Swarna Jayanti Fellow to explore the New Physics in Neutrino experiments

ODISSA: Sanjib Kumar Agarwalla, Associate Professor, Institute of Physics (IOP), Bhubaneswar, a Swarna Jayanti Fellow of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, will unravel the fundamental properties of massive neutrinos and explore the interesting signals of New physics in upcoming high-precision neutrino oscillation experiments.

Over the last two decades, several world-class experiments have firmly established the phenomenon of neutrino flavour oscillation which implies that neutrinos have mass and they mix with each other. Since neutrinos are massless in the new particle physics, also called Basic Standard Model of particle physics, there is a need to invoke BSM physics to accommodate non-zero neutrino mass and mixing.

Several interesting BSM scenarios such as sterile neutrinos, non-standard neutrino interactions, neutrino decays, dark matter – neutrino secret interactions, and so on may affect the production, propagation, and detection of neutrinos.

Sanjib will probe these BSM effects at very high (TeV-PeV) energies (beyond the reach of modern colliders) by detecting astrophysical neutrinos from cosmic distances using giant neutrino telescopes such as Ice Cube at the South Pole, future Ice Cube-Gen2, and KM3NeT in the Mediterranean Sea. He has plans to investigate these BSM scenarios at low (MeV-GeV) energies using accelerator and atmospheric neutrinos travelling terrestrial distances.

Future high-precision accelerator long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments such as DUNE in USA, T2HK in Japan, and atmospheric neutrino experiment at the upcoming India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) facility are supposed to measure the mass-mixing parameters with a precision of around a few %, and therefore, these upcoming experiments may be sensitive to various sub-leading BSM affects, which Sanjib is going to explore with his group at IOP.