Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 117D
Phone: (605) 677-7221
Dr. Xu earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied heavy flavor quarks in heavy ion collisions created at the Brookhaven National Lab and measured 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.
Nuclear and Particle Physics, Introductory Physics and Astronomy, Statistics in Physics
I am intrigued by fundamental particles and interactions that could explain how the Universe works. My research topics include Neutrinos and Fundamental Symmetries, Dark Matter and Axions, Physics Beyond the Standard Model, Hadronic Physics and Detector Development. Neutrinos are elusive fundamental particles that 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 of particle physics. Yet, the origin of neutrino masses remains a mystery and one of the most compelling questions in physics. The answer is related to the particle-antiparticle nature of neutrinos and could hold a key to another most compelling question of why there is much more matter than antimatter in the Universe. In order words, understanding the nature of neutrinos could shed light on 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. See, sanfordlab.org). This experiment is part of the global efforts to understand the properties of neutrinos. 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. My group also contributes to the Large Enriched Germanium Experiment for Neutrinoless double beta Decay (LEGEND) project, which is a proposed next generation experiment also based on HPGe detector technologies.
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