© 2018

First Observation of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering


  • Nominated as an outstanding PhD thesis by the University of Chicago

  • Describes the successful detection of long sought-after signals from nuclear recoils

  • Provides a thorough background on the subject, covering fundamental concepts as well as existing experiments

  • Describes the process of creating and using detector in great detail, from wiring and calibration to measurement and analysis


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Bjorn Scholz
    Pages 1-8
  3. Bjorn Scholz
    Pages 21-28
  4. Bjorn Scholz
    Pages 105-141
  5. Bjorn Scholz
    Pages 143-144

About this book


This thesis describes the experimental work that finally led to a successful measurement of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering—a process proposed forty-three years ago. The experiment was performed at the Spallation Neutron Source facility, sited at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee.

Of all known particles, neutrinos distinguish themselves for being the hardest to detect, typically requiring large multi-ton devices for the job. The process measured here involves the difficult detection of very weak signals arising from nuclear recoils (tiny neutrino-induced “kicks” to atomic nuclei), but leads to a much larger probability of neutrino interaction when compared to all other known mechanisms. As a result of this, “neutrino technologies” using miniaturized detectors (the author's was handheld and weighed only 14 kg) become a possibility. A large community of researchers plans to continue studying this process, facilitating an exploration of fundamental neutrino properties that is presently beyond the sensitivity of other methods.


detection nuclear recoils miniature neutrino detector handheld neutrino detector high sensitivity neutrino detection device neutrino technologies spallation neutron source neutrino-induced neutrons statistical discrimination electronic nuclear recoils elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

About the authors

Bjorn Scholz received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2017.

Bibliographic information

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