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THE YIN YANG OF THE BIG BANG: Neutrinos, Matter, and Antimatter

Saturday, June 2, 2018
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EST

When a particle and an antiparticle meet, they annihilate one another and vanish. So, too, vanished the brilliant physicist, Ettore Majorana, who proposed that a particle can be its own antiparticle. What’s with all of this vanishing, and how are neutrinos involved? Join us to hear particle physicists discuss these stories plus their hunt for a neutrino event so rare, it only happens to a single atom at most once every 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years: far longer than the current age of the universe. If they find it, it could explain no less than the existence of our matter-filled universe.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.


Natalie WolchoverScience Journalist

Natalie Wolchover is a senior writer at Quanta Magazine covering the physical sciences. Wolchover has a bachelor’s in physics from Tufts University, studied graduate-level physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-authored several academic papers in nonlinear optics.

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Janet ConradPhysicist

Janet Conrad’s work focuses on the lightest known particle of matter, the neutrino. The number of neutrinos in the universe far exceeds the number of atoms, yet we know surprisingly little about them. Conrad is now exploring whether neutrinos have other unexpected properties and is working to develop an updated model for particle physics that incorporates these new surprises.

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Andrea PocarPhysicist

Andrea Pocar joined the physics faculty at UMass-Amherst in 2009, where his research in experimental nuclear/particle physics includes searches for neutrino-less double beta decay, for weakly-interacting dark matter particles, and solar neutrinos.

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Lindley Winslowastroparticle physicist

Lindley Winslow’s work focuses on answering big questions about the universe by developing novel particle detectors. She received her BA in physics and astronomy in 2001 and her PhD in physics in 2008, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

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