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Virginia Tech to Host String Pheno Conference

      The Center for Neutrino Physics at Virginia Tech will host the 2017 String Phenomenology conference will will be held at Virginia Tech, July 3rd through 7th. String Pheno is a forum that brings together diverse researchers aiming to bridge the gap between fundamental theory and observable physics. In light of new data from the LHC, as well as important results from astrophysics and cosmology, such as those coming from LIGO and the Dark Energy Survey, this conference will fully explore the connections between the properties of string theory and the forthcoming new data. The conference includes both invited plenary talks and contributed parallel sessions, and is expected to have a diverse international participation: of the 33 confirmed invited speakers 9 different countries are represented.

Registration is now open.

String Pheno Coming to Virginia Tech in July

Argon Experiment Begins its Run at JLab

      After almost 3 years of preparations, an experiment lead by CNP Members Camillo Mariani and Omar Benhar and aimed at the determination of the nuclear structure of argon started its run at the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab). By detecting protons knocked out from the argon nucleus by an electron beam, the measurement will provide complete information on the shell structure of argon, filling an important gap in our knowledge. The collected data will help the neutrino community to make more reliable estimates of neutrino-argon cross sections and to model nuclear effects more accurately in the next generation of neutrino-oscillation experiments, such as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). An improved description of nuclear effects will allow a reduction in the systematic uncertainties in the measurement of charge-parity symmetry violation in neutrino oscillations and the search for proton decay, bringing us closer to understanding the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe and constraining possible extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics.

The Hall A spectrometer at JLab, which will be used in the Argon Scattering Experiment.

CNP Inaugurates New Mobile Neutrino Lab

      On February 8th, the Center for Neutrino Physics held a ribbon cutting to introduce its new Mobile Neutrino Lab. This new state-of-the-art facility will transport and host the MiniCHANDLER Detector as it is deployed at the North Anna Nuclear Power plant to demonstrate reactor neutrino detection.
      The event was an excellent opportunity to celebrate the great progress in the CHANDLER project and to acknowledge the support of the projects many benefactors, including several organizations within Virginia Tech: The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, The College of Science, The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, The College of Engineering and The Institute for Society, Culture and Environment; as well as the National Science Foundation. The ribbon cutting was preceded by brief remarks for CNP director Jonathan Link and followed by light refreshments, including the world's first (or so we assume) Mobile Neutrino Lab cake.

Prof. Jonathan Link speaking at the ribbon cutting for the new Mobile Neutrino Lab

CUORE Experiment Reaches Major Milestone

      The Cryogenic Observatory for Rare Events experiment (or CUORE) reached a major milestone recently, when all 19 of the detector modules (called towers), consisting of 988 TeO2 crystals and weighing almost 750 kg, were safely installed in the cryostat. Preparations are now underway cool the towers to their operating temperature of 10 mK, which is a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero. The experiment will search for neutrinoless double beta decay, a hypothetical but theoretically well motivated process eagerly sought by particle physicists to deepen our understanding of neutrino masses and possibly discover lepton number violation. Related processed are key ingredients in theories that attempt to explain the abundance of matter over antimatter in the Universe. CNP's Professor Thomas O'Donnell led CUORE tower construction and was a key member of the installation team.

The full CUORE Tower assembly in the the clean room before installation in the cryostat.

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The proceedings from Heavy Quarks and Leptons 2016 are now available online.