Thinking globally: Fermilab’s new Neutrino Physics Center to serve multinational neutrino community

Bonnie Fleming

Bonnie Fleming

Deborah Harris

Deborah Harris

Stephen Parke

Stephen Parke

Fermilab is positioning itself as the accelerator neutrino capital of the world by producing two of the three most powerful neutrino beams and by hosting the largest variety of running neutrino experiments. Fermilab is also hosting the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and its Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, the largest international DOE research facility ever hosted on U.S. soil.And now Fermilab is home to a new Neutrino Physics Center, a vibrant research hub where scientists from around the world meet, engage and discuss all things neutrino.

Fermilab Neutrino Division Head Gina Rameika and Deputy Head Steve Brice created the NPC for researchers to visit Fermilab and participate in its expanding neutrino program. This includes short- and long-baseline experiments for studying neutrino oscillations, interactions and detector R&D as well as a rich theoretical neutrino physics program.

The NPC aims to foster a stimulating, neutrino-focused community, bringing together theorists and experimentalists, early-career scientists and senior researchers, visitors and Fermilab residents.

To that end, we plan to provide incentive for and recognize outstanding work in neutrino research through the Neutrino Fellowships. These awards will enable researchers to come to Fermilab for short or extended periods. They will go to experimentalists for work on hardware or software and to theorists for theory and phenomenology research related to the Fermilab neutrino program. A call for the first round of applications has started. In the future, the plan is to have two calls for applications to Neutrino Fellowships each year.

The NPC program also includes a stimulating biweekly lecture series, the Neutrino Seminar Series, which will feature speakers primarily from outside Fermilab, ensuring that the global neutrino physics community is represented. The series will provide an opportunity to communicate ideas between scientists from different neutrino experiments, as well as between phenomenologists and experimentalists to inject insight from relevant outside experts.

The seminar series transforms into the “Neutrino University” during the summers, when Fermilab’s undergraduate population surges. This cohesive lecture program has in the past covered topics such as neutrino detectors, beamlines, phenomenology and cross sections, as well as nonaccelerator-based neutrino experiments.

We, the NPC’s first co-coordinators, represent three groups in Fermilab’s neutrino program: the university and lab experimental communities and the theoretical community. An advisory board oversees our activities. Once the center is established, co-coordinators will serve-three year terms.

The NPC is organized for and by the neutrino community. We encourage you to learn more about it by visiting our new website or by contacting us directly. And we welcome all neutrino scientists to come by and participate in our neutrino research village.

NPC co-coordinators: Bonnie Fleming is a professor at Yale University, deputy chief research officer for neutrinos at Fermilab and co-spokesperson for the MicroBooNE experiment. Deborah Harris is a Fermilab scientist and co-spokesperson for the MINERvA experiment. Stephen Parke is a senior scientist and former head of the Theoretical Physics Department at Fermilab.