All 3 entries tagged Tim Davis

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July 17, 2007

0vßß– Hierarchy Graph

Just a short update from me today, since my last blog i have found a suitable graph producing library for PHP (a web based programming language), and collated the data that needs to be plotted.

In the background of the plots I needed to plot the theoretical allowed values- this presented a challenge, as none of the academics in the department remebered how! However after a trawl through papers, and a week of fiddling and coding i was able to produce the graph below, in the correct form, and generating the curves on the fly, so eventually the user will be able to change the paramters at will!

Neutrino Hierachy

July 09, 2007

First Week: ββ(0ν) Background

So its monday again, and i thought i should write an entry about what our first week has entailed!

Three words sum it up: Reading, Reading and Reading.
(plus a little scrounging, lugging, and reformatting!)

We arrived on monday to be given a large reading list, found the papers and got reading, this went on through tuesday too.

Wednesday involved more reading, and trying to locate computors and a room to put them in! Eventually the kind people in engineering were able to provide us with computors, and a physics meetingroom was booked for 8 weeks solid!

Ill post some pictures of our “office” when i get a chance.

The rest of the week was spent reading, and installing Linux on the three machines.

Friday afternoon saw me start a initial design for the website, which you can see in its rough form below:

website preview

Im going to have a meeting with my supervisor today to get links to all the data I need to include. Until then, adios!

July 04, 2007

My Project

Project Intro: Title: Development of an e-resource for Low Background Physics: ββ(0v)

My project is basicly to create a website where physicists researching into double beta decay can come to quickly and easily produce graphs showing background levels experienced in various experiments going on worldwide. To understand why this is needed, some basic theory is required:

Beta Decay

Beta Decay is the process in which a neutron decays, via the weak interaction to a proton, releasing an electron and an electron anti neutrino.

Beta Decay

In in normal beta decay two such events happen simultaneously, with the emission of two electrons and two antineutrinos. Neutrinos are assumed to be massless. This is as far as the “standard model” of particle physics can take us.

Double Beta 2v

Neutrinoless Double Beta

Certain theories beyond the standard model predict that neutrinos are actually Majorana particles (they are there own antiparticle) with non zero mass. In order to test these theories you can look at there prediction that Neutrinoless Double beta decay could occur, as shown below:


A virtual neutrino is exchanged between the two decaying nuclei, leaving only two electrons to be released. This is a testable prediction, as the two electrons must share the energy avaliable equally, and hence produce a sharp single peak on an energy distribution graph.

The reason this has not yet been conclusivly done arises because the half life of this process is very long! Around the order of ~10^25 years! This means even with a ton of source material only one or two of these event would happen within a year!

This is where my project comes in. If we are to spot the one or two events in a year, then the background noise must be very low. My project is to build a resource that will collate all the current experimental evidence around background noise, in a simple and easy to use format.

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