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Title: Muon Neutrino to Electron Neutrino Oscillation in NO$$\nu$$A

NOvA is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment optimized for electron neu- trino ( e) appearance in the NuMI beam, a muon neutrino ( $$\nu$$μ ) source at Fermilab. It consists of two functionally identical, nearly fully-active liquid-scintillator tracking calorimeters. The near detector (ND) at Fermilab is used to study the neutrino beam spectrum and composition before oscillation, and measure background rate to the $$\nu$$e appearance search. The far detector, 810 km away in Northern Minnesota, observes the oscillated beam and is used to extract oscillation parameters from the data. NO$$\nu$$ A's long baseline, combined with the ability of the NuMI beam to operate in the anti- neutrino mode, makes NO$$\nu$$ A sensitive to the last unmeasured parameters in neutrino oscillations- mass hierarchy, CP violation and the octant of mixing angle 23. This thesis presents the search for e appearance in the first data collected by the NO A detectors from October 2013 till May 2015. Studies of the NuMI neutrino data collected in the NO A near detector are also presented, which show large discrepancies between the ND simulation and data. Muon- removed electron (MRE) events, constructed by replacing the muon in $$\nu$$μ charged cur- rent interactions by a simulated electron, are used to correct the far detector $$\nu$$e appearance prediction for these discrepancies. In the analysis of the first data, a total of 6 e candidate events are observed in the far detector on a background of 1, a 3.46 σ excess, which is interpreted as strong evidence for e appearance. The results are consistent with our expectation, based on constraints from other neutrino oscillation experiments. The result presented here differs from the officially published $$\nu$$e appearance result from the NO A experiment where the systematic error is assumed to cover the MRE correction.
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
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Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
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USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States