NOvA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance)
The NOvA experiment is the current flagship long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, located at Fermilab in Chicago and Ash River, Minnesota. NOvA utilizes an intense beam of neutrinos to try to help us understand how neutrinos mix together, or oscillate from one type to another. The main goal of the NOvA experiment is to determine the mass hierarchy for neutrinos using the oscillation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos. The probability of such oscillations is relatively low and thus requires an intense neutrino source, as well as excellent detectors and very precise measurements of signal and background events. My group at CSU focuses on the physics related to the neutrino interactions occurring in the NOvA near detector, located at Fermilab as well as on non-beam physics taken with both near and far detectors.
The precise measurement of background signatures in the near detector has a considerable effect on how well the muon-to-electron neutrino oscillation parameters can be determined, and hence are critical measurements. The intense neutrino flux at the NOvA near detector also provides an opportunity to study physics inaccessible to other experiments, such as the magnetic moment of the neutrino. Searches for physics beyond the standard model are also underway using the NOvA near detector.