The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory: Observation of Flavour Change for Solar Neutrinos

Speaker: 
A. B. McDonald, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario for the SNO Collaboration
Event Date and Time: 
Tue, 2016-05-31 15:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Henn 201
Local Contact: 
Scott Oser
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

 
The nuclear reactions that power the sun produce enormous numbers of neutrinos that pass easily through the sun and provide a detailed measure of how the sun burns. To observe these elusive particles without interference from radioactive background, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) detector was developed to use 1000 tonnes of heavy water 2 km underground in an ultra-clean laboratory near Sudbury Ontario. This unique detector enabled the SNO Collaboration of scientists from Canada, the US and the UK to observe new properties of neutrinos, including the fact that they change among the three known types and therefore have a finite mass. These new properties are outside the predictions of the Standard Model for Elementary Particles and are of fundamental importance for the more complete understanding of the basic laws of physics and the evolution of our Universe. Scientists from UBC and TRIUMF played substantial roles in the SNO experiment and are participating in further experiments at the expanded SNOLAB international underground science facility, one of the lowest radioactivity locations in the world.

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