The neutrino plays a key role at the frontier of particle physics and astrophysics. Its mass has strong implications in particle physics, for it opens a door to theories of great unification beyond the standard model, and in cosmology, in connection with dark matter. Its very nature is not established: is it a particle of Majorana or of Dirac, that is to say, is it or not its own antiparticle? In addition, the neutrino is an incomparable messenger: its low probability of interaction allows it to be easily extracted from the densest emissive media (Sun, deep layers of supernovas, active nuclei of galaxies) and to probe the universe over distances cosmological.
The neutrino exists in three flavors (ne, nm, nt). One of the most important results of recent years in particle physics is the discovery of the phenomenon of oscillation of neutrinos, that is, their transformation from one flavor to another during their propagation, which implies that The neutrinos have a non-zero mass (which was not originally foreseen by the standard model of particle physics). The oscillations were discovered with the experiments of solar neutrinos (as Borexino) and atmospheric neutrinos and then confirmed by experiments with reactors and on beams, which allowed an accurate measurement of the mixing parameters. The latest is the mixing angle q13, measured, among other things, by the Double Chooz experiment (image) in which the laboratory took a leading part. The non-zero value of this parameter now opens the way to the precise study of the nm-to-ne transition with atmospheric neutrinos (KM3NeT / ORCA project) and beam neutrinos (DUNE project and associated R & D WA105 at CERN). This should make it possible to know the ordering of the masses of the neutrinos and the measurement of the phase CP, fundamental parameter related to the asymmetry matter-antimatter in the universe.
It is in this context that the "neutrinos" group of the APC laboratory contributes to the main axes of neutrino physics through the projects already mentioned and participation in the future generation experiment with JUNO reactors. The group is also involved in the SOX experiment that studies short-range oscillations to explore the possible existence of a fourth family of neutrinos, known as sterile, in the sense that it does not interact with matter.
The APC Neutrinos Group is also a member of the DarkSide collaboration, which develops a new TPC technology for liquid and gaseous Argon for direct dark matter research.
Group Leader: Jaime Dawson
Deputy Head: Antoine Kouchner
The Neutrinos Team
DE KERRET Hervé
HOUQUE Dawson Jaime
VAN ELEWYCK Veronique