Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jason Detwiler '99 - "Is the Neutrino its Own Antiparticle?

Department of Physics Distinguished Alumni Jason Detwiler '99, Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Washington, presents "Is the Neutrino its Own Antiparticle?"


Among the known fundamental particles, the neutrino alone could be a Majorana particle, a fermion for which the particle and antiparticle states are identical. The discovery of neutrino mass and its tininess relative to the other leptons and quarks has greatly strengthened the theoretical motivation for Majorana neutrinos. More than just a matter of trivia, the nature of the neutrino has deep implications for issues as far reaching as Grand Unification, the symmetries of the Standard Model, and the prevalence of matter over antimatter in the universe. I will discuss the neutrino's role in these important issues, and introduce the only known viable experimental probe of this physics: searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay.