Physicists analyze first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment

Iowa State physicist analyzes first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment
This is the telltale track of an electron neutrino in the NOvA Neutrino Experiment's Far Detector. Credit: Image courtesy of the NOvA collaboration.

Mayly Sanchez clicked to a presentation slide showing the telltale track of an electron neutrino racing through the 14,000-ton Far Detector of the NOvA Neutrino Experiment.

Since that detector started full operations in November 2014, two analyses of data from the long-distance experiment have made the first experimental observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos. One analysis found 11 such transitions. And, Sanchez wrote on her slide, "All 11 of them are absolutely gorgeous."

The 260 members of the NOvA collaboration have just reported the experiment's initial findings in two papers: One in Physical Review Letters describes the first appearance of electron neutrinos in the NOvA experiment; another in Physical Review D - Rapid Communications describes the disappearance of muon neutrinos in the experiment.

Taken together, the papers offer insights into fundamental neutrino properties such as mass, the way neutrinos change, or oscillate, from one type to another and whether neutrinos are a key to the dominance of matter in the universe.

Sanchez - an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy who is also an Intensity Frontier Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermilab near Chicago - is one of the leaders of the NOvA experiment. She serves on the experiment's executive committee and co-leads the analysis of electron neutrino appearance in the Far Detector.

The paper about electron neutrino appearance reports two, independent analyses of detector data: One found six cases of the muon neutrinos sent to the Far Detector oscillating into electron neutrinos. The other found 11 oscillations. If there were no oscillations, researchers predicted there would be one electron neutrino observed in the Far Detector.

Sanchez said the flickering electron neutrino tracks she helped analyze prove the experiment can do what it was designed to do. That's spotting and measuring neutrinos after they make the 500-mile, 3-millisecond journey from Fermilab to the Far Detector in northern Minnesota. (That is huge - 344,000 plastic cells within a structure 200 feet long, 50 feet high and 50 feet wide, making it the world's largest freestanding plastic structure.)

"The big news here is we observed electron neutrino appearance," Sanchez said.

If the calibrations and parameters had been just a little off, "We might not have seen anything," she said. "When you design an experiment like this, you hope that nature is kind to you and allows you to do a measurement."

In this case, physicists are detecting and measuring mysterious and lightweight neutrinos. They're subatomic particles that are among the most abundant in the universe but almost never interact with matter. They're created in nature by the sun, by collapsing stars and by cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere. They're also created by nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

There are three types of neutrinos - electron, muon and tau. As they travel at almost the speed of light, they oscillate from one type to another. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur B. McDonald of Canada won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the independent, experimental discoveries of .

The NOvA experiment has three main physics goals: make the first observations of changing to electron neutrinos, determine the tiny masses of the three neutrino types and look for clues that help explain how matter came to dominate antimatter in the universe.

At the beginning of the universe, physicists believe there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter. That's actually a problem because matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they touch.

But the universe still exists. So something happened to throw off that balance and create a universe full of matter. Could it be that decayed asymmetrically and tipped the scales toward matter?

The NOvA experiment, as it takes more and more neutrino data, could provide some answers.

Sanchez likes the data she's seen: "These are absolutely stunning electron neutrino events. We've looked at them and they're textbook perfect - all 11 of them so far."


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Citation: Physicists analyze first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment (2016, April 13) retrieved 20 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-physicists-electron-neutrino-nova.html
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Apr 13, 2016
OK, a neutrino is created by the oscillation of the proton and electron as they separate. The RF field produced carries the same motion as produced. Since this phonon is specific to very fast motion of two particles. To be absorbed and re-radiated would probably be shown upon a hydrogen atom, or a neutron in a similar state, else continue and everything being as clear as glass. So, the reason for this experiment? Don't believe me, look at field response every where? Oh, I get it, you don't have a proper field response as a function of location within any matter! Temperature? Explain that atomically. Actually count the states, or look at a single state per particle. Skip QM, show it as a video. The field as a gradient over the screen or screens, the particle a +&-, the motion as a function of time, allow scale in time and volume ... experiment? Who defined this garbage? You don't know what you are looking or what you are seeing! It's creation is a unique state.

Apr 13, 2016
The field of each charge at each point in time is well defined. Assume the present contains the motion of each particle over all time. Know your initial conditions. Note the fields may be superimposed upon any field, physically. Get it. Each particle then may see only 1 superimposed point at a distance r that would have that amplitude and directional vector in space and time. I use equal dimensions in space and time as lambda from c. Any lambda. I see every particle at any time, how big is this computer. You can see that in your head. Wave has the directional vector of it's source at every point of the field.

Apr 13, 2016
OK, a neutrino is created by the oscillation of the proton and electron as they separate.

No it isn't.

Apr 13, 2016
calculable

easier to visualize as any point, that see's a superimposed point while imagining the near field or the far field, as a function of space-time, there is a singularity upon every charge, maybe as a surface with spikes and holes. We exist in a sea of dynamic glue, as it is seen, beautiful. Then I imagine a person with the DNA of an electric eel, and the genetically modified mind more powerful than a supercomputer and the ability to change matter simply by waving his and sends an rf recipe.

Apr 13, 2016
OK, a neutrino is created by the oscillation of the proton and electron as they separate.

No it isn't.

Really? How is radiation of a given frequency created? I thought it was from the motion of charge. Did I go wrong? Where did the electron and proton come from? I can imagine a state of these as a single particle with no charge, no dipole, or any other attribute. There is only the field and the charge. We never found anything else. We can't. We only see current and the field or a potential. Get real!

Apr 13, 2016
OK, a neutrino is created by the oscillation of the proton and electron as they separate.

No it isn't.

Really? How is radiation of a given frequency created? I thought it was from the motion of charge. Did I go wrong? Where did the electron and proton come from? I can imagine a state of these as a single particle with no charge, no dipole, or any other attribute. There is only the field and the charge. We never found anything else. We can't. We only see current and the field or a potential. Get real!

You are using stupidity to define actuality with your imagination, not the physics!

Apr 13, 2016
calculable

easier to visualize as any point, that see's a superimposed point while imagining the near field or the far field, as a function of space-time, there is a singularity upon every charge, maybe as a surface with spikes and holes. We exist in a sea of dynamic glue, as it is seen, beautiful. Then I imagine a person with the DNA of an electric eel, and the genetically modified mind more powerful than a supercomputer and the ability to change matter simply by waving his and sends an rf recipe.


Word Salad:
a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases, specifically (in psychiatry) as a form of speech indicative of advanced schizophrenia

Apr 13, 2016
See also Schizophasia:

a mental condition characterized by incoherent babbling (compulsive or intentional, but nonsensical)

Apr 13, 2016
What an inverse correlation between number of words posted and accuracy!

Of course the "phenomenon" isn't at all odd, just that this is the only "serious science site" that would waste bendwidth on such deluded, tedious, repetitive garbage.

The cranks are obviously too stupid to understand what a news aggregating site is. Where are they posting to the original publishers/authors? Oh, yeah. Serious sites don't allows crank trolling. You know exactly how these cranks are. They're the kind that would try to have a big hairy argument about the direction of a corporation...with the minimum wage check stand operator.

Clueless. Hopeless. Worthless. It would be nice if there were less.

Apr 13, 2016
easier to visualize as any point, that see's ... We exist in a sea of dynamic glue, as it is seen, beautiful. Then I imagine a person with the DNA of an electric eel, and the genetically modified mind more powerful than a supercomputer and the ability to change matter simply by waving his and sends an rf recipe.


Word Salad:
a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases, specifically (in psychiatry) as a form of speech indicative of advanced schizophrenia

Maybe he was part of that LSD study mentioned in another article....

Apr 14, 2016
Meh. Get back to me when they start making announcements about the neutrino masses.

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