Using Beta Decay to Find the Mass of a Neutrino

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Date
2022-06
Authors
Lo, Jess
Holleran, Laura
Allman, Ciaran
Lu, Daniel
Amodeo, Daniel
Li, Yuchen
Keyword
Abstract
The goal of this experiment is to measure the mass of a neutrino via the study of beta decay. The motivation for this is to see how well a crude laboratory set up can determine the mass of a neutrino in comparison with the million dollar experiments that also seek to answer the same question. To find the mass of the neutrino, the intensity of the beta radiation is measured over 0 to 90 degrees using the radiation monitor. This data can then be transformed into a beta decay spectrum plot for the Sodium 22 source. The data from the spectrum is used to make a Kurie plot through the application of various functions such as the Fermi function. The mass of the neutrino was found by taking the difference between the "massless" neutrino, which is the hypothetical calculation and results obtained within the experiment. Comparisons were made between different elements for beta decay, as well as with other published experiments. Due to time constraints and unexpected errors, it was not possible to find a close estimate of the upper limit value for the neutrino.
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