Search for active-sterile neutrino mixing using neutral-current interactions in NOvA

P. Adamson, L. Aliaga, D. Ambrose, N. Anfimov, A. Antoshkin, E. Arrieta-Diaz, K. Augsten, A. Aurisano, C. Backhouse, M. Baird, B. A. Bambah, K. Bays, B. Behera, S. Bending, R. Bernstein, V. Bhatnagar, B. Bhuyan, J. Bian, T. Blackburn, A. BolshakovaC. Bromberg, J. Brown, G. Brunetti, N. Buchanan, A. Butkevich, V. Bychkov, M. Campbell, E. Catano-Mur, S. Childress, B. C. Choudhary, B. Chowdhury, T. E. Coan, J. A.B. Coelho, M. Colo, J. Cooper, L. Corwin, L. Cremonesi, D. Cronin-Hennessy, G. S. Davies, J. P. Davies, P. F. Derwent, R. Dharmapalan, P. Ding, Z. Djurcic, A. Habig, K. Heller, M. L. Marshak, G. Pawloski, R. Poling, M. Strait, (The NOvA Collaboration)

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report results from the first search for sterile neutrinos mixing with active neutrinos through a reduction in the rate of neutral-current interactions over a baseline of 810 km between the NOvA detectors. Analyzing a 14-kton detector equivalent exposure of 6.05×1020 protons-on-target in the NuMI beam at Fermilab, we observe 95 neutral-current candidates at the Far Detector compared with 83.5±9.7(stat)±9.4(syst) events predicted assuming mixing only occurs between active neutrino species. No evidence for νμ→νs transitions is found. Interpreting these results within a 3+1 model, we place constraints on the mixing angles θ24<20.8° and θ34<31.2° at the 90% C.L. for 0.05 eV2≤Δm412≤0.5 eV2, the range of mass splittings that produce no significant oscillations over the Near Detector baseline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number072006
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume96
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The NOvA collaboration uses the resources of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, HEP User Facility. Fermilab is managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), acting under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359. This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy; the U.S. National Science Foundation; the Department of Science and Technology, India; the European Research Council; the MSMT CR, GA UK, Czech Republic; the RAS, RMES, and RFBR, Russia; CNPq and FAPEG, Brazil; and the State and University of Minnesota. We are grateful for the contributions of the staff at Fermilab and the NOvA Far Detector Laboratory.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Physical Society.

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