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College of Arts & Sciences
Physics and Astronomy

Colloquium: "The CUORE Search for Neutrino-Less Double-Beta Decay"

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 16:15 to 17:15



Dr. Frank T. Avignone III
Carolina Endowed Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of South Carolina



The neutrino is the most prolific particle in the universe, yet some of its most important properties are not known.  Their mass scale is still not known, and because they have no electric charge, they could be their own anti-particles.  This was a possibility suggested in the proposed theory of Ettore Majorana.  The only practical way to determine this is by observing nuclear double-beta decay without the emission of neutrinos (neutrino-less double-beta decay).  One of the leading experimental searches is the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE).  CUORE is a large (740-kg) array of tellurium dioxide thermal detectors (bolometers) containing 200-kg of the isotope 130Te.  This isotope is an excellent candidate for such a search.  The physics, the technology, the detector, and the role of USC graduate students and faculty bringing CUORE to life, will be discussed.

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