The first in our autumn series of Institute of Physics Scotland public lectures in Glasgow will take place next Thursday, 22nd October, at 7.30pm in Room 222 of the Kelvin Building. This lecture will continue our theme of light-related talks that marks International Year of Light 2015, and is doubly appropriate with the recent announcement of the Nobel Prize for Physics 2015, to Arthur McDonald and Takaaki Kajita for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.
Professor Paul Soler (University of Glasgow) will give a lecture entitled "Neutrinos: Messengers from Space".
Neutrinos are some of the most mysterious of elementary particles. In this talk I will discuss the birth of the neutrino as an idea, its discovery as a fundamental particle, how neutrinos are ubiquitous in the universe and how they spontaneously change in flight (neutrino oscillations). Neutrinos are found as remnants of the nuclear reactions that power our sun, are encountered as by-products from cosmic rays and are responsible for carrying away 99% of the energy of supernova explosions.
In commemoration of the international year of light, I will show how evidence for neutrinos is found through the observation of faint flashes of Cherenkov light in super-massive detectors. The Ice Cube detector in the South Pole, which instruments 1 cubic kilometre of the Antarctic ice, recently demonstrated evidence for extra-galactic neutrinos, with energies that dwarf the energies achieved at the Large Hadron Collider. This discovery opens up a new way at looking at the universe: neutrino astronomy.
Professor Soler carried out his PhD at the University of Sydney working on an underground Cherenkov detector to observe neutrinos from the sun and from cosmic rays. He held research fellowship appointments at Sydney and CERN to work on the neutrino oscillation experiment NOMAD at CERN. He has held positions at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and is currently an academic at the University of Glasgow, where he has contributed to the construction of the LHCb detector at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which aims to measure subtle difference between matter and antimatter from heavy (beauty and charm) quark decays. He is also developing new intense sources of neutrinos from muon decay, known as neutrino factories, and is performing the Muon Ionization Cooling Experiment (MICE) that would show that neutrino factories are technologically feasible.
Lecture is free and open to all, and begins at 7.30pm in Room 222 of the Kelvin Building. For more information see http://www.tinyurl.com/glasgow-iop/