skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector

Abstract

We present upper limits on the production of heavy neutral leptons (HNLs) decaying to $$\mu \pi$$ pairs using data collected with the MicroBooNE liquid-argon time projection chamber (TPC) operating at Fermilab. This search is the first of its kind performed in a liquid-argon TPC. We use data collected in 2017 and 2018 corresponding to an exposure of $$2.0 \times 10^{20}$$ protons on target from the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Beam, which produces mainly muon neutrinos with an average energy of $$\approx 800$$ MeV. HNLs with higher mass are expected to have a longer time-of-flight to the liquid-argon TPC than Standard Model neutrinos. The data are therefore recorded with a dedicated trigger configured to detect HNL decays that occur after the neutrino spill reaches the detector. We set upper limits at the $$90\%$$ confidence level on the element $$\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2$$ of the extended PMNS mixing matrix in the range $$\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2<(6.6$$-$$0.9)\times 10^{-7}$$ for Dirac HNLs and $$\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2<(4.7$$-$$0.7)\times 10^{-7}$$ for Majorana HNLs, assuming HNL masses between $260$ and $385$ MeV and $$\lvert U_{e 4}\rvert^2 = \lvert U_{\tau 4}\rvert^2 = 0$$.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more »; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25); National Science Foundation (NSF); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF); Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC); The Royal Society; Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics
Contributing Org.:
[The MicroBooNE Collaboration]
OSTI Identifier:
1603205
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1581416; OSTI ID: 1604314
Report Number(s):
[arXiv:1911.10545; FERMILAB-PUB-19-581-ND; BNL-213709-2020-JAAM]
[Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ; 052001]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC02-07CH11359; SC0012704]
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
[Journal Name: Physical Review D Journal Volume: 101 Journal Issue: 5]; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Abratenko, P., Alrashed, M., An, R., Anthony, J., Asaadi, J., Ashkenazi, A., Balasubramanian, S., Baller, B., Barnes, C., Barr, G., Basque, V., Berkman, S., Bhanderi, A., Bhat, A., Bishai, M., Blake, A., Bolton, T., Camilleri, L., Caratelli, D., Caro Terrazas, I., Castillo Fernandez, R., Cavanna, F., Cerati, G., Chen, Y., Church, E., Cianci, D., Cohen, E. O., Conrad, J. M., Convery, M., Cooper-Troendle, L., Crespo-Anadón, J. I., Del Tutto, M., Devitt, D., Domine, L., Duffy, K., Dytman, S., Eberly, B., Ereditato, A., Escudero Sanchez, L., Evans, J. J., Fitzpatrick, R. S., Fleming, B. T., Foppiani, N., Franco, D., Furmanski, A. P., Garcia-Gamez, D., Gardiner, S., Genty, V., Goeldi, D., Gollapinni, S., Goodwin, O., Gramellini, E., Green, P., Greenlee, H., Gu, L., Gu, W., Guenette, R., Guzowski, P., Hamilton, P., Hen, O., Hill, C., Horton-Smith, G. A., Hourlier, A., Huang, E. -C., Itay, R., James, C., Jan de Vries, J., Ji, X., Jiang, L., Jo, J. H., Johnson, R. A., Joshi, J., Jwa, Y. -J., Karagiorgi, G., Ketchum, W., Kirby, B., Kirby, M., Kobilarcik, T., Kreslo, I., LaZur, R., Lepetic, I., Li, Y., Lister, A., Littlejohn, B. R., Lockwitz, S., Lorca, D., Louis, W. C., Luethi, M., Lundberg, B., Luo, X., Marchionni, A., Marcocci, S., Mariani, C., Marshall, J., Martin-Albo, J., Martinez Caicedo, D. A., Mason, K., Mastbaum, A., McConkey, N., Meddage, V., Mettler, T., Miller, K., Mills, J., Mistry, K., Mogan, A., Mohayai, T., Moon, J., Mooney, M., Moore, C. D., Mousseau, J., Murrells, R., Naples, D., Neely, R. K., Nienaber, P., Nowak, J., Palamara, O., Pandey, V., Paolone, V., Papadopoulou, A., Papavassiliou, V., Pate, S. F., Paudel, A., Pavlovic, Z., Piasetzky, E., Porzio, D., Prince, S., Pulliam, G., Qian, X., Raaf, J. L., Radeka, V., Rafique, A., Ren, L., Rochester, L., Rogers, H. E., Ross-Lonergan, M., Rudolf von Rohr, C., Russell, B., Scanavini, G., Schmitz, D. W., Schukraft, A., Seligman, W., Shaevitz, M. H., Sharankova, R., Sinclair, J., Smith, A., Snider, E. L., Soderberg, M., Söldner-Rembold, S., Soleti, S. R., Spentzouris, P., Spitz, J., Stancari, M., John, J. St., Strauss, T., Sutton, K., Sword-Fehlberg, S., Szelc, A. M., Tagg, N., Tang, W., Terao, K., Thornton, R. T., Toups, M., Tsai, Y. -T., Tufanli, S., Uchida, M. A., Usher, T., Van De Pontseele, W., Van de Water, R. G., Viren, B., Weber, M., Wei, H., Wickremasinghe, D. A., Williams, Z., Wolbers, S., Wongjirad, T., Woodruff, K., Wospakrik, M., Wu, W., Yang, T., Yarbrough, G., Yates, L. E., Zeller, G. P., Zennamo, J., Zhang, C., and The MicroBooNE Collaboration. Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052001.
Abratenko, P., Alrashed, M., An, R., Anthony, J., Asaadi, J., Ashkenazi, A., Balasubramanian, S., Baller, B., Barnes, C., Barr, G., Basque, V., Berkman, S., Bhanderi, A., Bhat, A., Bishai, M., Blake, A., Bolton, T., Camilleri, L., Caratelli, D., Caro Terrazas, I., Castillo Fernandez, R., Cavanna, F., Cerati, G., Chen, Y., Church, E., Cianci, D., Cohen, E. O., Conrad, J. M., Convery, M., Cooper-Troendle, L., Crespo-Anadón, J. I., Del Tutto, M., Devitt, D., Domine, L., Duffy, K., Dytman, S., Eberly, B., Ereditato, A., Escudero Sanchez, L., Evans, J. J., Fitzpatrick, R. S., Fleming, B. T., Foppiani, N., Franco, D., Furmanski, A. P., Garcia-Gamez, D., Gardiner, S., Genty, V., Goeldi, D., Gollapinni, S., Goodwin, O., Gramellini, E., Green, P., Greenlee, H., Gu, L., Gu, W., Guenette, R., Guzowski, P., Hamilton, P., Hen, O., Hill, C., Horton-Smith, G. A., Hourlier, A., Huang, E. -C., Itay, R., James, C., Jan de Vries, J., Ji, X., Jiang, L., Jo, J. H., Johnson, R. A., Joshi, J., Jwa, Y. -J., Karagiorgi, G., Ketchum, W., Kirby, B., Kirby, M., Kobilarcik, T., Kreslo, I., LaZur, R., Lepetic, I., Li, Y., Lister, A., Littlejohn, B. R., Lockwitz, S., Lorca, D., Louis, W. C., Luethi, M., Lundberg, B., Luo, X., Marchionni, A., Marcocci, S., Mariani, C., Marshall, J., Martin-Albo, J., Martinez Caicedo, D. A., Mason, K., Mastbaum, A., McConkey, N., Meddage, V., Mettler, T., Miller, K., Mills, J., Mistry, K., Mogan, A., Mohayai, T., Moon, J., Mooney, M., Moore, C. D., Mousseau, J., Murrells, R., Naples, D., Neely, R. K., Nienaber, P., Nowak, J., Palamara, O., Pandey, V., Paolone, V., Papadopoulou, A., Papavassiliou, V., Pate, S. F., Paudel, A., Pavlovic, Z., Piasetzky, E., Porzio, D., Prince, S., Pulliam, G., Qian, X., Raaf, J. L., Radeka, V., Rafique, A., Ren, L., Rochester, L., Rogers, H. E., Ross-Lonergan, M., Rudolf von Rohr, C., Russell, B., Scanavini, G., Schmitz, D. W., Schukraft, A., Seligman, W., Shaevitz, M. H., Sharankova, R., Sinclair, J., Smith, A., Snider, E. L., Soderberg, M., Söldner-Rembold, S., Soleti, S. R., Spentzouris, P., Spitz, J., Stancari, M., John, J. St., Strauss, T., Sutton, K., Sword-Fehlberg, S., Szelc, A. M., Tagg, N., Tang, W., Terao, K., Thornton, R. T., Toups, M., Tsai, Y. -T., Tufanli, S., Uchida, M. A., Usher, T., Van De Pontseele, W., Van de Water, R. G., Viren, B., Weber, M., Wei, H., Wickremasinghe, D. A., Williams, Z., Wolbers, S., Wongjirad, T., Woodruff, K., Wospakrik, M., Wu, W., Yang, T., Yarbrough, G., Yates, L. E., Zeller, G. P., Zennamo, J., Zhang, C., & The MicroBooNE Collaboration. Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052001.
Abratenko, P., Alrashed, M., An, R., Anthony, J., Asaadi, J., Ashkenazi, A., Balasubramanian, S., Baller, B., Barnes, C., Barr, G., Basque, V., Berkman, S., Bhanderi, A., Bhat, A., Bishai, M., Blake, A., Bolton, T., Camilleri, L., Caratelli, D., Caro Terrazas, I., Castillo Fernandez, R., Cavanna, F., Cerati, G., Chen, Y., Church, E., Cianci, D., Cohen, E. O., Conrad, J. M., Convery, M., Cooper-Troendle, L., Crespo-Anadón, J. I., Del Tutto, M., Devitt, D., Domine, L., Duffy, K., Dytman, S., Eberly, B., Ereditato, A., Escudero Sanchez, L., Evans, J. J., Fitzpatrick, R. S., Fleming, B. T., Foppiani, N., Franco, D., Furmanski, A. P., Garcia-Gamez, D., Gardiner, S., Genty, V., Goeldi, D., Gollapinni, S., Goodwin, O., Gramellini, E., Green, P., Greenlee, H., Gu, L., Gu, W., Guenette, R., Guzowski, P., Hamilton, P., Hen, O., Hill, C., Horton-Smith, G. A., Hourlier, A., Huang, E. -C., Itay, R., James, C., Jan de Vries, J., Ji, X., Jiang, L., Jo, J. H., Johnson, R. A., Joshi, J., Jwa, Y. -J., Karagiorgi, G., Ketchum, W., Kirby, B., Kirby, M., Kobilarcik, T., Kreslo, I., LaZur, R., Lepetic, I., Li, Y., Lister, A., Littlejohn, B. R., Lockwitz, S., Lorca, D., Louis, W. C., Luethi, M., Lundberg, B., Luo, X., Marchionni, A., Marcocci, S., Mariani, C., Marshall, J., Martin-Albo, J., Martinez Caicedo, D. A., Mason, K., Mastbaum, A., McConkey, N., Meddage, V., Mettler, T., Miller, K., Mills, J., Mistry, K., Mogan, A., Mohayai, T., Moon, J., Mooney, M., Moore, C. D., Mousseau, J., Murrells, R., Naples, D., Neely, R. K., Nienaber, P., Nowak, J., Palamara, O., Pandey, V., Paolone, V., Papadopoulou, A., Papavassiliou, V., Pate, S. F., Paudel, A., Pavlovic, Z., Piasetzky, E., Porzio, D., Prince, S., Pulliam, G., Qian, X., Raaf, J. L., Radeka, V., Rafique, A., Ren, L., Rochester, L., Rogers, H. E., Ross-Lonergan, M., Rudolf von Rohr, C., Russell, B., Scanavini, G., Schmitz, D. W., Schukraft, A., Seligman, W., Shaevitz, M. H., Sharankova, R., Sinclair, J., Smith, A., Snider, E. L., Soderberg, M., Söldner-Rembold, S., Soleti, S. R., Spentzouris, P., Spitz, J., Stancari, M., John, J. St., Strauss, T., Sutton, K., Sword-Fehlberg, S., Szelc, A. M., Tagg, N., Tang, W., Terao, K., Thornton, R. T., Toups, M., Tsai, Y. -T., Tufanli, S., Uchida, M. A., Usher, T., Van De Pontseele, W., Van de Water, R. G., Viren, B., Weber, M., Wei, H., Wickremasinghe, D. A., Williams, Z., Wolbers, S., Wongjirad, T., Woodruff, K., Wospakrik, M., Wu, W., Yang, T., Yarbrough, G., Yates, L. E., Zeller, G. P., Zennamo, J., Zhang, C., and The MicroBooNE Collaboration. Wed . "Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052001.
@article{osti_1603205,
title = {Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector},
author = {Abratenko, P. and Alrashed, M. and An, R. and Anthony, J. and Asaadi, J. and Ashkenazi, A. and Balasubramanian, S. and Baller, B. and Barnes, C. and Barr, G. and Basque, V. and Berkman, S. and Bhanderi, A. and Bhat, A. and Bishai, M. and Blake, A. and Bolton, T. and Camilleri, L. and Caratelli, D. and Caro Terrazas, I. and Castillo Fernandez, R. and Cavanna, F. and Cerati, G. and Chen, Y. and Church, E. and Cianci, D. and Cohen, E. O. and Conrad, J. M. and Convery, M. and Cooper-Troendle, L. and Crespo-Anadón, J. I. and Del Tutto, M. and Devitt, D. and Domine, L. and Duffy, K. and Dytman, S. and Eberly, B. and Ereditato, A. and Escudero Sanchez, L. and Evans, J. J. and Fitzpatrick, R. S. and Fleming, B. T. and Foppiani, N. and Franco, D. and Furmanski, A. P. and Garcia-Gamez, D. and Gardiner, S. and Genty, V. and Goeldi, D. and Gollapinni, S. and Goodwin, O. and Gramellini, E. and Green, P. and Greenlee, H. and Gu, L. and Gu, W. and Guenette, R. and Guzowski, P. and Hamilton, P. and Hen, O. and Hill, C. and Horton-Smith, G. A. and Hourlier, A. and Huang, E. -C. and Itay, R. and James, C. and Jan de Vries, J. and Ji, X. and Jiang, L. and Jo, J. H. and Johnson, R. A. and Joshi, J. and Jwa, Y. -J. and Karagiorgi, G. and Ketchum, W. and Kirby, B. and Kirby, M. and Kobilarcik, T. and Kreslo, I. and LaZur, R. and Lepetic, I. and Li, Y. and Lister, A. and Littlejohn, B. R. and Lockwitz, S. and Lorca, D. and Louis, W. C. and Luethi, M. and Lundberg, B. and Luo, X. and Marchionni, A. and Marcocci, S. and Mariani, C. and Marshall, J. and Martin-Albo, J. and Martinez Caicedo, D. A. and Mason, K. and Mastbaum, A. and McConkey, N. and Meddage, V. and Mettler, T. and Miller, K. and Mills, J. and Mistry, K. and Mogan, A. and Mohayai, T. and Moon, J. and Mooney, M. and Moore, C. D. and Mousseau, J. and Murrells, R. and Naples, D. and Neely, R. K. and Nienaber, P. and Nowak, J. and Palamara, O. and Pandey, V. and Paolone, V. and Papadopoulou, A. and Papavassiliou, V. and Pate, S. F. and Paudel, A. and Pavlovic, Z. and Piasetzky, E. and Porzio, D. and Prince, S. and Pulliam, G. and Qian, X. and Raaf, J. L. and Radeka, V. and Rafique, A. and Ren, L. and Rochester, L. and Rogers, H. E. and Ross-Lonergan, M. and Rudolf von Rohr, C. and Russell, B. and Scanavini, G. and Schmitz, D. W. and Schukraft, A. and Seligman, W. and Shaevitz, M. H. and Sharankova, R. and Sinclair, J. and Smith, A. and Snider, E. L. and Soderberg, M. and Söldner-Rembold, S. and Soleti, S. R. and Spentzouris, P. and Spitz, J. and Stancari, M. and John, J. St. and Strauss, T. and Sutton, K. and Sword-Fehlberg, S. and Szelc, A. M. and Tagg, N. and Tang, W. and Terao, K. and Thornton, R. T. and Toups, M. and Tsai, Y. -T. and Tufanli, S. and Uchida, M. A. and Usher, T. and Van De Pontseele, W. and Van de Water, R. G. and Viren, B. and Weber, M. and Wei, H. and Wickremasinghe, D. A. and Williams, Z. and Wolbers, S. and Wongjirad, T. and Woodruff, K. and Wospakrik, M. and Wu, W. and Yang, T. and Yarbrough, G. and Yates, L. E. and Zeller, G. P. and Zennamo, J. and Zhang, C. and The MicroBooNE Collaboration},
abstractNote = {We present upper limits on the production of heavy neutral leptons (HNLs) decaying to $\mu \pi$ pairs using data collected with the MicroBooNE liquid-argon time projection chamber (TPC) operating at Fermilab. This search is the first of its kind performed in a liquid-argon TPC. We use data collected in 2017 and 2018 corresponding to an exposure of $2.0 \times 10^{20}$ protons on target from the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Beam, which produces mainly muon neutrinos with an average energy of $\approx 800$ MeV. HNLs with higher mass are expected to have a longer time-of-flight to the liquid-argon TPC than Standard Model neutrinos. The data are therefore recorded with a dedicated trigger configured to detect HNL decays that occur after the neutrino spill reaches the detector. We set upper limits at the $90\%$ confidence level on the element $\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2$ of the extended PMNS mixing matrix in the range $\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2<(6.6$-$0.9)\times 10^{-7}$ for Dirac HNLs and $\lvert U_{\mu4}\rvert^2<(4.7$-$0.7)\times 10^{-7}$ for Majorana HNLs, assuming HNL masses between $260$ and $385$ MeV and $\lvert U_{e 4}\rvert^2 = \lvert U_{\tau 4}\rvert^2 = 0$.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052001},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = [5],
volume = [101],
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.101.052001

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Noise Characterization and Filtering in the MicroBooNE Liquid Argon TPC
journal, August 2017


Search for neutrino decay
journal, January 1986


Recent developments in Geant4
journal, November 2016

  • Allison, J.; Amako, K.; Apostolakis, J.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 835
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2016.06.125

LArSoft: toolkit for simulation, reconstruction and analysis of liquid argon TPC neutrino detectors
journal, October 2017


Design and construction of the MicroBooNE detector
journal, February 2017


Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays
journal, February 2019


Search for heavy neutrinos in K + μ + ν H decays
journal, March 2015


Further limits on heavy neutrino couplings
journal, March 1988


Neutrino flux prediction at MiniBooNE
journal, April 2009


Search for heavy neutral lepton production in K + decays
journal, March 2018


Confidence level computation for combining searches with small statistics
journal, September 1999

  • Junk, Thomas
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 434, Issue 2-3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(99)00498-2

Evidence for neutrino oscillations from the observation of ν ¯ e appearance in a ν ¯ μ beam
journal, November 2001


New tests for and bounds on neutrino masses and lepton mixing
journal, October 1980


Review of Particle Physics
journal, August 2018


The Pandora software development kit for pattern recognition
journal, September 2015


The Pandora multi-algorithm approach to automated pattern recognition of cosmic-ray muon and neutrino events in the MicroBooNE detector
journal, January 2018


Geant4—a simulation toolkit
journal, July 2003

  • Agostinelli, S.; Allison, J.; Amako, K.
  • Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, Vol. 506, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9002(03)01368-8

Presentation of search results: the CL s technique
journal, September 2002


Search for Neutral Heavy Leptons in a High-Energy Neutrino Beam
journal, December 1999


The search for heavy Majorana neutrinos
journal, May 2009


The νMSM, dark matter and neutrino masses
journal, December 2005


MeV-scale sterile neutrino decays at the Fermilab Short-Baseline Neutrino program
journal, April 2017

  • Ballett, Peter; Pascoli, Silvia; Ross-Lonergan, Mark
  • Journal of High Energy Physics, Vol. 2017, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1007/JHEP04(2017)102

The Short-Baseline Neutrino Program at Fermilab
journal, October 2019


The νMSM, dark matter and baryon asymmetry of the universe
journal, July 2005


Significant Excess of Electronlike Events in the MiniBooNE Short-Baseline Neutrino Experiment
journal, November 2018