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.
- sterile neutrinos
- high energy physics