Search for Sterile Neutrinos with the MINOS Long-Baseline Experiment

  • Ashley Timmons

Student thesis: Phd

Abstract

This thesis will present a search for sterile neutrinos using data taken with the MINOS experiment between 2005 and 2012. MINOS is a two-detector on-axis experiment based at Fermilab. The NuMI neutrino beam encounters the MINOS Near Detector 1km downstream of the neutrino-production target before travelling a further 734km through the Earth's crust, to reach the Far Detector located at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Northern Minnesota. By searching for oscillations driven by a large mass splitting, MINOS is sensitive to the existence of sterile neutrinos through looking for any energy-dependent perturbations using a charged-current sample, as well as looking at any relative deficit in neutral current events between the Far and Near Detectors. This thesis will discuss the novel analysis that enabled a search for sterile neutrinos covering five orders of magnitude in the mass splitting and setting a limit in previously unexplored regions of the sterile neutrino parameter space, where a 3+1-flavour phenomenological model was used to extract parameter limits. The results presented in this thesis are sensitive to the sterile neutrino parameter space suggested by the LSND and MiniBooNE experiments.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJustin Evans (Supervisor) & Stefan Soldner-Rembold (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • sterile neutrinos
  • high energy physics

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