Nuclear Physics Seminar

New opportunities with solar neutrinos

Shirley Li (The Ohio State University)

Time: Monday, October 17th, 2016, 01:30 pm

Crucial questions about solar neutrinos remain unanswered. Our knowledge of stellar fusion processes and neutrinos themselves is incomplete. Neutrino detectors such as Super-Kamiokande have the exposure needed, but backgrounds are limiting. A leading background is the beta decays of isotopes produced by cosmic-ray muons and their secondary particles, which initiate nuclear spallation reactions. I will discuss my comprehensive studies of the spallation backgrounds, from calculating their production rates, to understanding their production mechanisms, to how to implement better background rejection methods. I will also discuss how our work will enable better probes of both solar and neutrino physics.

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