University of Athens
Department of Physics

George S. Tzanakos
Professor of Physics
Ph.D. 1976, Syracuse University, N.Y.

tzanakos at phys uoa gr


University of Athens
Physics Department
Div. Nucl. & Particle Physics
Panepistimioupoli, Zografou
Athens 15771, Greece

Tel.:  +30 210 727 6938
FAX: +30 210 727 6987

My research has focused on studying the physics of the fundamental interactions of elementary particles. I spent several years investigating antinucleon-nucleon annihilation at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). In 1981 I joined Columbia University and my interests turned to the study of neutrino physics and in particular of neutrino mass and neutrino oscillations. During the decade of the 80's the E776 experiment at BNL was the first experiment specifically designed to study muon neutrino (antineutrino) to electron neutrino (antineutrino) oscillations in a mass range of Dm**2 ~ 0.1 to 1 eV**2.  The analysis of the collected data did not show evidence for neutrino oscillations in this mass region, but improved significantly the sensitivity and set stringent limits to the neutrino mixing parameters.

In 1990 I joined the University of Athens and focused attention to two experiments at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, DONUT and MINOS. The DONUT Experiment (Fermilab E872) was designed for the direct observation of the tau-neutrino interactions in a 800 GeV proton beam dump with a hybrid emulsion spectrometer. The phase I analysis produced 4 events of tau-neutrino charged current interactions with nuclei, which were announced  in in July 2000. Press Release. At present I serve as a  co-spokesman of the DONUT Experiment. Currently the DONUT data analysis is near the end of Phase II. The Athens group was responsible for the Electromagnetic Calorimeter and has played a leading role in the neutrino event data analysis.

Our  group is now mainly focused on the data analysis of the MINOS experiment (Fermilab E875). MINOS will study neutrino oscillations in the mass range suggested by atmospheric neutrino observations. The experiment uses a muon neutrino beam from Fermilab travelling 735 Km to the Soudan mine in Northern Minnesota. The neutrino oscillation parameters shall be precisely determined by comparing neutrino interaction data from a near detector at Fermilab (used to measure the neutrino flux) and a 5400 ton detector in the Soudan mine. The Athens group participated in the early desigh of the neutrino beam monitoring, construction of the MINOS Far Detector, Near Detector Commissioning, and is now involved in the neutrino data analysis. The MINOS Far Detector is ready since August 2003 and is collecting cosmic ray and Atmospheric Neutrino data The MINOS Near Detector was commissioned in late 2004, and the NuMI beam line was commissioned in early 2005. Muon neutrino beam data have been collected routinely since March 2005. First results for atmospheric neutrinos have been published in Phys. Rev. D73. First results on muon neutrino disappearance from the neutrino beam analysis where announced on 3/30/06. Press Release. Latest analysis results are submitted for publication in PRL

I am also involved (as a contact person of the Athens group) in  the ATLAS experiment at the LHC at CERN, which is supposed to start taking data in 2007.  Longer term plans involve the MINERvA (precise measurement of low energy neutrino cross sections) and NOvA (measurement of muon neutrino to electron neutrino oscillations using an off-axis muon neutrino beam) experiments at Fermilab.

I am strongly interested in the applications of High Energy Physics in medicine and biology, specifically in Medical Imaging with emphasis on Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Mammography,  and Positron Emission Mammography (PEM). I am leading an effort by several Institutions in Greece to design and construct a Positron Tomograph.

Selected Publications

"Observation of Muon Neutrino Disappearance with the MINOS Detectors in the NuMI Neutrino Beam",  D.G. Michael et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., (accepted for publication), October 2006,  hep-ex/0607088. Press Release.

"First Observations of Separated Atmospheric muon neutrino and muon antineutrino Events in the MINOS Detector",  P. Adamson et al., Phys. Rev. D73, 072002 (2006),   hep-ex/0512036.

"Observation of Tau Neutrino Interactions", K. Kodama et al, Phys.Lett. B504, 218(2001). Press Release.

"Design and Performance Evaluation of a High Resolution Small Animal Positron Tomograph", S. Pavlopoulos and G. Tzanakos, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci, NS-43, No.6, 3249 (1996)

"A Search for Muon Neutrino Oscillations numu to nue (anti-numu to anti-nue) in a Wide Band Neutrino Beam", L. Borodovsky et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 74 (1992).           

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