Skip to main content

P&T Colloquium: Matthew Wetstein (Iowa State University)

Oct 21, 2021 - 4:25 PM
to , -

Speaker: Matthew Wetstein (Iowa State University)

Title: Building Small, Thinking Fast, Dreaming Big: New Technologies for Future Neutrino Experiments

Abstract: The neutrino physics community faces stark technological tradeoffs between conventional detectors that offer large target volumes but poor resolution, and advanced, high resolution detector systems with limited scalability. In this talk, I present a third way. By fundamentally reinventing the photodetector, it becomes possible to develop high-resolution Water Cherenkov (WCh) or scintillation-based neutrino detectors capable of more complete event reconstruction using precision measurements of the positions and drift times of optical photons. I will give a brief overview of the Large Area Picosecond Photodetector (LAPPD) project, an effort to develop compact, microchannel plate (MCP) photomultiplier tubes capable of sub-millimeter, sub-nanosecond spatial resolutions and with potential for scalability to large experiments. I will also discuss a first effort to realize LAPPDs in a neutrino experiment at Fermilab: the Atmospheric Neutrino Neutron Interaction Experiment (ANNIE). ANNIE is designed to measure the abundance of final-state neutrons produced by neutrinos in water, an important measurement for future neutrino and proton decay analyses. I will discuss my group's efforts in understanding neutrino interactions in the NOvA Experiment, and new ideas to use precision beam timing to constrain uncertainties in the DUNE experiment. Finally, I will present some thoughts on the long-term implications of new water and scintillation-based technology for next generation experiments approaching megaton-scales. 

Bio: I joined the ISU faculty in 2015, as a new member of the growing neutrino group. I bring a background in electroweak physics, from my graduate studies of W boson properties at U Maryland, and technical experience in instrumentation through my post-doctoral work on the Large Area Picosecond Photodetector Project at Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago. My physics interest is in fundamental properties of neutrinos, with a current focus on better understanding their interactions with matter, a key systematic in neutrino oscillation experiments. My technological interest is in developing next generation water-based neutrino detectors. I served for six years as a co-spokesperson for the ANNIE experiment, and a PI on the NOvA, WATCHMAN, and DUNE collaborations.