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Measurements of Electron Antineutrino Disappearance in the Double Chooz Experiment

Carr, Rachel Erin

This thesis presents complementary measurements of the neutrino oscillation parameter sin²2θ₁₃ made by observing the electron antineutrino flux from two nuclear reactors in Chooz, France. Antineutrinos are identified through both products of the inverse beta decay interaction, bar νₑ + p → e⁺ + n, in a high-precision liquid scintillator detector located approximately 1 km from the reactors. The most sensitive signal channel involves neutron captures by a gadolinium dopant, while a search for neutron captures on hydrogen provides a high-statistics validation. In both channels, the value of sin²2θ₁₃ is revealed by an energy- and reactor power-dependent deficit of antineutrino-like events, compared to a reactor simulation. All analyses produce results consistent with one another and with findings of other experiments. These datasets also expose features of the antineutrino spectrum not predicted in reactor flux models. Data from the newly inaugurated near detector, anticipated in the final part of this thesis, holds unique potential to clarify these features, pursue signals from sterile neutrinos, and contribute to global knowledge of three-neutrino mixing.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Physics
Thesis Advisors
Shaevitz, Michael Herman
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 15, 2015