoretical ideas on this subject. Now however, recent discoveries in Neutrino Physics may be showing us a way to at least begin to address this puzzling fact.

Bio: Dr. Svoboda received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Hawaii and was later a postdoc at the University of California - Irvine. He is currently chair of the Physics Department at the University of California - Davis. He has been working in the field of neutrino physics for a number of years, having built many large underground multi-purpose detectors (IMB, Super-Kamiokande, KamLAND, SNO+, DUNE, Theia) and also smaller experiments such as Double Chooz and ANNIE. He was co-spokesperson for the LBNE experiment (now known as DUNE). He has made many fundamental measurements and discoveries. These include: (1) detection of neutrinos from SN1987A, (2) first unambiguous discovery of neutrino oscillations, (3) first measurement of the solar neutrino flux to high precision, and (4) first measurement of the energy dependence predicted by neutrino oscillations.