Scope of the meeting

Our knowledge of the properties of neutrinos is increasing rapidly. The Erice workshop on nuclear physics 2013 intends to present the current status of the field of neutrino physics including lectures by international experts of the various subareas as well as invited and contributed talks by the participants. Neutrino oscillations have established, that neutrinos must have a mass and thus the Standard Model must be extended to include massive neutrinos. Candidates for these extensions are Grand Unification Theories, unifying the electro-weak and the strong interaction, including Supersymmetric Models and extensions to more than four dimensions. Neutrino physics is, at present, the only field where we have clear indications that one needs to extend the Standard Model.

In detail, the following topics will be presented and discussed:

There are still important open questions in: What is the absolute scale of the neutrino mass? Are neutrinos Dirac or Majorana particles? Do neutrino oscillations violate CP invariance due to a finite mixing angle ϑ13? What is the value of the CP violating Dirac phase δ? Can one improve the determination of mixing angles and mass-squared differences from theoretical interpretations of the next generation of precision neutrino-oscillation studies? What is the best way to distinguish between the normal and the inverted mass hierarchy? The results of the neutrino-less double beta decay and double electron capture depend on the Majorana phases. What are the prospects to determine in this way the Majorana phases? The crucial experiment to distinguish between Dirac and Majorana neutrinos is the neutrino-less double beta decay (0νββ), possible only for Majorana neutrinos. The 0νββ determines an absolute mass scale for neutrinos, if light neutrino exchange is the leading contribution and the nuclear matrix elements can be reliably determined. Extensions of the Standard Model like Grand Unification and Supersymmetry allow also the neutrino-less double beta decay independent of the light neutrino mass. Are there observables, which allow to pin down the nature of the leading contribution for the 0νββ decay? Last, but not least, neutrinos are an important probe of the cosmic evolution, possibly even for the earliest moments of the universe in the Big Bang, where the observed baryon asymmetry was generated, for example through the leptogenesis mechanism. The study of neutrinos from supernova explosions, pulsars and high-energy astrophysical sources may shed further light on the basic role of neutrinos in the universe. The workshop will deal with questions such as: what is the origin of neutrino masses? Why are they so small? Are there extensions of the Standard Model based on flavor symmetries embedded in unified or/and supersymmetric models, which lead to an understanding of neutrino properties? What is the impact of neutrino mass generation on electroweak symmetry breaking? Are there extra dimensions? This requires not only "theoretical interpretation" but also a dedicated effort to unravel neutrino properties from all sources of information, confronting the results with theoretical models, and studying the implications for astrophysics and cosmology. Speakers of the workshop will discuss how to "reconstruct" the mass matrix from all relevant data and hence get information on the basic underlying theory. Progress can only be made in close contact between theory and the ongoing experimental effort. Thus the workshop offers in addition to lecturers and talks on the theoretical description also presentations by leading experimenters in this field. The workshop will also present talks on ongoing and future experiments including investigations with wide-band neutrino beams, super beams and beta beams, in so-called neutrino factories.

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