Los Alamos key player in new neutrino experiment

September 12, 2002

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., September 12, 2002 - A major experiment that could change how we understand the universe - designed in part by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists - has recorded its first neutrino events at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

The Booster Neutrino Experiment, or MiniBooNE, will confirm or deny experimental evidence from researchers at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, who first reported in 1995 that one type of neutrino transforms into a different type, which suggests that neutrinos have mass and that a fourth type of neutrino may exist.

Bill Louis of Subatomic Physics (P-25) said the neutrino transformations, called oscillations, are most logically explained by the existence of a new type of neutrino.

"If MiniBooNE confirms the results of our experiment at Los Alamos, then there may be more kinds of particles in the universe than we have been assuming, which will require us to revise our standard model of physics," Louis said. "A big puzzle is what constitutes the dark matter and dark energy that make up a large fraction of the universe. The fact that neutrinos change type indicates they provide some of that mass, but the possible existence of additional types of neutrinos could really shake things up."

Members of the Los Alamos team who collaborated in designing and operating the MiniBooNE experiment are Louis, Jan Boissevain, Camilo Espinoza, Gerry Garvey, Gordon McGregor, Geoff Mills, Richard Schirato, Neil Thompson, Richard Van de Water and Hywel White, all of P-25; Vern Sandberg of Space and Remote Sensing Sciences (NIS-2); and Ben Sapp of Advanced Nuclear Technology (NIS-6).
Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

Los Alamos enhances global security by ensuring safety and confidence in the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction and improving the environmental and nuclear materials legacy of the cold war. Los Alamos' capabilities assist the nation in addressing energy, environment, infrastructure and biological security problems.

For more Los Alamos news, visit www.lanl.gov.

DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

Related Dark Matter Articles from Brightsurf:

Dark matter from the depths of the universe
Cataclysmic astrophysical events such as black hole mergers could release energy in unexpected forms.

Seeing dark matter in a new light
A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method.

Holding up a mirror to a dark matter discrepancy
The universe's funhouse mirrors are revealing a difference between how dark matter behaves in theory and how it appears to act in reality.

Zooming in on dark matter
Cosmologists have zoomed in on the smallest clumps of dark matter in a virtual universe - which could help us to find the real thing in space.

Looking for dark matter with the universe's coldest material
A study in PRL reports on how researchers at ICFO have built a spinor BEC comagnetometer, an instrument for studying the axion, a hypothetical particle that may explain the mystery of dark matter.

Looking for dark matter
Dark matter is thought to exist as 'clumps' of tiny particles that pass through the earth, temporarily perturbing some fundamental constants.

New technique looks for dark matter traces in dark places
A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan -- published today in the journal Science - concludes that a possible dark matter-related explanation for a mysterious light signature in space is largely ruled out.

Researchers look for dark matter close to home
Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don't know what, exactly, it is.

Galaxy formation simulated without dark matter
For the first time, researchers from the universities of Bonn and Strasbourg have simulated the formation of galaxies in a universe without dark matter.

Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Read More: Dark Matter News and Dark Matter Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.