Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Observation of electron neutrino appearance in the NuMI beam with the NOvA experiment
by Niner, Evan, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2015, 245; 3722542
Abstract (Summary)

NOvA is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that uses two functionally identical detectors separated by 810 kilometers at locations 14 milliradians off-axis from the NuMI muon neutrino beam at Fermilab. At these locations the beam energy peaks at 2 GeV. This baseline is the longest in the world for an accelerator-based neutrino oscillation experiment, which enhances the sensitivity to the neutrino mass ordering. The experiment studies oscillations of the muon neutrino and anti-neutrino beam that is produced. Both detectors completed commissioning in the summer of 2014 and continue to collect data. One of the primary physics goals of the experiment is the measurement of electron neutrino appearance in the muon neutrino beam which yields measurements of the oscillation parameters sin 22&thetas;13, δ, and the neutrino mass ordering within the standard model of neutrino oscillations. This thesis presents the analysis of data collected between February 2014 and May 2015, corresponding to 3.52 ×1020 protons-on-target. In this first analysis NOvA recorded 6 electron neutrino candidates which is a 3.3σ observation of electron neutrino appearance. The T2K experiment performs the same measurement on a baseline of 295 kilometers and has a 1 σ preference for the normal mass ordering over the inverted ordering over the phase space of the CP violating parameter δ, which is also weakly seen in the NOvA result. By the summer of 2016 NOvA will triple its statistics due to increased beam power and a completed detector. If electron neutrinos continue to be observed at the current rate NOvA willl be able to establish a mass ordering preference at a similar confidence level to T2K.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Messier, Mark
Commitee: Fertig, Herb, Tayloe, Rex, Urheim, Jon
School: Indiana University
Department: Physics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Particle physics
Keywords: Electron neutrino appearance, Neutrinos, Nova, Oscillations, Physics
Publication Number: 3722542
ISBN: 9781339047119
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