The Search for Low Energy Single Photons in MicroBooNE

  • Robert Murrells

Student thesis: Phd


The MiniBooNE experiment is a Cherenkov based experiment located on the Booster Neutrino Beam. It observed an unexplained excess of electron neutrino charged current quasi-elastic (CCQE) event candidates in the ~200-475 MeV reconstructed energy region known as the "Low Energy Excess" (LEE). These electron neutrino CCQE event candidates were in the form of lone showers, a signature left by both electrons and photons indistinguishably in the MiniBooNE detector. For this reason the identity of the MiniBooNE LEE as a photon or electron excess is currently unknown. Liquid argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) are a relatively new type of detector able to distinguish between photons and electrons. The MicroBooNE detector is one such LArTPC and is situated on the same beamline and at a similar baseline as the MiniBooNE detector. This makes MicroBooNE an ideal experiment to test the photon and electron interpretations of the MiniBooNE LEE. This thesis presents the search for a photon LEE using an enhanced rate of neutrino-induced neutral current (NC) Delta production and subsequent radiative decay (NC Delta radiative) as the candidate source. A multi-stage NC Delta radiative event selection has been developed which takes full advantage of MicroBooNE's photon-electron discrimination capability. The ability of the search to select NC Delta radiative events in MicroBooNE and validation of the search with 4.8e19 protons-on-target worth of data are presented. Also shown are preliminary studies of MicroBooNE's sensitivity to a NC Delta radiative interpretation of the LEE.
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStefan Soldner-Rembold (Supervisor) & Karagiorgi (Supervisor)


  • Neutrino Physics
  • MicroBooNE
  • Single Photon

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