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Title: Observing Muon Neutrino to Electron Neutrino Oscillations in the NOνA Experiment

Neutrino oscillations offers an insight on new physics beyond the Standard Model. The three mixing angles (θ12, θ13 and θ23) and the two mass splittings (Δm2 and Αm2 ) have been measured by different neutrino oscillation experiments. Some other parameters including the mass ordering of different neutrino mass eigenstates and the CP violation phase are still unknown. NOνA is a long-baseline accelerator neutrino experiment, using neutrinos from the NuMI beam at Fermilab. The experiment is equipped with two functionally identical detectors about 810 kilometers apart and 14 mrad off the beam axis. In this configuration, the muon neutrinos from the NuMI beam reach the disappearance maximum in the far detector and a small fraction of that oscillates into electron neutrinos. The sensitivity to the mass ordering and CP viola- tion phase determination is greately enhanced. This thesis presents the νeappearance analysis using the neutrino data collected with the NOνA experiment between February 2014 and May 2015, which corresponds to 3.45 ×1020 protons-on-target (POT). The νe appearance analysis is performed by comparing the observed νe CC-like events to the estimated background at the far detector. The total background is predicted to be 0.95 events with 0.89 originated from beam events andmore » 0.06 from cosmic ray events. The beam background is obtained by extrapolating near detector data through different oscillation channels, while the cosmic ray background is calculated based on out-of-time NuMI trigger data. A total of 6 electron neutrino candidates are observed in the end at the far detector which represents 3.3 σ excess over the predicted background. The NOνA result disfavors inverted mass hierarchy for δcp ϵ [0, 0.6π] at 90% C.L.« less
  1. Iowa State U.
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Research Org:
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
Country of Publication:
United States