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Dr. Deborah Harris’s current research interest is in the field of neutrino interactions and oscillations. Her work at Fermilab began with NuMI, the beamline that provides neutrinos to the MINERvA experiment, focusing on the beamline monitoring system. After working on both NOvA and MINOS oscillation experiments she realized that both of these experiments would need a better understanding of neutrino interactions in order to fully exploit the planned statistics of the expected data sets. Deborah is currently the co-spokesperson of MINERvA, an experiment whose goal is to measure neutrino interactions on a variety of different nuclei with unprecedented accuracy. Deborah received her A.B. in Physics from University of California-Berkeley, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in High-Energy Physics from the University of Chicago. She was appointed as a Research Associate at the University of Rochester for five years, and started working at Fermilab as a staff scientist in 1999. Dr. Harris served as the Project Manager for MINERvA from 2005 through the project’s completion in 2010. She has two children.

Dr.'s Talk

The Neutrino Monologues

Neutrinos are a billion times more plentiful than protons and neutrons, yet we know very little about them. What we do know is that they are produced when elements combine in the sun, and when they disintegrate in nuclear reactors. More recently we have discovered that they can change from one kind to another and then back again. Understanding neutrinos and how they behave is a major goal in the field of particle physics because neutrinos may hold the secret to why the universe is filled today with only matter, and no anti-matter.

Neutrino Monologues is a one-woman play that recounts the colorful history of these particles, from their earliest appearance in the early 1900’s through today’s experiments taking place in Second City’s own back yard, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia Illinois.