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Direct neutrino mass determination with the KATRIN experiment

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lorena Escudero.

Neutrinos are popularly known as “ghost particles”, but the particle physics community has been hard at work in the last decades to get more information on the properties of neutrinos. The discovery of neutrino oscillations proofed that neutrinos are in fact massive particles. Nonetheless the absolute mass scale is not known yet.

The goal of the KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino experiment (KATRIN) is to investigate the neutrino mass with a sensitivity of 0.2 eV/c2 by a high-resolution and high-statistics measurement of the end-point region of the 3H 𝛽-spectrum. The 𝛽-electrons start in the windowless gaseous tritium source and go into a differential and a cryogenic pumping section. These components magnetically guide the 𝛽-electrons, while reducing the 3H flow to a negligible level. The energy of the 𝛽-electrons is then analyzed by two electrostatic spectrometers based on the MAC -E filter technique and detected by a multi-pixel silicon semiconductor detector.

At the experimental site at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), all major components have arrived by summer 2015 and the complete beam line has been assembled. The commissioning efforts of the full beam line and of the main spectrometer alone have been ongoing since 2013. During the latest measurement phase in July 2017 the full beam line was operated with a radioactive source gas for the first time. The used 83mKr emits mono-energetic conversion electrons with energies up to 32 keV and was used for detailed studies of the whole KATRIN setup.

This talk gives an overview of the current status of the KATRIN experiment, the recent commissioning efforts and the upcoming steps towards the first tritium measurements planned for 2018.

This talk is part of the Cavendish HEP Seminars series.

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