News from the Venice Neutrino Workshop

Here is just a very brief summary of results that have been presented so far. (For an extensive blog coverage about the event, see this link.)
Unfortunately, Elena Aprile did not present the new results from Xenon100, but she said that they will be presented at a press conference in Gran Sasso in April. It seems that they have new accurate measurements of the efficiency L_eff over a substantial energy range, that of course will be crucial when interpreting the data.
In neutrino physics, the present buzz concerns the possibility of sterile neutrinos, as seems to be mildly preferred by cosmological data. Also, the 15-year old LSND anomaly has reappeared (at lower energy) in the MiniBoone data. In addition, there are indications of antineutrino disapperance from a careful reanalysis of reactor data – the absolute flux seems to low (talk by Lassarre). These are all effects below 3 sigma, so it is probably best to be skeptic at the moment. Also, as Thomas Schwetz showed in his talk, one sterile neutrino is not enough, one has to have 2 or 3 at or below the eV scale. Still, it has generated a lot of attention in the neutrino community, and for example Carlo Rubbia has applied to CERN for moving the ICARUS liquid Argon detector from Gran Sasso to the CERN-PS accelerator to test the effect.


There was interestingly a talk about the new Swedish giant neutron facility ESS (European Spallation Source), which could in principle be used for neutrino physics, by A. Steuwer (a condensed matter physicist based in Lund; he replaced Mats Lindroos, who is in charge of the accelerator at ESS). The experiment KARMEN, which tested (and almost excluded) the claims of LSND, was indeed located near the beam stop of the spallation source ISIS in the UK, so a similar but more sensitive experiment could be performed at ESS. However, one needs very short pulses (ISIS had 100 ns), to distinguish between muon and electron neutrinos at the source, and presently ESS is designed for much too long pulses (2 microseconds). Also, ESS will be operational around 2020, and by that time this issue is most probably settled anyway…

Tomorrow we will have a couple of IceCube talks, and also talks by Sarkar and Aharonian which may be of interest for us in OKC.

Yesterday, Melchiorri said that the cosmological Planck data will not appear before January 2013, so we have to be patient  – not only when neutrinos are concerned.


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