Search for Higgs Portal Scalars and Heavy Neutral Leptons Decaying in the MicroBooNE Detector

  • Owen Goodwin

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis presents a search for Higgs Portal Scalars (HPS) and Heavy Neutral Leptons (HNL) decaying in the MicroBooNE liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC). The measurement was performed using data collected in-time with the Neutrino at the Main Injector (NuMI) beam with a total exposure corresponding to 7.01x10^20 protons on target. Mono-energetic HPS and HNL would be produced from kaons decaying at rest in the NuMI hadron absorber, before travelling ~100 m to the MicroBooNE detector where they decay. A single selection and search strategy is used to target decays of HPS to muon-muon pairs and HNL to muon-pion pairs. The results are expressed as limits, at the 90% confidence level, on the mixing angles that control the rates of production and decay for each new particle. For the HNL model, upper limits are set on the mixing parameter |U\mu4|^2 in the range [12.9 x 10^-8, 0.54 x 10^-8] for HNL with masses in the region 246 - 385 MeV. For the HPS model, limits on the scalar-Higgs mixing angle \theta^2 are set, excluding a region with a lower boundary between [31.3 x 10^-9, 1.09 x 10^-9] and an upper boundary between [2.50 x 10^-5, 5.05 x 10^-9] for scalars with a mass of 212-275 MeV. These results set the first constraints in this region of parameter space from a dedicated experimental search for HPS.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStefan Soldner-Rembold (Supervisor) & Justin Evans (Supervisor)


  • LArTPC
  • Heavy Neutral Leptons
  • Higgs Portal Scalars
  • MicroBooNE
  • DUNE
  • Dark Matter
  • Neutrino

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