IU Nuclear Physics

Accelerator Neutrino Group

Our group investigates the properties and interactions of neutrinos. This includes both the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations as well as using the neutrino to probe the structure of the nucleon and nucleus.

The phenomenon of neutrino oscillations, where a neutrino of one type spontaneously transforms into another, has important and far-reaching implications for particle physics and cosmology. For this to occur, at least one neutrino must be massive and the heretofore-observed lepton-flavor conservation law must be violated. Neutrino oscillations have been observed in a variety of experiments thoughout the world. We are currently looking more carefully at one class of these observations called "short-baseline-oscillations". The neutrino may also be as a probe to investigate the structure of the nucleus and nucleon as seen by the electroweak force.

We have also recently used a neutrino detector to look for accelerator-produced dark matter.

We do this work...
with support from the National Science Foundation
at Indiana University-Bloomington
within the Physics Department
at the IU CEEM (Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter)
located in MES hall on IUB campus.


Currently, our group is:
  • Rex Tayloe, group leader
  • Ivan Tolstukhin, postdoc
  • Tyler Thornton, grad student/postdoc moving soon to LANL postdoc
  • Matt Heath, grad student
  • Jacob Zettlemoyer, grad student
  • Maria Del Valle Coello, Cox scholar undergrad student
  • Daniel Wnney, grad student
  • Ben Suh, grad student
  • with much excellent technical help from: John Vandewerp, Gerard Visser, Walt Fox, Brandon Kunkler, physics-dept machine shop.
(Recent) Past members are:
  • Robert Cooper, former postdoc/Fermilab IF fellow, now faculty member at NMSU
  • Lance Garrison, former grad student, Ph.D. Spring 2014, now with NNSA
  • Ethan Steele (undergrad, now med. student),

Current Projects


COHERENT is an experiment currently running at the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source to make the first measurements of the CEvNS (Coherent Elastic Neutrino Nucleus Scattering) process. This process has never been observed and is important to measure to understand dark matter interactions as well as fundamental nuclear physics.

For more info, see


MiniBooNE (Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment) is a neutrino oscillation experiment at Fermilab. We have been running since 2002 and in that time collected a huge data set and learned much about neutrino oscillations and interactions. See our publications page for those references. We are currently continuing to collect data in conjunction with the microboone experiment. We have also figured out how to search for dark matter in a large neutrino detector. See our publication in PRL for that story.


CENNS (Coherent Elastic Neutrino Nucleus Scattering) Experiment is a project in the R&D phase with a goal of measureing coherent neutrino nucleus scattering at Fermilab.

Here is our paper describing the experiment as we hope to do it at Fermilab:

  • "A New Method for Measuring Coherent Elastic Neutrino Nucleus Scattering at an Off-Axis High-Energy Neutrino Beam Target", CENNS Collaboration, Phys.Rev.D 89, 072004 (2014). Inspirehep.net Link

SciBath is a detector development project with the goal of producing a precise, large volume, liquid scintillation, tracking detector to use for the study of neutrinos and neutrons. In the last year, we have deployed at both Fermilab and ORNL to measure neutron backgrounds for the COHERENT, CENNS, and ANNIE experiments.

Past Projects

Last Modified: Friday, 11-Aug-2017 14:42:53 EDT