Wenqin Xu

Wenqin Xu

Assistant Professor


Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 117D

Phone: (605) 677-7221

Email: Wenqin.Xu@usd.edu

Website: http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=NV1aa7AAAAAJ


Dr. Xu received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, studying heavy flavor quarks in heavy ion collisions created at the Brookhaven National Lab and measuring the theta13 neutrino mixing angle with the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. He worked at the Los Alamos National Lab and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, focusing on understanding the properties of neutrinos. He joined USD in 2016.

Teaching Interests:

Nuclear and Particle Physics, Introductory Physics and Astronomy, Statistics in Physics

Research Interests:

I am intrigued by fundamental particles and interactions that could explain how the Universe works. My research broadly incorporate Neutrinos and Fundamental Symmetries, Dark Matter and Axions, Physics Beyond the Standard Model, Hadronic Physics and Detector Development. In particular, neutrinos were thought to have zero mass for a long time. The discovery of neutrino oscillations and the consequent non-zero neutrino masses provided a direct and unambiguous evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model. Yet, the origin of neutrino masses remains a mystery and is considered as one of the most compelling questions in physics. The answer to this question is related to the particle-antiparticle nature of neutrinos and could hold a key to why there is much more matter than antimatter in the Universe and why we exist. My current focus is the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR experiment, which is located in South Dakota (4850' below underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. sanfordlab.org). This experiment is part of a global effort to understand the properties of neutrinos and, in particular, it utilizes High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors to search for neutrinoless double beta decay and other new physics, including dark matter and axions.


  • Ph D, Physics, University of California, Los Angeles , 2012
  • BS, Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, 2006


Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions of the faculty member or discipline.

  • Xu, Wenqin, and Majorana Collaboration. The Majorana Demonstrator calibration system, 16-22. Vol. 872. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 2017. (DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2017.08.005)
  • Massarczyk, R, Chu, P, Dugger, C, Rielage, K, Elliott, S R., and Xu, Wenqin. Paschen's law studies in cold gases. Vol. 12. Journal of Instrumentation, 2017. (DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/12/06/P06019)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and Majorana Collaboration. New limits on bosonic dark matter, solar axions, Pauli Exclusion Principle violation, and electron decay from the Majorana Demonstrator, 161801. Vol. 118. Physical Review Letters, 2017. (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.161801)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and STAR Collaboration. Elliptic flow of electrons from heavy-flavor hadron decays in Au + Au collisions at SNN=200, 62.4, and 39 GeV, 034907. Vol. 95. PHYSICAL REVIEW C, 2017. (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.95.034907)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and Majorana Collaboration. Muon flux measurements at the davis campus of the sanford underground research facility with the majorana demonstrator veto system, 70. Vol. 93. Astroparticle Physics, 2017. (DOI: 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.01.013)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and Elliott, Steven R.. Solar Axion Search Technique with Correlated Signals from Multiple Detectors, 39-50. Vol. 89. Amsterdam: Astroparticle Physics, 2017. (DOI: 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.01.008)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and Majorana Collaboration. Search for Pauli Exclusion Principle Violating Atomic Transitions and Electron Decay with a P-type Point Contact Germanium Detector, 619. Vol. 76. The European Physical Journal C, 2016. (DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-016-4467-0)
  • Xu, Wenqin, and Majorana Collaboration. The Processing of Enriched Germanium for the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR and R&D for a Next Generation Double-Beta Decay Experiment. Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, A.

Awards and Honors:

  • Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics 2016, Breakthrough Prize Foundation, 2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institute for Cosmology, Subatomic Matter and Symmetries, UNC-CH, 2015
  • Dissertation Year Fellowship, Graduate Division UCLA, 2011


  • Xu, Wenqin. Setting Limit for Neutrinoless double beta decay. Presented at the MAJORANA Collaboration Meeting, Seattle, WA. (July 9, 2017)
  • Xu, Wenqin. Initial Results and Status of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR. Presented at the 26th International Workshop on Weak Interactions and Neutrinos, Irvine, CA. (June 23, 2017)
  • Xu, Wenqin. Experimental monitoring for the Majorana Demonstrator. Presented at the American Physical Society April meeting 2017, Washington, D.C.. (January 29, 2017)
  • Xu, Wenqin. Some thoughts on setting upper limit for neutrinoless double beta decay. Presented at the Majorana Collaboration meeting, Berkeley. (December 14, 2016)
  • Xu, Wenqin. MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR DAQ and slow control Overview. Presented at the Majorana Collaboration meeting, Berkeley. (December 13, 2016)
  • Xu, Wenqin. Likelihood-based test statistic in Solar Axion searches. Presented at the International workshop on statistical issues in experimental neutrino physics (Phystat-Nu 2016), Warrenville, IL. (September 20, 2016)