Limits on Active to Sterile Neutrino Oscillations from Disappearance Searches in the MINOS, Daya Bay, and Bugey-3 Experiments
Authors: 'The Daya Bay and Minos collaborations, including, Justin J Evans, Ashley Timmons
Journal: Physical Review Letters
Publication Date: 07 October, 2016
Department of: Physics and Astronomy
Searching for a Sterile Neutrino
This paper reports one of the most significant neutrino physics results of the year – a search for a new type of neutrino, called a sterile neutrino. Unlike the three neutrinos of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, these hypothetical sterile neutrinos would not interact with other matter through any force except gravity.
Hints of a sterile neutrino first arose in the 1990s from an experiment called LSND. The researchers observed muon antineutrinos turning into electron antineutrinos in a way that could not be explained by only three types of neutrino. Since then, other searches have reported ambiguous results, leaving the search for the sterile neutrino as one of the most active areas in modern particle physics. Now, researchers from the University of Manchester have played a leading role in a new analysis that uses data from two different experiments. The MINOS experiment looks at a beam of muon neutrinos and the Daya Bay experiment observes electron antineutrinos from a nuclear reactor.
The combination of two different sets of data is very powerful and means that the new Manchester-led result has heavily reduced the parameter space in which any sterile neutrino could be hiding.