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Current and future searches for sterile neutrinos in NOvA

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Submitted by:
Jeremy Hewes
Updated by:
Maury Goodman
Document Created:
04 Dec 2018, 11:16
Contents Revised:
15 Dec 2018, 17:06
Metadata Revised:
02 Jan 2019, 14:02
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Neutrinos are very light fundamental particles whose properties are still not fully understood due to their small interaction probability. In addition to the three known active neutrino states, some theories predict or more additional sterile states that do not interact with matter, but can be measured when active neutrinos oscillate into them. This talk will present a search for these sterile neutrinos using the NOvA experiment.

NOvA is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment based at Fermilab. A beam of primarily muon-flavored neutrinos or antineutrinos is measured 1km and 810 km from the beam source, in order to search for changes in the beam's flavor composition between the two detectors.

This talk will present the world's first constraint on 3+1 model sterile neutrinos using antineutrino data, with a 68% CL constraint on the sterile mixing angles θ_24 and θ_34. This measurement uses neutral current neutrino interactions, which are flavor-independent and can be used to constrain the disappearance of the three active states into additional states. It will also discuss the development of a multivariate Gaussian approach to fitting that includes disappearance in the NOvA near detector, expanding NOvA's reach in sterile parameter space.

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Updated w/ comments from practice talk
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