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Searching for Reactor Antineutrino Flavor Oscillations with the Double Chooz Far Detector

Franke, Arthur

This dissertation presents results from a search for reactor antineutrinoₑ flavor oscillations using the Double Chooz Far Detector. The search was performed by observing the rate and energy spectrum of antineutrinoₑ interacting via Inverse Beta Decay in a Gd-doped liquid scintillator detector, and comparing the observation to an expectation based on a prediction of the emitted reactor flux. The Columbia University neutrino group was instrumental in construction of the Double Chooz Outer Veto, as well as the analysis efforts leading to two oscillation measurement results. The most recent analysis is presented herein, focusing on 251.27 days of data (or 33.71 GW-ton-years of exposure). In these data, 8249 IBD candidates were observed, compared to a signal+background prediction of 8936.8. A fit to a two-neutrino oscillation model considering event rate, spectral shape, and time yields a best-fit value of sin² (2θ₁₃) = 0.109 ± 0.030 (stat.) ± 0.025 (syst.) at Δm 2/31 = 2.32 × 10⁻³ eV², with χ²_RS/d.o.f. = 42.1/35. A frequentist method deems the null-oscillation hypothesis excluded by the data at 99.8% C.L., or 2.9σ. These results are in agreement with the measurements of other modern reactor antineutrinoₑ experiments.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physics
Thesis Advisors
Shaevitz, Michael Herman
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 23, 2013
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