The Parno Group

Experimental neutrino physics at Carnegie Mellon University


I am an experimental physicist at Carnegie Mellon University. As an Assistant Professor, I am involved in two main experiments: KATRIN, an effort in southwestern Germany to measure the absolute mass scale of the neutrino using tritium beta decay, and TRIMS, an effort in Seattle to test the molecular-physics theories that will be used in extracting the final KATRIN result). My group is involved with maintenance, operation and characterization of the main KATRIN detector system; data-quality assurance for the entire experiment; and background studies. We are also working to understand the molecular physics of gaseous tritium sources more generally, both with anticipated KATRIN data and with a dedicated experiment in Seattle, the Tritium Recoil-Ion Mass Spectrometer (TRIMS). I also contribute to the COHERENT collaboration, which seeks to measure a predicted Standard-Model process -- coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering, or CEvNS -- using several different types of detectors at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Group News

Group News (2018)

  • 1 Oct: Welcome to Dr. Yung-Ruey Yen, our new postdoc!
  • 7 Jun: Congratulations to Ana Paula, whose Neutrino poster (with past visitor Woo-Jeong Baek) was a finalist for the conference poster prize!
  • 4-9 Jun: There will be four posters from our group at Neutrino 2018 in Heidelberg! Check out Ting's, Larisa's, Ana Paula's and Becca's work at the poster sessions, and my talk on KATRIN on 7 June.
  • 7 Jun: Luke will be giving an invited talk on KATRIN at the PASCOS conference in Cleveland. Stop by if you're around!
  • 30 May: The paper Muon-induced background in the KATRIN main spectrometer is available on arXiv! Luke is the corresponding author.
  • 20 May: Congratulations to Ana Paula on earning a master's degree at CMU!
  • 18 May: KATRIN begins tritium commissioning with the Very First Tritium measurements! Larisa and Ana Paula are on-site at KIT.
  • 14 May: The paper Modelling of gas dynamical properties of the KATRIN tritium source and implications for the neutrino mass measurement is available on arXiv. I served on the Analysis Review Board for this paper, and past visitor Florian is a corresponding author.
  • 3 May: The KATRIN collaboration paper Reduction of stored-particle background by a magnetic pulse method at the KATRIN experiment is available on arXiv. Luke served on the Analysis Review Board for this paper.
  • 24 Apr: I'm giving the LNS lunchtime seminar at MIT, on COHERENT.
  • 17 Apr: The KATRIN collaboration paper First transmission of electrons and ions through the KATRIN beamline has been published as JINST 13 P04020! Larisa and Ana Paula contributed analyses and text, and I was the primary corresponding author.
  • 15 Apr: If you're at the APS April Meeting in Columbus, stop by Larisa's KATRIN talk in the morning or my neutrino-mass review in the afternoon -- or, better yet, both!
  • 12 Apr: The white paper LGBT+ Inclusivity in Physics and Astronomy: A Best Practices Guide is available on arXiv; I chaired this second-edition guide.
  • 29 Mar: I'm giving a talk on TRIMS at the second ECT* Workshop on Absolute Determination of the Electron (Anti)Neutrino Mass, in Trento, Italy.
  • 22 Feb: Luke is giving a KATRIN talk at the Lake Louise Winter Institute in Alberta, Canada.
  • 28 Jan: TRIMS begins tritium data-taking!

Group News (2017)

  • 26 Oct: Luke, Ting, Larisa and I are giving talks in Session DH at the DNP meeting. Stop by if you're there!
  • 17 Aug: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an article on our KATRIN research on TribLive.
  • 11 Aug: Our group successfully hosted the KATRIN Analysis Workshop here at CMU this week. Press release here.
  • 3 Aug: COHERENT has measured coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering at 6.7 sigma! Science early release (with writeups at Wired and Scientific American)
  • 1 Aug: KATRIN experiment featured in Physics Today article (with quotes!)
  • 29 Jun: KATRIN experiment featured in Science news article
  • 22 Jun: Congratulations to Ting on advancing to PhD candidacy at UW!
  • 24 Jan: Congratulations to Luke on advancing to PhD candidacy at UW!