Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering (CEvNS): Doing Big Physics with Small Neutrino Detectors
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL)
While typical neutrino detectors are quite large and far from their natural or human-made source, there is a branch of neutrino experiments that tends to be smaller in size and located close to a constructed source. Experiments measuring the coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering interaction take advantage of high-flux reactor, beam or spallation sources and involve finding an unobtrusive space to place the neutrino detector. Although predicted over 40 years ago, this interaction was unambiguously detected for the first time in 2017 by the COHERENT collaboration with the “world’s smallest neutrino detector” at the Spallation Neutron Source at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This talk will initially provide an historic overview of coherent neutrino scattering, the physics reach of this interaction (including supernova dynamics, dark matter experiments, and ‘non-standard’ interactions) and a brief review of current international activities. The presentation will then focus on the initial COHERENT collaboration results from a CsI detector and relevant background measurements. The talk will conclude with a description of the COHERENT collaboration’s current configuration and future plans for a suite of detectors with various materials for neutrino scattering measurements.