Nobel Symposium 129 on Neutrino Physics was held at Haga Slott in Enköping, Sweden during August 19–24, 2004. Invited to the symposium were around 40 globally leading researchers in the field of neutrino physics, both experimental and theoretical. In addition to these participants, some 30 local researchers and graduate students participated in the symposium.
The dominant theme of the lectures was neutrino oscillations, which after several years were recently verified by results from the Super-Kamiokande detector in Kamioka, Japan and the SNO detector in Sudbury, Canada. Discussion focused especially on effects of neutrino oscillations derived from the presence of matter and the fact that three different neutrinos exist. Since neutrino oscillations imply that neutrinos have mass, this is the first experimental observation that fundamentally deviates from the standard model of particle physics. This is a challenge to both theoretical and experimental physics. The various oscillation parameters will be determined with increased precision in new, specially designed experiments. Theoretical physics is working intensively to insert the knowledge that neutrinos have mass into the theoretical models that describe particle physics. It will probably turn out that the discovery of neutrino oscillations signifies a breakthrough in the description of the very smallest constituents of matter. The lectures provided a very good description of the intensive situation in the field right now. The topics discussed also included mass models for neutrinos, neutrinos in extra dimensions as well as the `seesaw mechanism', which provides a good description of why neutrino masses are so small.
Also discussed, besides neutrino oscillations, was the new field of neutrino astronomy. Among the questions that neutrino astronomy hopes to answer are what the dark matter in the Universe consists of and where cosmic radiation at extremely high energies comes from. For this purpose, large neutrino telescopes are built deep in the Antarctic ice, in the Baikal Lake, and in the Mediterranean Sea.
Among prominent unanswered questions, highlighted as one of the most important, was whether neutrinos are Dirac or Majorana particles. By studying neutrino double beta decay, researchers hope to answer this question, but it will put very large demands on detectors.
The programme also included ample time for lively and valuable discussions, which cannot normally be held at ordinary conferences.
The symposium concluded with a round-table discussion, where participants discussed the future of neutrino physics.Without a doubt, neutrino physics today is moving toward a very exciting and interesting period.
An important contribution to the success of the symposium was the wonderful setting that the Haga Slott manor house hotel and conference center offered to the participants.
World Scientific Pub Co Inc , 2006. , 192 p.