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MINOS Document 13536-v2

Ph.D. Thesis: A Search for Large Extra Dimensions with MINOS and MINOS+

Document #:
MINOS-doc-13536-v2
Document type:
Thesis
Submitted by:
Simon DeRijck
Updated by:
Simon DeRijck
Document Created:
23 Mar 2019, 15:05
Contents Revised:
23 Apr 2019, 16:44
Metadata Revised:
23 Apr 2019, 16:44
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Abstract:
This dissertation presents the search for large extra dimensions using the rich and unique accelerator beam neutrino data collected by the MINOS and MINOS+ experiments from 2005 to 2012 and 2013 to 2016, respectively. Most data from neutrino oscillation experiments are consistent with the standard three-flavor paradigm. With increasing experimental precision, potential effects from physics beyond the Standard Model that could modify neutrino oscillations in subtle ways can be explored. One such scenario involves additional spatial dimensions. Following the Large Extra Dimensions (LED) model, sterile neutrinos arising as Kaluza-Klein states in an extra dimension with size $R$ can mix with the three active neutrinos in 3+1 spacetime, thereby altering the neutrino oscillation probabilities. In addition, this model provides a natural explanation for small Dirac neutrino masses through mass suppression by the volume of the large extra dimensions. In this work, two analysis strategies are employed to search for large extra dimensions: the Far-over-Near analysis and the two-detector analysis. In the former, the ratio of the neutrino energy spectra measured in the MINOS Far and Near Detectors is used to constrain the LED model parameters, while in the latter the measured spectra are used simultaneously. MINOS reported the strongest constraint on $R$ from a neutrino oscillation experiment, constraining $R$ to be smaller than $0.45\,\text{$\upmu$m}$ at 90\% C.L. in the limit of a vanishing lightest neutrino mass, using the Far-over-Near approach. Including MINOS+ data, which significantly increases the number of events at higher neutrino energies away from the three-flavor minimum where the model effects are larger, and using the two-detector technique, the size of extra dimensions is further constrained to be smaller than $0.30\,\text{$\upmu$m}$ at 90\% C.L. Stronger limits are obtained for non-vanishing lightest neutrino masses.
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