Physics Colloquium

3:30–4:30 pm Maria Goeppert-Mayer Lecture Hall

Taming the BeEST: A Model Independent Search for Heavy Neutrinos using Superconducting Quantum Sensors
Kyle Leach, Colorado School of Mines

Host: Juan Collar

The search for sterile neutrinos is among the brightest possibilities in our quest for understanding the microscopic nature of dark matter in our universe.  The existence of these elusive particles are best probed indirectly via momentum conservation with SM particles during their possible creation in laboratory through weak-interaction processes.  One way to observe these momentum recoil effects experimentally is through high-precision measurements of nuclear electron-capture (EC) decay, where the final state only contains the neutrino and a recoiling atom.  This approach is a powerful method in our search for BSM physics since it relies only on the existence of a heavy neutrino admixture to the active neutrinos and not on the model-dependent details of their interactions.  In this talk, I will describe our Beryllium Electron capture in Superconducting Tunnel junctions (BeEST) experiment that uses the decay-momentum reconstruction technique to precisely measure the lithium-7 atomic recoil energy in sensitive superconducting tunnel junctions (STJ) following the “kick” it is given by the neutrino in beryllium-7 EC decay.  I will also present our first limits on sub-MeV BSM neutrinos and our ongoing work for dramatically increasing the sensitivity of the BeEST.  Finally, I will discuss how our pioneering work with this technology can be used to search for BSM physics on the TeV scale with short-lived rare-isotope decay.

Dear Physics Community,

After thoughtful consideration, we have decided not to have indoor receptions following our weekly Physics colloquium.  As a result, we will not have a reception for the remaining of the Autumn Quarter.   Though we look forward to these gatherings, the health and safety of our community is our highest priority.  We will continue to monitor the situation and, when possible, will resume our normal schedule.

Please note, our Physics Tea will continue on Tuesday/Thursday at 3pm in KPTC 206.  We’ll offer tea, coffee and take-away snacks.  We encourage you to bring your own mugs too!

Event Type

Colloquia and Lectures

Nov 18