5 years ago

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

B. Behera, E. Arrieta-Diaz, V. Grichine, M. Campbell, V. Bychkov, K. Augsten, S. Childress, R. Ehrlich, B. Bhuyan, L. Aliaga, V. Bhatnagar, NOvA Collaboration, S. Germani, R. Dharmapalan, L. Corwin, M. J. Frank, J. Bian, P. F. Derwent, E. Catano-Mur, M. Gabrielyan, B. C. Choudhary, N. Buchanan, M. Colo, E. C. Dukes, G. Brunetti, A. Bolshakova, C. Backhouse, M. Baird, R. Bernstein, A. Butkevich, C. Bromberg, S. Bending, J. P. Davies, G. S. Davies, H. R. Gallagher, P. Adamson, J. Cooper, S. Edayath, N. Anfimov, T. Blackburn, A. Antoshkin, J. A. B. Coelho, B. A. Bambah, R. Group, A. Giri, D. Ambrose, L. Cremonesi, Z. Djurcic, T. E. Coan, M. C. Goodman, M. Groh, T. Ghosh, R. A. Gomes, D. Cronin-Hennessy, H. Duyang, A. Aurisano, P. Ding, J. Brown, D. Grover, B. Chowdhury, G. J. Feldman, K. Bays

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$\times$10$^{20}$ protons-on-target in the NuMI beam at Fermilab, we observe 95 neutral-current candidates at the Far Detector compared with $83.5 \pm 9.7 \mbox{(stat.)} \pm 9.4 \mbox{(syst.)}$ events predicted assuming mixing only occurs between active neutrino species. No evidence for $\nu_{\mu} \rightarrow \nu_{s}$ transitions is found. Interpreting these results within a 3+1 model, we place constraints on the mixing angles $\theta_{24}<20.8^{\circ}$ and $\theta_{34}<31.2^{\circ}$ at the 90% C.L. for $0.05~eV^2\leq \Delta m^2_{41}\leq 0.5~eV^2$, the range of mass splittings that produce no significant oscillations over the Near Detector baseline.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1706.04592

DOI: arXiv:1706.04592v2

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