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Probing Fundamental Physics with Antineutrinos at the NOvA Experiment

Objective

"This proposal addresses major questions in particle physics that are at the forefront of experimental and theoretical physics research today. The results offered would have far-reaching implications in other fields such as cosmology and could help answer some of the big questions such as why the universe contains so much more matter than antimatter. The research objectives of this proposal are to (i) make world-leading tests of CPT symmetry and (ii) discover the neutrino mass hierarchy and search for indications of leptonic CP violation.
The NOvA long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment will use a novel ""totally active scintillator design"" for the detector technology and will be exposed to the world's highest power neutrino beam. Building on the first direct observation of muon antineutrino disappearance (that was made by a group founded and led by the PI at the MINOS experiment), tests of CPT symmetry will be performed by looking for differences in the mass squared splittings and mixing angles between neutrinos and antineutrinos. The potential to discover the mass hierarchy is unique to NOvA on the timescale of this proposal due to the long 810 km baseline and the well measured beam of neutrinos and antineutrinos.
This proposal addresses several key challenges in a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment with the following tasks: (i) development of a new approach to event energy reconstruction that is expected to have widespread applicability for future neutrino experiments; (ii) undertaking a comprehensive calibration project, exploiting a novel technique developed by the PI, that will be essential to achieving the physics goals; (iii) development of a sophisticated statistical analyses.
The results promised in this proposal surpass the sensitivity to antineutrino oscillation parameters of current 1st generation experiments by at least an order of magnitude, offering wide scope for profound discoveries with implications across disciplines."

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/neutrinos

Call for proposal

ERC-2012-StG_20111012
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
Address
Sussex House Falmer
BN1 9RH Brighton
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 415 848
Principal investigator
Jeffrey Hartnell (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Linda Allfrey (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 415 848
Address
Sussex House Falmer
BN1 9RH Brighton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Jeffrey Hartnell (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Linda Allfrey (Ms.)