Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Physics

First Advisor

Gavin Davies

Second Advisor

Alakabha Datta

Third Advisor

Jake Bennett


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



The NuMI Off-axis electron-neutrino Appearance (NOvA) experiment at Fermilab is a long-baseline accelerator neutrino experiment designed to study and understand neutrinos through their flavor oscillations between two functionally-identical detectors; a 300-ton Near Detector and a 14 kton Far Detector separated by 809 km and placed 14 mrad off-axis to the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) neutrino beam produced at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). NOvA has key physics goals to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy, probe CP violation in the leptonic sector, and conduct precise measurements of the neutrino mixing parameters. To help further NOvA’s physics reach, the NOvA Test Beam program operates a scaled-down30-ton detector to measure charged particles found in the final state of neutrino interactions including electrons, muons, pions, kaons, and protons. These particles are identified and momentum-selected within a range of 0.3 to 2.0 GeV/c by a new tertiary beamline deployed at Fermilab. The Test Beam program will provide NOvA with an improved understanding of the largest systematic uncertainties impacting NOvA’s oscillation analyses including detector response and detector calibration. This thesis presents the current status of the NOvA Test Beam program and discusses the tagging of electrons and positrons with the beamline data together with preliminary results from detector measurements of their electromagnetic activity and analysis of the electronic properties. Discrepancy seen in the energy variables between data and simulation suggests inaccurate detector calibration. Fake data study of the effect of reduced calibration systematics hints at increased accuracy in the measurement of neutrino oscillation parameters.



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