Thomas KutterKutter

Professor of Physics

Ph.D., 1999 - The University of Heidelberg

Louisiana State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy
220-C Nicholson Hall, Tower Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001
(225) 578-8310-Office


Research Interests

Experimental High Energy Physics

My principal research interest is in experimental particle and astro-particle physics. I am primarily interested in neutrino physics because neutrinos are a good probe to test for physics beyond the successful standard model of particle physics. In addition, neutrinos serve as messengers from the Sun and other astrophysical objects.

My present research focuses on the study of neutrino oscillations using neutrino beams and very large detectors. The Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) experiment is located in Japan. It utilizes a high intensity muon neutrino beam directed into a near detector and towards the far Super-Kamiokande detector to measure neutrino oscillation parameters. Recently, we observed the transformation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos as well as the equivalent process for anti-neutrinos. These measurements allow us to determine the magnitude of the parameters that we use to describe neutrino oscillations. The results obtained to date reveal a first glimpse at CP violation properties of neutrinos, that is an asymmetry in the behavior of neutrinos and their anti-matter partners.

The study of neutrinos requires sophisticated and large particle and light detectors. In collaboration with engineers and technicians we build custom made detectors to suit our purposes. In our constant pursuit of improving the sensitivity of future experiments we study the properties of novel sensor technologies and ways to employ them in our detectors.

My group is actively working in research and development of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) which will use liquid argon detection technology to observe neutrinos. The project will have excellent sensitivity to CP violation in the leptonic sector and we plan to perform measurements to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and search for nucleon decay and neutrinos from Supernovae. Before building the full DUNE experiment we have designed and are constructing full-scale components for a liquid argon prototype detector (ProtoDUNE) and we are leading an effort to build this prototype in a charged particle beam at CERN.

Previously, I have worked on the K2K experiment, a 1st generation neutrino long-baseline experiment and at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO). SNO observed neutrinos from the Sun and resolved the solar neutrino problem. We measured the flavor content of the solar neutrino flux and thereby established neutrino flavor oscillations as the solution to the 30 year old solar neutrino problem. Amongst others, I led a search for electron antineutrinos with the SNO detector, an analysis that was directly aimed to look for "new physics" phenomena such as a neutrino magnetic moment and neutrino decay.

Recent and Select Publications


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