CERN Accelerating science

EP department announces new neutrino group

by Panos Charitos

To meet the challenges of the neutrino programme at CERN, the EP department recently announced the establishment of a neutrino group in the department. The group will act as a focal point for the activities of the accelerator-based experimental neutrino community in Europe and world-wide, and will work in close connection also with the CERN neutrino Platform and the neutrino related activity in the TH Department. Manfred Krammer and Albert De Roeck will coordinate the activities of the new group and hence will ensure that the Organization continues to play a key role in neutrino research.

Albert De Roeck explains: “The formation of the new group is a result of the progress made in the past years and CERN’s effort to be a key part of worldwide activities for neutrino physics. As a response to the 2013 European Strategy for Particle Physics, CERN launched the neutrino platform with the aim of fostering and contributing to fundamental research in neutrino physics at particle accelerators worldwide. The EP neutrino group will contribute towards this direction and assist European physicists interested in neutrino projects.”

Presently, a number of projects at CERN are connected directly with experiments planned to take place both at Fermilab and in Japan. “We are just in the beginning, but the new group will act as a hub for the large community of neutrino experts around Europe, enabling them to develop their ideas, work on simulations and various experimental aspects in preparation for their participation in the large neutrino experiments.”

The new group aims to offer CERN scientists and visitors that will come and  spend some time at CERN to connect with ongoing R&D efforts, as well as provide opportunities to young researchers who could apply for a fellowship or staff position and work in one of the future accelerator based neutrino experiments. Planned activities range from simulations of physics processes to detector data reconstruction and performance studies, while future work may focus further  on e.g. trigger and data acquisition, as well as in analysing test beam data. “We are also open to discuss new areas in which EP could engage,” adds Albert. “Opportunities for CERN activities in both long and short baseline experiments will be explored.”

The neutrino group will also work closely with the support groups under the umbrella of the EP department, namely the electronics systems group (ESE), the detector technologies group (DT) and the software design group (SFT). A wide range of possibilities could be explored, from improvements in Geant4 to the development of new micro-electronics or detector concepts, while the upgrades of the LHC detectors may offer synergies. In addition, the neutrino group will work closely with colleagues from the TH department where a neutrino task force has already been set up, and confront experimental with theoretical ideas that can be tested in the foreseen experiments.

Albert De Roeck concludes: “We will collaborate very closely with CERN’s neutrino platform  and other EP groups, such as the support groups (DT, ESE, SFT) to deliver the best possible outcome and facilitate new projects that will attract physicists interested in neutrino from all over Europe. It is important to show that there is a coherent effort to strengthen the connections between CERN and the worldwide community and help promote research in neutrino physics at CERN.