Physics and Astronomy Chalk Talk – Julieta Gruszko
February 19 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Chalk Talk
Julieta Gruszko, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Harnessing Detector Physics for Limitless Experiments”
As we move to more and more sensitive experiments, having a complete understanding of the physics processes occurring in our detectors becomes critical. Detector behaviors that we used to consider pathological, anomalous, or just not worth capturing can become new tools for background rejection. Luckily, advances in data acquisition and computing capabilities are improving our ability to record all of the information produced in an experiment, simulate detectors, and extract information from complex signals. Leveraging this information will be key for building future background-free experiments like searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ). Experiments using HPGe detectors are already using these techniques in their pulse-shape analysis; I’ll discuss how I hope to expand these capabilities in LEGEND and how studying germanium detector physics can increase the sensitivity of other measurements, from dark matter to coherent neutrino-nuclear scattering searches. In NuDot, we’re developing the tools needed for full event-topology reconstruction in liquid scintillator experiments, a set of techniques that uses high-precision spatial and timing information from Cherenkov and scintillation light signals. I’ll explain why these techniques make NuDot uniquely well-suited to conduct a search for 2νβ+/EC decay, two neutrino double-beta decay’s even-rarer counterpart, and how they could enable us to build background-free kiloton-scale experiments. I’ll describe the rich liquid scintillator and photodetector R&D program NuDot will support as we begin to lay the groundwork for 0νββ searches that will probe the normal hierarchy regime and explore the astrophysical universe of neutrinos.