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HEP Seminar: An Updated Look at Antineutrinos for Nuclear Weapon Test Monitoring

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Rachel Carr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
When
15 November 2017 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Where
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Doug Cowen
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The progression of North Korean nuclear tests, along with advances in neutrino physics and the proposal of megaton-scale detectors in Japan and South Korea, motivates a new look at whether antineutrinos can provide forensic information about nuclear explosions or help verify test bans. Our study updates and expands upon a 15-year-old assessment of this idea and finds it more conceivable than initially suggested. While detector size and cost remain strong limitations, we identify scenarios in which an antineutrino detector could rapidly verify that a suspect seismic event involved nuclear fission, constrain the fission yield without interference from geologic conditions, and in principle provide some information relevant to understanding the weapon design. This work is a collaboration with Adam Bernstein (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress (Middlebury Institute of International Studies).

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