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Title: Study of antineutrino oscillations using accelerator and atmospheric data in MINOS

The Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) is a long baseline experiment that was built for studying the neutrino oscillation phenomena. The MINOS experiment uses high intensity muon neutrino and antineutrino beams created by Neutrinos at the Main Injector facility (NuMI) at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). Neutrino interactions are recorded by two sampling steel-scintillator tracking calorimeters: 0.98\,kton Near Detector at Fermilab, IL and 5.4\,kton Far Detector at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, MN. These two detectors are functionally identical, which helps to reduce the systematic uncertainties in the muon neutrino and antineutrino disappearance measurements. The Near Detector, located 1.04\,km from the neutrino production target, is used to measure the initial beam composition and neutrino energy proximal to the neutrino source. The collected data at the Near Detector is then used to predict energy spectrum in the Far Detector. By comparing this prediction to collected data at the Far Detector, which is 735\,km away from the target, it enables a measurement of a set of parameters that govern the neutrino oscillation phenomenon. \\ \indent The flexibility of the NuMI beam configuration and the magnetization of the MINOS detectors facilitate the identification of $$\nu_{\mu}$$ and $$\bar{\nu}_{\mu}$$ charged-current interactions on an event-by-event basis. This enables one to measure neutrino and antineutrino oscillation parameters independently and therefore allows us to test the CPT symmetry in the lepton sector. To enhance the sensitivity of the oscillation parameters measurement, a number of techniques have been implemented. Event classification, shower energy estimation and energy resolution bin fitting, which are described in this dissertation, are three of these techniques. Moreover, the most stringent constraints on oscillation parameters can be achieved by combining multiple data sets. \\ \indent This dissertation reports the measurement of antineutrino oscill! ation parameters using the complete MINOS accelerator and atmospheric data set of charged-current $$\bar{\nu}_{\mu}$$ events. This set comprises exposures of (i) 3.36\times 10^{20} proton-on-target (POT) in the \bar{\nu}_{\mu}-beam mode, (ii) 10.71\times 10^{20} POT in the \nu_{\mu}-beam mode, and (iii) 37.88 kton yr of atmospheric antineutrinos. The data analysis provides the world's most precise measurement to date on the antineutrino oscillation parameters: $$|\Delta \overline{m}^2|=\left( 2.50^{+0.23}_{-0.29}\right) \times 10^{-3} \,eV^2$$ and $$\sin^2(2\bar{\theta})=0.97^{+0.03}_{-0.08}$$. This result is consistent with neutrino oscillation parameters independently measured by MINOS and by others. The difference between antineutrino and neutrino mass-squared splittings is computed to be $$|\Delta \overline{m}^2|-|\Delta m^2|=\left(0.13^{+0.23}_{-0.25}\right) \times 10^{-3} \, eV^2$$.
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
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Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
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USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
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United States