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Physics – Neutrino Thriller Endures

• Physics 15, 85

New neutrino-oscillation knowledge present no signal of an anomalous sign seen in earlier research, however the analyses can’t but absolutely rule out its presence.


Determine 1: When an electron neutrino (


) interacts with the MicroBooNE detector, it produces an electron and a proton whose paths the detector exactly tracks. The colours signify the quantity of power deposited within the detector, with pink representing higher-energy deposits.When an electron neutrino (


) interacts with the MicroBooNE detector, it produces an electron and a proton whose paths the detector exactly tracks. The colours signify the quantity of power deposited within the detector, with pink representing higher-e… Present extra

There are three identified flavors of the elementary particle referred to as a neutrino:


, and

. However physicists suppose that there might be extra. This chance has been instructed by the outcomes of experiments neutrino oscillation—a quantum-mechanical phenomenon that entails a change within the taste of a particle because it travels. This habits was first seen within the Nineteen Sixties when scientists measured fewer neutrinos from the solar than they anticipated, nevertheless it took a long time of experimental work to show conclusively that these “lacking” neutrinos had modified taste on their journey to Earth. Right now, neutrino-oscillation experiments can measure the “disappearance” and/or “look” of neutrinos as they swap flavors. In 2021, the MiniBooNE Collaboration reconfirmed earlier observations of an anomalous sign that might be incompatible with our understanding of the oscillation of the three identified neutrino flavors [1]. The MicroBooNE Collaboration has now additional explored this thrilling chance [26]. They discover no such anomalous sign, however they will’t but rule out the possiblilty that new neutrinos is perhaps on the market.

The flavour states haven’t any particular mass. Moderately, every is described by a linear mixture of the three neutrino mass states. As a neutrino propagates, the phases of its mass states change, altering the chance of detecting it in a single taste or one other. This chance relies on the gap the neutrino has traveled, the power of the neutrino, the variations in mass between the neutrino mass states, and the blending angles that characterize the linear mixtures of states. In a given experiment, the gap and power vary are set, and one can calculate the oscillation chance utilizing measured values for the neutrino mass variations and mixing angles. For the MiniBooNE experiment, such calculations are clear: if the image of three-neutrino oscillation is full, the

’s produced initially of the beamline shouldn’t oscillate into


’s. However the MiniBooNE detector picked up a


-like sign that implies precisely that swap (see Viewpoint: The Plot Thickens for the Fourth Neutrino). The MicroBooNE Collaboration has now carried out three analyses of their knowledge to attempt to decide the character of the sign MiniBooNE detected [25].

The MicroBooNE and MiniBooNE experiments are positioned alongside the identical neutrino beamline at Fermilab in Illinois. Neutrinos themselves depart no indicators in particle detectors. Moderately, scientists measure their properties by observing the teams of particles, collectively referred to as remaining states, which might be produced on the uncommon events {that a} neutrino interacts with the matter in a detector. For MiniBooNE, which makes use of a so-called Cherenkov detector, charged particles from the ultimate state produce rings of sunshine, which will be analyzed to study in regards to the particles that made them. In distinction, for MicroBooNE, which makes use of a liquid-argon time-projection chamber (LArTPC) detector, the ultimate state particles depart behind trails, that are captured as high-resolution photographs of the particle trajectories (Fig. 1). The imaging functionality of LArTPC detectors makes them significantly adept at distinguishing


interactions from different occasions which will seem related. This functionality implies that MicroBooNE is effectively geared up to review the character of the anomalous MiniBooNE sign.

The MicroBooNE Collaboration used quite a lot of strategies to interpret their knowledge, together with deep studying, tomography, and multialgorithmic sample recognition. Their three analyses all seemed on the identical dataset, however every was designed to concentrate on a unique remaining state. The analyses decided the flavors of the incoming neutrinos in addition to their interplay topology, interplay kinematics, and power. The analyses had been carried out blind, which means that the group doing that work solely studied the experimental sign after that they had finalized the evaluation procedures utilizing simulated and different experimental knowledge.

Based mostly on their analyses, the MicroBooNE Collaboration experiences that their


-like sign is per that predicted by the three-neutrino mannequin. This consequence thus disfavors the speculation that the anomalous sign discovered within the MiniBooNE knowledge is certainly absolutely defined by a



In one other research, Carlos Argüelles of Harvard College and colleagues analyzed the outcomes reported by MiniBooNE and MicroBooNE, evaluating the MicroBooNE


-like sign to the predictions of assorted fashions which might be suitable with the MiniBooNE knowledge [6]. The staff finds that experimental uncertainties within the MiniBooNE evaluation permit for important variation within the corresponding


-like sign anticipated for MicroBooNE. Thus, they are saying, the MicroBooNE consequence can not absolutely rule out a


-excess interpretation of the MiniBooNE knowledge in a model-independent approach. Argüelles and colleagues additionally match the MicroBooNE outcomes to a easy mannequin that assumes the existence of a sterile neutrino—a hypothetical neutrino that interacts with matter solely by way of gravity. On this match, the staff finds that some values of the mannequin parameters that work with the MiniBooNE knowledge aren’t absolutely dominated out by the MicroBooNE knowledge. The implication is that sterile neutrinos might nonetheless probably clarify the anomaly, a conclusion per what the MicroBooNE Collaboration discovered.

The MicroBooNE Collaboration’s consequence represents an essential step ahead for the sector, each by way of the LArTPC evaluation strategies used to do precision science and within the progress made towards understanding this long-standing anomaly. A lot of the long run neutrino program in the US relies on LArTPC expertise, so the strategies developed by MicroBooNE present a superb basis. Will probably be very thrilling to see extra outcomes from this experiment in addition to from two new LArTPC experiments in the identical beamline as MicroBooNE: ICARUS and the Brief-Baseline Close to Detector (SBND). These experiments—each of which I’m concerned in—will work collectively to carry out a multidetector evaluation, growing the quantity of information accessible and lowering the experimental uncertainties relative to the present outcomes. The ICARUS Collaboration has simply began to gather knowledge and SBND is at the moment being put in. I’m hopeful that these experiments will shed additional gentle on—and even remedy—this enduring neutrino thriller.


  1. A.  A. Aguilar-Arevalo et al. (MiniBooNE Collaboration), “Up to date MiniBooNE neutrino oscillation outcomes with elevated knowledge and new background research,” Phys. Rev. D 103 (2021).
  2. P. Abratenko et al. (MicroBooNE Collaboration), “Seek for an extra of electron neutrino interactions in MicroBooNE utilizing a number of final-state topologies,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 241801 (2022).
  3. P. Abratenko et al. (MicroBooNE Collaboration), “Seek for an anomalous extra of charged-current quasielastic

    interactions with the MicroBooNE experiment utilizing Deep-Studying-based reconstruction,” Phys. Rev. D 105, 112003 (2022).

  4. P. Abratenko et al. (MicroBooNE Collaboration), “Seek for an anomalous extra of charged-current

    interactions with out pions within the remaining state with the MicroBooNE experiment,” Phys. Rev. D 105, 112004 (2022).

  5. P. Abratenko et al. (MicroBooNE Collaboration), “Seek for an anomalous extra of inclusive charged-current

    interactions within the MicroBooNE experiment utilizing Wire-Cell reconstruction,” Phys. Rev. D 105, 112005 (2022).

  6. C. A. Argüelles et al., “MicroBooNE and the

    interpretation of the MiniBooNE low-energy extra,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 241802 (2022).

Concerning the Creator

Image of Elizabeth Worcester

Elizabeth Worcester is a physicist at Brookhaven Nationwide Laboratory (BNL), New York. She accomplished her undergraduate research on the Georgia Institute of Expertise and earned her Ph.D. from the College of Chicago for the research of matter-antimatter variations in kaon decay. After finishing her Ph.D., she spent a number of years at house together with her younger kids. Since becoming a member of BNL in 2011, she has labored totally on neutrino experiments, together with Daya Bay, ICARUS, SBND, and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). She was considered one of two physics coordinators for DUNE from 2016 to 2021 and is at the moment one of many conveners of the Snowmass Neutrino Frontiers in Physics group.

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