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 are also using neutrino detectors 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, Dan Salvat: PIs
  • Max Hughes: postdoc
  • Ben Suh, Hongfa Li, Hamna Ali, John Mastroberti: grad students
  • Maria Del Valle Coello, Cox scholar undergrad student
  • with much excellent technical help from: John Vandewerp, Gerard Visser, Walt Fox, Brandon Kunkler, physics-dept machine shop.
(Recent) Past members are:
  • Jacob Zettlemoyer, former grad student, now FNAL postdoc.
  • Matt Heath, former grad student now ORNL postdoc
  • Ivan Tolstukhin, former postdoc now scientist at Argonne Nat'l Lab
  • Tyler Thornton, former grad student/postdoc now LANL postdoc
  • 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),


  • Jacob Zettlemoyer, "First Detection of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering on an Argon Target"
  • [more to appear here]

    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. Our group is focusing on the Liquid Noble Gas effort.

    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: Monday, 29-Jun-2020 17:34:17 EDT