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Science. 2017 Sep 15;357(6356):1123-1126. doi: 10.1126/science.aao0990. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering.

Author information

1
Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics named by A. I. Alikhanov of National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute," Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation.
2
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Moscow 115409, Russian Federation.
3
Department of Physics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
4
Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
5
Department of Physics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
6
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.
7
Department of Mathematics and Physics, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA.
8
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94550, USA.
9
Enrico Fermi Institute, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and Department of Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. collar@uchicago.edu.
10
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
11
Department of Physics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA.
12
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.
13
Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics and Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
14
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.
15
Enrico Fermi Institute, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and Department of Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
16
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA.
17
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.
18
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region 141700, Russian Federation.
19
Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
20
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
21
Department of Physics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario P3E 2C6, Canada.
22
Department of Physics at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP) at Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The coherent elastic scattering of neutrinos off nuclei has eluded detection for four decades, even though its predicted cross section is by far the largest of all low-energy neutrino couplings. This mode of interaction offers new opportunities to study neutrino properties and leads to a miniaturization of detector size, with potential technological applications. We observed this process at a 6.7σ confidence level, using a low-background, 14.6-kilogram CsI[Na] scintillator exposed to the neutrino emissions from the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Characteristic signatures in energy and time, predicted by the standard model for this process, were observed in high signal-to-background conditions. Improved constraints on nonstandard neutrino interactions with quarks are derived from this initial data set.

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PMID:
28775215
DOI:
10.1126/science.aao0990

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