Special Physics Club: Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture: Roxanne Guenette, University of Manchester, “Neutrinos: From zeros to heroes?”

Event time: 
Monday, December 4, 2023 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Sloane Physics Laboratory SPL, Room 57 See map
217 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Roxanne Guenette, University of Manchester
Event description: 

It is now commonly agreed that neutrinos could hold the key to many great mysteries of physics, such as the imbalance in the Universe between matter and anti-matter, and several current and next generation of experiments are gearing up to provide new answers. Neutrinos are also the only particles of the Standard Model that could be of Majorana nature, a characteristic that would give considerable strength to theories that propose to explain the mass of these elusive particles and that intend to explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry. After reviewing the intriguing properties of neutrinos and presenting the open questions of our field, I will explain how searching for neutrinoless double beta decays with Xenon High Pressure Time Projection Chambers (like the NEXT experiment is doing) could give us a unique opportunity to discover a Majorana neutrino. I will also discuss how such discovery would be a revolution for Particle Physics.
The Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture is given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Howard L. Schultz, Sr. who received his PhD in Physics from Yale in 1937, where he was an instructor from 1938 until 1940. Professor Schultz joined the Yale physics faculty in 1945, and immediately began work in building atom‐smashing devices. Between 1961 and 1976 he was director of the Electron Linear Accelerator laboratory. Earlier, in 1951, he headed a project that expanded the Yale linear accelerator to a 15‐section, 6.5 million‐electron‐volt machine. Upon his death in 1977, a prize was started and awarded to seniors majoring in physics in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. This lecture is usually held in the Spring term and speakers are suggested and invited by the Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS).