The question of why matter is able to exist in abundance in our Universe is one of the most exciting open questions in physics today. One possible source of a matter-antimatter asymmetry is an as yet undiscovered difference between neutrino and antineutrino oscillations (CP-violation). DUNE is a next generation long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that aims to discover CP-violation in neutrino oscillations for the first time. An intense accelerator (anti)neutrino beam from Fermilab will be directed at far detectors 1300 km away. In order to observe this difference, the experiment must contend with the fact that our planet and detectors are made of matter and not antimatter. Any differences between the way neutrinos and antineutrinos interact with atomic matter must therefore be well understood in order to disentangle these differences from CP-violation in the neutrino oscillations themselves.
In this action I will work to reduce the systematic errors on DUNE's CP-violation measurement caused by uncertainties in our understanding of neutrino-nucleus interactions. The work will be centered around DUNE's currently operating prototype detectors. This work is essential to conduct now since DUNE will use argon as its neutrino interaction target nucleus, resulting in more complex nuclear effects than experienced by the current generation of long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments, which use lighter nuclei. In particular I will simulate the effects of different nuclear models on the interaction probabilities for neutrinos and antineutrinos and apply new analysis techniques to better distinguish between different nuclear models, ultimately improving DUNE's sensitivity to CP-violation in neutrino oscillations.
Call for proposal
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