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Announcing the First Results from Daya Bay: Discovery of a New Kind of Neutrino Transformation

Wed, 03/07/2012 - 9:11pm

“Even with only the six detectors already operating, we have more target mass than any similar experiment, plus as much or more reactor power,” says William Edwards of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, the U.S. project and operations manager for the Daya Bay Experiment. Since Daya Bay will continue to have an interaction rate higher than any other experiment, Edwards explains, “it is the leading theta one-three experiment in the world.”

The first Daya Bay results show that theta one-three, once feared to be near zero, instead is “comparatively huge,” Kam-Biu Luk remarks, adding that “Nature was good to us.” In coming months and years the initial results will be honed by collecting far more data and reducing statistical and systematic errors.

“The Daya Bay experiment plans to stop the current data-taking this summer to install a second detector in the Ling Ao Near Hall, and a fourth detector in the Far Hall, completing the experimental design,” says Yifang Wang.

Refined results will open the door to further investigations and influence the design of future neutrino experiments – including how to determine which neutrino flavors are the most massive, whether there is a difference between neutrino and antineutrino oscillations, and, eventually, why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe – because these were presumably created in equal amounts in the big bang and should have completely annihilated one another, the real question is why there is any matter in the universe at all.

“It has been very gratifying to be able to work with such an outstanding international collaboration at the world's most sensitive reactor neutrino experiment,” says Steve Kettell of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the chief scientist for the U.S. effort. “This moment is exciting because we have finally observed all three mixing angles, and now the way is cleared to explore the remaining parameters of neutrino oscillation.”

“This is really remarkable,” says Wenlong Zhan, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of the Chinese Physical Society. “We hoped for a positive result when we decided to fund the project, but we never imagined it could come so quickly!”

“Exemplary teamwork among the partners has led to this outstanding performance,” says James Siegrist, Associate Director for the Office of Science for High Energy Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy. “These notable first results are just the beginning for the world's foremost reactor neutrino experiment.”

The Daya Bay collaboration consists of scientists from the following countries and regions: China, the United States, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The Chinese effort is led by co-spokesperson, chief scientist, and project manager Yifang Wang of the Institute of High Energy Physics, and the U.S. effort is led by co-spokesperson Kam-Biu Luk and project and operations manager William Edwards, both of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, and by chief scientist Steve Kettell of Brookhaven.

Yifang Wang, co-spokesperson, IHEP, +86-10-88236076, yfwang@ihep.ac.cn

Kam-Biu Luk, co-spokesperson, Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, 510 486-7054, 510-642-8162, k_luk@lbl.gov

Tongzhou Xu, IHEP Public Affairs, +86-10-88235008, xutz@ihep.ac.cn

Paul Preuss, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs, 510-486-6249, paul_preuss@lbl.gov

Justin Eure, Brookhaven Public Affairs, 631-344-2347, jeure@bnl.gov

The collaborating institutions of the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment are Beijing Normal University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Charles University in Prague, Chengdu University of Technology, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, China Institute of Atomic Energy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dongguan University of Technology, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, University of Hong Kong, Institute of High Energy Physics, Illinois Institute of Technology, Iowa State University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nanjing University, Nankai University, National Chiao-Tung University, National Taiwan University, National United University, North China Electric Power University, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shandong University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shenzhen University, Siena College, Tsinghua University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Cincinnati, University of Houston, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Science and Technology of China, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of William and Mary, and Sun Yat-Sen (Zhongshan) University.

For more information, visit http://dayawane.ihep.ac.cn/twiki/bin/view/Public/WebHome

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