A theorist in the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility?

Excerpted from the Symmetrymagazine article Q&A: Jogesh Rout, 5 March 2018.

How do you build the biggest physics experiment ever constructed in the United States? With a lot of help from international friends.

Symmetry writer Sarah Lawhun checked in with one of those international partners: graduate student Jogesh Rout of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

Jogesh Rout. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

S: What do you work on for LBNF?

JR: My work is on the theory of high-energy physics. I predict what will happen to neutrinos in the beam made here at Fermilab as they travel, calculating how they oscillate. I also look at neutrino and antineutrino asymmetry, called CP violation, in both standard interactions and new physics scenarios that go beyond what we currently know about neutrinos.

S: When did you find out that you liked physics?

JR: I remember being interested in math and science from a young age. I was actually the first student to go on to study science in my hometown. In my family, I’m the first person to get a PhD.

I always liked physics and performed well in it, but I come from a very rural area, and even my college was in a rural area. I knew of very few science-related careers.

S: What first got you interested in studying neutrinos?

JR: During my master’s at Utkal University, I was taught a course on high-energy physics by very good teachers, Prof. Swapna Mahapatra and Prof. Karmadeva Maharana. They inspired me to take up research in the field of high-energy physics.

After I was selected to receive my PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2013, I carried out a semester-long research project on neutrino oscillations, doing analytic and numerical computations with Dr. Poonam Mehta. This piqued my interest in neutrino physics, so I joined Dr. Poonam Mehta for my PhD program.

S: What do you hope to discover about neutrinos while working on LBNF?

JR: Since I’m a theorist, I predict how they will oscillate when they pass through matter. The more precise my calculations are, the more accurately we can make a certain flavor of neutrino for experimental physicists to study. They’ll gather information on the neutrino’s characteristics to solve unknowns like CP violation and mass ordering of the neutrino mass states, which combine to form the neutrino flavors.

S: What do you hope to accomplish during your fellowship?

JR: I want to learn techniques for making the best possible predictions before DUNE begins. The results of the experiment will be more accurate if I calculate exactly right. These calculations help us better engineer and construct LBNF and overall to understand neutrinos better.

Read full interview.