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Title: Sterile Neutrino Searches in MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE

Abstract

Tension among recent short baseline neutrino experiments has pointed toward the possible need for the addition of one or more sterile (non-interacting) neutrino states into the existing neutrino oscillation framework. This thesis fi rst presents the motivation for sterile neutrino models by describing the short-baseline anomalies that can be addressed with them. This is followed by a discussion of the phenomenology of these models. The MiniBooNE experiment and results are then described in detail, particularly the most recent antineutrino analysis. This will be followed by a discussion of global fits to world data, including the anomalous data sets. Lastly, future experiments will be addressed, especially focusing on the MicroBooNE experiment and light collection studies. In particular, understanding the degradation source of TPB, designing the TPB-coated plates for MicroBooNE and developing lightguide collection systems will be discussed. We find an excess of events in the MiniBooNE antineutrino mode results consistent with the LSND anomaly, but one that has a di fferent energy dependence than the low-energy excess reported in neutrino mode. This disagreement creates tension within global fi ts which include up to three sterile neutrinos. The low-energy excess will be addressed by the MicroBooNE experiment, which is expected to startmore » taking data in early 2015. Tension among existing experiments calls for additional, more decisive future experiments.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1163146
Report Number(s):
FERMILAB-2014-20
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Ignarra, Christina M. Sterile Neutrino Searches in MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1163146.
Ignarra, Christina M. Sterile Neutrino Searches in MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE. United States. doi:10.2172/1163146.
Ignarra, Christina M. Mon . "Sterile Neutrino Searches in MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE". United States. doi:10.2172/1163146. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1163146.
@article{osti_1163146,
title = {Sterile Neutrino Searches in MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE},
author = {Ignarra, Christina M.},
abstractNote = {Tension among recent short baseline neutrino experiments has pointed toward the possible need for the addition of one or more sterile (non-interacting) neutrino states into the existing neutrino oscillation framework. This thesis fi rst presents the motivation for sterile neutrino models by describing the short-baseline anomalies that can be addressed with them. This is followed by a discussion of the phenomenology of these models. The MiniBooNE experiment and results are then described in detail, particularly the most recent antineutrino analysis. This will be followed by a discussion of global fits to world data, including the anomalous data sets. Lastly, future experiments will be addressed, especially focusing on the MicroBooNE experiment and light collection studies. In particular, understanding the degradation source of TPB, designing the TPB-coated plates for MicroBooNE and developing lightguide collection systems will be discussed. We find an excess of events in the MiniBooNE antineutrino mode results consistent with the LSND anomaly, but one that has a di fferent energy dependence than the low-energy excess reported in neutrino mode. This disagreement creates tension within global fi ts which include up to three sterile neutrinos. The low-energy excess will be addressed by the MicroBooNE experiment, which is expected to start taking data in early 2015. Tension among existing experiments calls for additional, more decisive future experiments.},
doi = {10.2172/1163146},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Mon Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
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  • Tension among recent short baseline neutrino experiments has pointed toward the possible need for the addition of one or more sterile (non-interacting) neutrino states into the existing neutrino oscillation framework. This thesis first presents the motivation for sterile neutrino models by describing the short-baseline anomalies that can be addressed with them. This is followed by a discussion of the phenomenology of these models. The MiniBooNE experiment and results are then described in detail, particularly the most recent antineutrino analysis. This will be followed by a discussion of global fits to world data, including the anomalous data sets. Lastly, future experimentsmore » will be addressed, especially focusing on the MicroBooNE experiment and light collection studies. In particular, understanding the degradation source of TPB, designing the TPB-coated plates for MicroBooNE and developing lightguide collection systems will be discussed. We find an excess of events in the MiniBooNE antineutrino mode results consistent with the LSND anomaly, but one that has a different energy dependence than the low-energy excess reported in neutrino mode. This disagreement creates tension within global fits which include up to three sterile neutrinos. The low-energy excess will be addressed by the MicroBooNE experiment, which is expected to start taking data in early 2015. Tension among existing experiments calls for additional, more decisive future experiments.« less
  • The MiniBooNE experiment was designed to perform a search for v μ → v e oscillations in a region of Δm 2 and sin 2 2θ very different from that allowed by standard, three-neutrino oscillations, as determined by solar and atmospheric neutrino experiments. This search was motivated by the LSND experimental observation of an excess ofmore » $$\bar{v}$$ e events in a $$\bar{v}$$ μ beam which was found compatible with two-neutrino oscillations at Δm 2 ~ 1 eV 2 and sin 2 2{theta} < 1%. If confirmed, such oscillation signature could be attributed to the existence of a light, mostly-sterile neutrino, containing small admixtures of weak neutrino eigenstates. In addition to a search for v μ → v e oscillations, MiniBooNE has also performed a search for v μ → v e oscillations, which provides a test of the LSND two-neutrino oscillation interpretation that is independent of CP or CPT violation assumptions. This dissertation presents the MiniBooNE v μ → v e and v μ → v e analyses and results, with emphasis on the latter. While the neutrino search excludes the two-neutrino oscillation interpretation of LSND at 98% C.L., the antineutrino search shows an excess of events which is in agreement with the two-neutrino v μ → v e oscillation interpretation of LSND, and excludes the no oscillations hypothesis at 96% C.L. Even though the neutrino and antineutrino oscillation results from MiniBooNE disagree under the single sterile neutrino oscillation hypothesis, a simple extension to the model to include additional sterile neutrino states and the possibility of CP violation allows for differences between neutrino and antineutrino oscillation signatures. In view of that, the viability of oscillation models with one or two sterile neutrinos is investigated in global fits to MiniBooNE and LSND data, with and without constraints from other oscillation experiments with similar sensitivities to those models. A general search for new physics scenarios which would lead to effective non-unitarity of the standard 3 x 3 neutrino mixing matrix, or mixing freedom, is also performed using neutrino and antineutrino data available from MiniBooNE.« less
  • This dissertation presents the searches on sterile neutrinos using the data collected in MINOS+ Experiment from September 2013 to September 2014, and the full data set of MINOS Experiment collected from 2005 to 2012. Anomalies in short baseline experiments, such as LSND and MiniBooNE, showed hints of sterile neutrinos, a type of neutrino that does not interact with the Standard Model particles. In this work, two models are considered: 3+1 and large extra dimension (LED). In the 3+1 model, one sterile neutrino state is added into the standard oscillation scheme consisting of three known active neutrino states v e, vmore » μ and v τ. In the LED model, sterile neutrinos arise as Kaluza-Klein (KK) states due to assumed large extra dimensions. Mixing between sterile and active neutrino states may modify the oscillation patterns observed in the MINOS detectors. Both searches yield null results. For 3+1, a combined fit of MINOS and MINOS+ data gives a stronger limit on θ 24 in the range of 10 -2 eV 2 < Δm 41 2 < 1 eV 2 than previous experiments. For LED, with the complete MINOS data set, the size of extra dimensions is constrained to be smaller than ~ 0.35 μm at 90% C.L. in the limit of a vanishing lightest neutrino mass.« less
  • This thesis describes work towards the search for a low energy excess in MicroBooNE. What MicroBooNE is, what the low energy excess is, and how one searches for the latter in the former will be described in detail.
  • The possible existence of light sterile neutrinos in Nature is motivated, and the prospects to extend sterile neutrino searches beyond current limits is substantiated, using the MiniBooNE neutrino beam and detector at Fermilab. We report on the neutrino flux predictions for the MiniBooNE experiment, on the characterization of the charged-current, quasi-elastic interactions of muon neutrinos ({nu}{sub {mu}}n {yields} {mu}{sup -}p) observed, and on the experiment's sensitivity to sterile neutrinos via muon neutrino disappearance.