Kate Scholberg

Kate Scholberg

Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics

Professor of Physics

Associate Chair of Physics

Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Bass Fellow

Office Location: 
273 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
Box 90305, Durham, NC 27708-0305
(919) 660-2962


Prof. Scholberg's broad research interests include experimental elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Her main specific interests are in neutrino physics: she studies neutrino oscillations with the Super-Kamiokande experiment, a giant underground water Cherenkov detector located in a mine in the Japanese Alps. Super-K was constructed to search for proton decay and to study neutrinos from the sun, from cosmic ray collisions in the atmosphere, and from supernovae. On Super-K, Prof. Scholberg's primary involvement is with the atmospheric neutrino data analysis, which in 1998 yielded the first convincing evidence for neutrino oscillation (implying the existence of non-zero neutrino mass).

One of the most important questions that we may be able to answer with neutrino oscillation experiments over the next couple of decades is the question of CP (charge conjugation-parity) violation in neutrinos. It's now well known that processes involving quarks violate CP symmetry; it's suspected that the same is true for leptons (such as neutrinos), but leptonic CP violation is as yet unobserved. We hope that understanding of CP violation, along with knowledge of the other neutrino parameters, may lead to insight into the question of the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry of the universe. The long-term program neutrino oscillation physics aims to answer these questions.

The next steps in neutrino oscillation research involve artificial beams of neutrinos sent hundreds of kilometers from accelerator laboratories to underground detectors. The T2K ("Tokai to Kamioka") high-intensity beam experiment sends neutrinos 300 km from an accelerator at the J-PARC facility in Japan to Super-K, and is currently exploring unknown oscillation parameters. The DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) is a planned next-generation U.S.-based international experiment designed to observe neutrinos beamed from Fermilab to a large liquid argon detector at a new underground facility in South Dakota.  One of Prof. Scholberg's particular interests on DUNE is the detector's sensitivity to the huge bursts of neutrinos from core-collapse supernovae.

Prof. Scholberg serves as spokesperson of COHERENT, a multi-detector experiment with the primary physics goal of measuring CEvNS (Coherent Elastic Neutrino Nucleus Scattering) using the high-intensity neutrinos produced by the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.   CEvNS was measured for the first time by the collaboration in 2017.

Prof. Scholberg was a co-founder of SNEWS, the SuperNova Early Warning System, an inter-experiment collaboration of detectors with Galactic supernova sensitivity. Neutrinos from a core collapse will precede the photon signal by hours; therefore coincident observation of a burst in several neutrino detectors will be a robust early warning of a visible supernova. The goals of SNEWS are to provide the astronomical community with a prompt alert of a Galactic core collapse, as well as to optimize global sensitivity to supernova neutrino physics.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1996

  • M.S., California Institute of Technology 1991

  • B.Sc., McGill University (Canada) 1989

Selected Grants

MRI Consortium: Development of an Array of Germanium Detectors for COHERENT at the Spallation Neutron Source awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

WoU-MMA: Collaborative Research: A Next-Generation SuperNova Early Warning System for Multimessenger Astronomy awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

REU Site: Undergraduate Research in Nuclear Particle Physics at TUNL and Duke awarded by National Science Foundation (Senior Investigator). 2018 to 2021

Research in High Energy Physics at Duke University awarded by Department of Energy (Co Investigator). 2013 to 2021

Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment Project awarded by Fermilab (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2020

Collaborative Research: SNEWS: The SuperNova Early Warning System awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2020

REU Site: Undergraduate Research in Nuclear Physics at TUNL/Duke University awarded by National Science Foundation (Senior Investigator). 2015 to 2019

Collaborative Research: HALO, the Helium and Lead Observatory awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2018

Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment Project awarded by Fermilab (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016


Scholberg, K. “Neutrinos from supernovae and other astrophysical sources.” The State Of The Art Of Neutrino Physics: A Tutorial For Graduate Students And Young Researchers, 2018, pp. 299–324. Scopus, doi:10.1142/10600. Full Text

Scholberg, K. “Neutrinos from Supernovae and Other Astrophysical Sources.” Advanced Series on Directions in High Energy Physics, vol. 28, 2018, pp. 299–324. Scopus, doi:10.1142/9789813226098_0008. Full Text

Scholberg, K. “Large underground detectors for proton decay and neutrino physics.” 100 Years of Subatomic Physics, 2013, pp. 311–42. Scopus, doi:10.1142/9789814425810_0012. Full Text

Habig, A., and K. Scholberg. “The Supernova Early Warning System.” Nature Reviews Physics, vol. 2, no. 9, Sept. 2020, pp. 458–60. Scopus, doi:10.1038/s42254-020-0221-5. Full Text

Abe, K., et al. “First combined measurement of the muon neutrino and antineutrino charged-current cross section without pions in the final state at T2K.” Physical Review D, vol. 101, no. 11, June 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.112001. Full Text

Zykova, A., et al. “Simultaneous measurement of the muon neutrino charged-current cross section on oxygen and carbon without pions in the final state at T2K.” Physical Review D, vol. 101, no. 11, June 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.112004. Full Text

T2K Collaboration, Davangere. “Constraint on the matter-antimatter symmetry-violating phase in neutrino oscillations.Nature, vol. 580, no. 7803, Apr. 2020, pp. 339–44. Epmc, doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2177-0. Full Text

Abe, K., et al. “Search for Electron Antineutrino Appearance in a Long-Baseline Muon Antineutrino Beam.Physical Review Letters, vol. 124, no. 16, Apr. 2020, p. 161802. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.124.161802. Full Text

Tanaka, M., et al. “Search for proton decay into three charged leptons in 0.37 megaton-years exposure of the Super-Kamiokande.” Physical Review D, vol. 101, no. 5, Mar. 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052011. Full Text

Abe, K., et al. “Measurement of the muon neutrino charged-current single π+ production on hydrocarbon using the T2K off-axis near detector ND280.” Physical Review D, vol. 101, no. 1, Jan. 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.012007. Full Text

Abe, K., et al. “Measurement of neutrino and antineutrino neutral-current quasielasticlike interactions on oxygen by detecting nuclear deexcitation γ rays.” Physical Review D, vol. 100, no. 11, Dec. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.100.112009. Full Text

Hagiwara, K., et al. “Search for Astronomical Neutrinos from Blazar TXS 0506+056 in Super-Kamiokande.” Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 887, no. 1, Dec. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab5863. Full Text

Akimov, D., and D. others. “First Constraint on Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering in Argon.” Phys. Rev., vol. D100, Dec. 2019, pp. 115020–115020. Manual, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.100.115020. Full Text


Scholberg, K. “Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 1468, no. 1, 2020. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/1468/1/012126. Full Text

Aristizabal Sierra, D., and D. others. Proceedings of The Magnificent CEνNS Workshop 2018. 2019. Manual, doi:10.5281/zenodo.3489190. Full Text

Ahmed, Z., and Z. others. “New Technologies for Discovery.” Cpad Instrumentation Frontier Workshop 2018: New Technologies for Discovery Iv (Cpad 2018) Providence, Ri, United States, December 9 11, 2018, 2019.

Akimov, D., et al. “COHERENT Experiment: Current status.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 798, no. 1, 2017. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/798/1/012213. Full Text

Scholberg, K. “Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering by coherent.” Proceedings of Science, vol. 295, 2017.

Ankowski, Artur, and Artur others. “Supernova Physics at DUNE.” Supernova Physics at Dune Blacksburg, Virginia, Usa, March 11 12, 2016, 2016.

Scholberg, K. “Coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 606, no. 1, 2015. Scopus, doi:10.1088/1742-6596/606/1/012010. Full Text

Brice, S. J., and S. J. others. “Fast neutron measurements at the Booster Neutrino Beamline for a future Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering (CENNS) Experiment at Fermilab.” Proceedings, 12th Meeting of Task Force on Shielding Aspects of Accelerators, Targets and Irradiation Facilities (Satif 12): Batavia, Il, Usa, April 28 30, 2014, 2015, pp. 54–62.

Izatt, B., et al. “Super-KAVE: An immersive visualization tool for neutrino physics.” Proceedings  Ieee Virtual Reality, 2013, pp. 75–76. Scopus, doi:10.1109/VR.2013.6549370. Full Text

Choi, K., et al. “Search for light WIMP captured in the Sun using contained events in Super-Kamiokande.” Proceedings of the 33rd International Cosmic Rays Conference, Icrc 2013, vol. 2013-October, 2013.