Colloquia IFIC - Severo Ochoa

Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering by COHERENT

by Prof. Kate Scholberg (Duke University)



Coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS) is a process in
which a neutrino scatters off an entire nucleus at low momentum
transfer, and for which the observable signature is a low-energy
nuclear recoil.  It represents a background for direct dark matter
detection experiments, as well as a possible signal for astrophysical
neutrinos.  Furthermore, because the process is cleanly predicted in
the Standard Model, a measurement is sensitive to
beyond-the-Standard-Model physics, such as non-standard interactions
of neutrinos.  The process was first predicted in 1973.  It was
measured for the first time by the COHERENT collaboration using the
high-quality source of pion-decay-at-rest neutrinos from the
Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a
CsI[Na] scintillator detector.  This talk will describe COHERENT's
recent measurement of CEvNS, the status and plans of
COHERENT's suite of detectors at the SNS, and future physics reach.