Daya Bay neutrino experiment releases high-precision measurement of subatomic shape shifting and new result on differences among neutrino masses
August 21, 2013
Lynn Yarris (510) 486-5375 email@example.com
“The international Daya Bay Collaboration has announced new results about the transformations of neutrinos – elusive, ghostlike particles that carry invaluable clues about the makeup of the early universe. The latest findings include the collaboration’s first data on how neutrino oscillation – in which neutrinos mix and change into other “flavors,” or types, as they travel – varies with neutrino energy, allowing the measurement of a key difference in neutrino masses known as mass splitting.
‘Understanding the subtle details of neutrino oscillations and other properties of these shape-shifting particles may help resolve some of the deepest mysteries of our universe,’ said Jim Siegrist, Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the primary funder of U.S. participation in Daya Bay.
U.S. scientists have played essential roles in planning and running of the Daya Bay experiment, which is aimed at filling in the details of neutrino oscillations and mass hierarchy that will give scientists new ways to test for violations of fundamental symmetries. For example, if scientists detect differences in the way neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate that are beyond expectations, it would be a sign of charge-parity (CP) violation, one of the necessary conditions that resulted in the predominance of matter over antimatter in the early universe. The new results from the Daya Bay experiment about mass-splitting represent an important step towards understanding how neutrinos relate to the structure of our universe today.
‘Mass splitting represents the frequency of neutrino oscillation,’ says Kam-Biu Luk of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the Daya Bay Collaboration’s Co-spokesperson, who identified the ideal site for the experiment. ‘Mixing angles, another measure of oscillation, represent the amplitude. Both are crucial for understanding the nature of neutrinos.’ Luk is a senior scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and a professor of physics at the University of California (UC) Berkeley.
The Daya Bay Collaboration, which includes more than 200 scientists from six regions and countries, is led in the U.S. by DOE’s Berkeley Lab and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The Daya Bay Experiment is located close to the Daya Bay and Ling Ao nuclear power plants in China, 55 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong. The latest results from the Daya Bay Collaboration will be announced at the XVth International Workshop on Neutrino Factories, Super Beams and Beta Beams in Beijing, China.
The Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment is designed to provide new understanding of neutrino oscillations that can help answer some of the most mysterious questions about the universe. Shown here are the photomultiplier tubes in the Daya Bay detectors. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt)
‘These new precision measurements are a great indication that our efforts will pay off with a deeper understanding of the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe – including why we have a universe made of matter at all,’ says Steve Kettell, a Senior Scientist at BNL and U.S. Daya Bay Chief Scientist.”
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