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Towards the discovery or exclusion of neutrino oscillations at short baseline with the SoLid experiment.

Our current understanding of the most elementary building blocks of matter and their interactions is summarized in the Standard Model of particle physics. Within this Standard Model, neutrinos are the most puzzling. Decades of experiments have lead to the conclusion that neutrinos have a very small mass. Due to this small mass, a neutrino of a certain flavor has a non-zero probability to oscillate to a neutrino of another flavor. Oscillations between the three neutrinos in the Standard Model have been observed typically over large distances (>1km) from the place where they were produced. Over the last years, a deficit of the observed number of neutrinos at short distances (<100m) from reactors is measured. This could be an indication of an oscillation to a fourth and new type of neutrino. The aim of recent short baseline neutrino experiments is to prove or discard the hypothesis of the existence of the so-called sterile neutrino. One of the most promising short baseline experiments that is able to answer this question is the SoLid experiment. The SoLid detector is a neutrino detector consisting of plastic scintillator cubes with Li-6 screens installed at a the BR2 reactor at SCK-CEN in Mol, Belgium. The detector setup has been tested thoroughly over the last years and a 5 times larger detector is currently being constructed. This project aims to record and analyze the new data in order to provide an answer to the sterile neutrino hypothesis in the next 4 years.
Date:1 Jan 2017  →  31 Dec 2020
Disciplines:Classical physics, Elementary particle and high energy physics, Other physical sciences
Project type:Collaboration project