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6:00–7:00pm No-host meet & greet (cash bar)
8:00pm Announcements and technical presentation
Neutrino Astrophysics Group
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Alan Poon received his bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of British Columbia in 1991 and 1998 respectively. He has been employed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1998, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then as a career-track scientist before being promoted to a career staff scientist in 2003. He became the group leader of the Neutrino Astrophysics Group in 2009, and is currently serving as the acting Deputy Division Director of the Nuclear Science Division. His research focuses on the properties of neutrinos, and has made important contributions to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), KamLAND, Majorana and KATRIN experiments. The deep underground SNO and KamLAND experiments were awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2015, and the SNO experiment was additionally recognized by the Nobel Prize in Physics in the same year. For his contributions to neutron physics, Poon was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014.
Topic: Neutrinos—the Chameleon in the Elementary Particle Zoo
Neutrinos are the second most abundant elementary particles in the universe. And yet, we know very little about their physical attributes since their discovery in mid-1950s. It was not for another four decades until physicists obtained evidence that the neutrinos have mass, but this quantity has still not been measured directly. Despite the enormous neutrino flux from the sun—tens of billions of neutrinos passing through your thumbnail every second—multi-ton-sized detectors only observe a handful of neutrinos a day. Neutrinos can also change their “flavor” while flying between their production point and the detectors (as if a pitcher throws a baseball, while the catcher receives a ping-pong ball). The hugely successful Standard Model of Elementary Particles, which predicted the existence of the Higgs boson, assumed that the neutrinos were massless; this is incorrect, but physicists do not have enough experimental data to fix the theory. In this talk, I will describe some of the peculiar features of the neutrinos.
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