Scientific Colloquium
March 22, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

"Neutrino Mass: Where We Are, Where We Are Going and Why Is It Important?"  

Discovery of neutrino oscillations in various experiments during the past two decades has established that neutrinos have mass, contrary to the common belief held for nearly half a century. The activities in experimental and theoretical as well as astrophysical and cosmological fronts have gone exponential following this discovery, uncovering many more details about neutrino properties. In this talk, after a brief overview of where we stand now in this field and where we are going, I will discuss some key theoretical hints that have emerged regarding physics beyond the standard model of particle physics from the current results and suggest ways to test them experimentally.

About the Speaker:

Rabindra Mohapatra is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland. He obtained his Ph. D. from the University of Rochester in 1969. He was a Professor at CUNY, New York, before joining UMD. He is best known as a proponent of the left-right symmetric theories of weak interactions, which led him to predict in 1974 that neutrinos must have mass. This was contrary to what was the common lore at the time. In 1979, he was one of the co-proponents of the seesaw mechanism, which explains why neutrino masses must be very small. Neutrino masses were finally discovered in 1998 and since then the seesaw mechanism has been considered as the leading paradigm for understanding neutrino oscillations. His work on seesaw mechanism led him and Robert Marshak to suggest that neutrons could spontaneously transmute themselves to anti-neutrons, a proposal that has led to several past and ongoing experimental searches for this process. He is also well known for his proposal that dark matter could be a signal of a mirror duplicate of our universe. Mohapatra is the author of two advanced text books on particle physics, “Unification and supersymmetry” and “Massive neutrinos in physics and astrophysics”. He is an APS fellow and was awarded the Humboldt Prize
in 2005 for his work on neutrinos.

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