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PX435 - Neutrino Physics

  • Module code: PX435
  • Module name: Neutrino Physics
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module will give an overview of the physics of neutrinos, explain the state of the field today, and describe the experimental work that underlies our current knowledge.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of this module you should: Be familiar with the basic properties of neutrinos, and the different types of interactions that they undergo; Be able to describe the different sources of neutrinos, and the landmark experiments that studied them; Understand the basic theory of neutrino mass and the implications of a non-zero mass; Exhibit an understanding of the present state of the field, be able to describe the major outstanding questions and be familiar with the possible next steps towards answering these questions.

Timetabled teaching activities

15 Lectures

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Neutrinos are very interesting particles. Originally they fitted into the Standard Model quite neatly. There are three flavours associated with the electron, muon and tau and all were supposed to have zero mass. However, observations of flavour oscillations (muon neutrinos turning into electron neutrinos for example) showed that flavour eigenstates and mass eigenstates couldn't be the same and that the idea of massless neutrinos was a non-starter. Although this meant that yet more parameters (some angles and some masses) had to be introduced into the Standard Model, it also provided a possible explanation of the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe. This module looks at the observation of neutrinos (they are very hard to detect as they interact only very weakly with other matter), the discovery of the flavour oscillations, and how their properties (as currently known) can be accommodated within the framework of the Standard Model.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX435-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1.5 hr exam (Summer) Neutrino Physics 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 4