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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Faculty and Staff Directory

Frank Avignone, III

Title: Carolina Endowed Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Department: Physics and Astronomy
College of Arts and Sciences
Email: titus3@mac.com
Phone: 803-777-6933
Office: Jones, Room 607
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Frank Avignone

Research Focus

My main interests are in particle astrophysics, mainly in the physics of Neutrinos, Dark Matter, axions and axion-like particles. For many years, I have been active in neutrino less double-beta decay with the experiments:  Majorana Demonstrator, and the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events, CUORE. Recently, we have been experimenting with zone-refinement of germanium and tellurium dioxide, materials used for ultra-low background detectors for double-beta decay and for searches for exotic particles. My USC group played the leadership role in the purification of the germanium, enriched to 87% in 76Ge, for the Majorana Demonstrator. This resulted in lowering the background, especially in the low-energy region, which resulted in the ability to search for new physics, namely Dark Matter, axions, a violation of the Pauli-exclusion Principle and spontaneous decay of the electron. These results are discussed in several of the articles listed below.

Recently, my colleague Richard Creswick and I are investigating new methods for searching for heavy-sterile-neutrino dark matter, and a new approach to search for axions and axion-like particles.  These are exciting new areas that might well play important roles in the future of our Particle Astrophysics Group.

Some Recent Publications

 “Search for neutrino less double-decay in 76Ge with 26 kg y of exposure from the Majorana Demonstrator,” S.I Alvis et al., (The Majorana Collaboration), Phys. Rev. C 100, 025501 (2019).

“ The Search for double-beta decay with Germanium Detectors: Past, Present and Future,” Frank T. Avignone III and Steven R. Elliott, Frontiers in Physics, 7, 6 (2019).

  “Search for Neutrinoless Double- Decay in 76Ge with the Majorana Demonstrator,”C.E. Aalseth, et al., (The Majorana Collaboration) Phys. Rev. Lett. 120 132502 (2018).

 “First Limit on the Direct Detection of Lightly Ionizing Particles for Electric Charge as Low as e/1000 with the Majorana Demonstrator,” S.I. Alvis et al, Phys. Rev. Lett., 120, 211804 (2018).

 “New Limits on Bosonic Dark Matter, Solar Axions, Pauli Exclusion Principle Violation, and Electron Decay from the Majorana Demonstrator,” N. Abgrall et al., Physical Review Letters, 118, 161801 (2017).

 “First Results from CUORE: A Search for Lepton Number Violation via Decay of 130Te,” C. Alduino et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 120, 132501 (2018).

 “Search for neutrinoless EC decay of 120Te with CUORE-0,” C. Alduino et al., Physical Review C 97, 055502 (2018).

 “The processing of enriched germanium for the Majorana Demonstrator and R&D for a next generation double-beta decay experiment,” N. Abgrall et al., Nucl. Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, A 877, 314 (2018).

 “Enriched TeO2 bolometers with active particle discrimination: Towards the CUPID experiment,” D.R.Artusa et al., Physics Letters B 767, 321 (2017).

 “Estimating the flux of the 14.4-keV solar axions,” F.T. Avignone III et al., JCAP 1801 no. 1, 021 (2018

 “Study of Rare Nuclear Processes with CUORE,” C. Alduino et al., (The CUORE Collaboration), Int. J. Mod. Phys. A33, no.09, 1843002 (2018).

 “Homing in on Axions,” Frank T. Avignone III, APS Physics 11, 34 (2018).


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