LNS Lunchtime Seminar
Tuesday, February 07, 2023 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Searches for massive neutrinos with mechanical quantum sensors
Levitated optomechanical sensors now allow control and measurement of the mechanical degrees of freedom of nanoscale particles in the quantum regime. If isotopes undergoing nuclear decay are implanted into such particles, measuring the recoil of the entire nanoparticle following the decay allows reconstruction of the total momentum of all emitted particles, including any neutral particles that may escape detection in traditional detectors. Near-term applications include searches for sterile neutrinos in the keV-MeV mass range, as well as other invisible beyond-the-Standard-Model particles that may be emitted in such decays. We also comment on the possibility that mechanical sensors might someday reach the sensitivities required to provide an absolute measurement of the mass of the light neutrinos.