Neutrino Physics with Low Temperature Detectors

Recent years have witnessed many exciting breakthroughs in neutrino physics.

The detection of neutrino oscillations has proved that neutrinos are massive particles but the assessment of their absolute mass scale is still an oustanding challenge in today particle physics and cosmology. Due to their abundance as big-bang relics, massive neutrinos strongly affect the large-scale structure and dynamics of the universe. In addition, the knowledge of the scale of neutrino masses, together with their hierarchy pattern, is invaluable to clarify the origin of fermion masses beyond the Higgs mechanism. The mass hierarchy is not the only missing piece in the puzzle. Theories of neutrino mass generation call into play Majorana neutrinos and there are experimental observations pointing to the existence of sterile neutrinos in addition to the three ones weakly interacting. 

Since low temperature detectors were first proposed for neutrino physics experiments in 1984 by E. Fiorini and T. Niinikoski (E. Fiorini and T. Ninikoski, Nucl. Instrum. and Meth. 224, p.83 (1984) DOI), there have been impressive technical progresses: today this technique offers the high energy resolution and scalability required for leading edges and competitive experiments addressing the still open questions.
The main applications low temperature detectors to Neutrino Physics are

Low temperature detectors offer many potential advantages useful for Neutrino Physics experiments:

  • high energy resolution
  • high detection efficiency
  • low energy threshold
  • material flexibility
  • large masses
  • multiplexed read-out
  • multiple read-out techniques for particle identification
  • nuclear recoil sensitivity

See also here the LTD-15 slides

  1. A Nucciotti. The Use of Low Temperature Detectors for Direct Measurements of the Mass of the Electron Neutrino. ADVANCES IN HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS 2016:1–41, 2016. DOI