QCD at the Intensity Frontier

Who: William Detmold (MIT)
When: Monday, January 19, 2015 at 14:15
Where: The CP³ meeting room

Experiments at the intensity frontier seek to probe exceedingly rare interactions in the Standard Model and search for new interactions beyond it. Many such experiments involve targets that are nuclei and so depend on the intricacies of QCD and nuclear physics. In order to optimise the impact of these experiments a rigorous understanding of the interactions of nuclei with currents in the Standard Model and beyond is needed. Long baseline neutrino experiments will probe neutrino interactions at an unprecedented level, but uncertainties in neutrino-nucleus cross sections will significantly hinder the extraction of the beam energy and hence the oscillation parameters. Dark matter direct detection experiments seek to find direct evidence for dark matter and ultimately ascertain its nature and dynamics but uncertainties in nuclear matrix elements pose significant challenges to the interpretation of putative signals. In this talk, I will discuss prospects for the calculation of the necessary nuclear matrix elements from QCD. Using lattice QCD and effective field theory, I will show that nuclear matrix elements can potentially be computed in a reliable way with fully quantified uncertainties. As a proof of principle, I will discuss a recent QCD study of electromagnetic currents in light nuclei.

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