MINOS Document 7619-v1

Sterile neutrino oscillations in MINOS and hadron production in pC collisions

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Gemma Tinti
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Gemma Tinti
Document Created:
06 Oct 2010, 02:22
Contents Revised:
06 Oct 2010, 02:22
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30 Oct 2012, 12:13
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MINOS is a long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, starting with a muon-neutrino beam, for the precise measurement of the atmospheric neutrino oscillation parameters $|\Delta m^2|$ and $\theta_{23}$. The \ND measures the neutrino flux and spectra before oscillations. The beam propagates for 735~km to the \FD, which measures the depleted spectrum after oscillations. The depletion can be interpreted as $\numu \to \nutau$ oscillations. Subdominant $\numu \to \nue$ oscillations may be allowed if the mixing angle $\theta_{13} \ne 0$.

The two detectors are functionally identical in order to cancel systematic errors when using the \ND data to constrain the \FD prediction. A crucial part of the analysis is the relative calibration between the two detectors, which is known at the 2\% level. A calibration procedure to remove the time and temperature dependence of the detector response using through-going cosmic muons is presented here.

Although the two-detector approach reduces the systematic uncertainties related to the neutrino flux, a cross check on the neutrino parent meson ratios is performed in this thesis. The \css of mesons produced in proton-carbon interactions from the \na experiment have been measured and the results have been compared to the MINOS expectations.

A neutrino oscillation analysis allowing mixing to a sterile neutrino is performed, under the assumption that the additional mass splitting is $\mathcal{O}(1~\textrm{eV}^2)$. The analysis uses the energy spectrum of the \nc interaction products, as \nc interactions are sensitive to sterile neutrino mixing but not to the active flavour neutrino mixing. The neutrino oscillation parameters have been found to be: $|\Delta m^2|=2.43^{+0.21}_{-0.18}~\times~10^{-3}$~eV$^2$, $\theta_{23}=40.27^{\circ +14.64}_{\phantom{\circ}-5.17}$, $\theta_{24}=0.00^{\circ +5.99}$ and $\theta_{34}=0.00^{\circ +24.57}$ under the assumption that $\theta_{13}=12^\circ$ (limited by the CHOOZ experiment) or $|\Delta m^2|=2.43^{+0.20}_{-0.18}~\times~10^{-3}$~eV$^2$, $\theta_{23}=39.09^{\circ +16.71}_{\phantom{\circ}-4.89}$, $\theta_{24}=0.00^{\circ +4.79}$ and $\theta_{34}=0.00^{\circ +17.39}$ if $\theta_{13}$ is assumed to be zero.

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