Searching for sterile neutrinos with Liquid Argon Detectors

Dr Roxanne Guenette, Oxford University

Friday 09 October 2015, 1400-1500
Cavendish Colloquium Room

Sterile neutrinos are a new type of neutrinos, which do not interact with matter via standard model interactions, and could explain the LSND experiment (a 3.8sigma excess of events) and the MiniBooNE experiment (a 3sigma excess of low energy events) anomalies. Recently, several new anomalies have started to appear from other areas of physics suggesting that the sterile neutrino hypothesis might be more than an exotic theory. The MicroBooNE experiment, that just completed detector commissioning, will be dedicated to study directly the MiniBooNE anomaly. This 170t Liquid Argon (LAr) detector will also demonstrate the vast potential of this novel technology of neutrino detection for future very large-scale neutrino experiments. I will present the MicroBooNE experiment and describe how this new detector will address the MiniBooNE excess. If MicroBooNE will answer the MiniBooNE excess, it will not be able to cover the whole region allowed by the other experimental anomalies observed. A new short-baseline programme using multiple LAr detectors located at Fermilab in the US has been approved to answer in a definitive way the question of sterile neutrinos. I will describe the programme and show how this unique setup would provide a definitive answer to this now long lasting question of sterile neutrino.