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Updated MiniBooNE neutrino oscillation results with increased data and new background studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

(MiniBooNE Collaboration)

Original languageEnglish
Article number052002
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
Published8 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We acknowledge the support of Fermilab, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, and we acknowledge Los Alamos National Laboratory for LDRD funding. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

The MiniBooNE experiment at Fermilab reports a total excess of 638.0±52.1(stat.)±122.2(syst.) electronlike events from a data sample corresponding to 18.75×1020 protons-on-target in neutrino mode, which is a 46% increase in the data sample with respect to previously published results and 11.27×1020 protons-on-target in antineutrino mode. The overall significance of the excess, 4.8σ, is limited by systematic uncertainties, assumed to be Gaussian, as the statistical significance of the excess is 12.2σ. The additional statistics allow several studies to address questions on the source of the excess. First, we provide two-dimensional plots in visible energy and the cosine of the angle of the outgoing lepton, which can provide valuable input to models for the event excess. Second, we test whether the excess may arise from photons that enter the detector from external events or photons exiting the detector from π0 decays in two model independent ways. Beam timing information shows that almost all of the excess is in time with neutrinos that interact in the detector. The radius distribution shows that the excess is distributed throughout the volume, while tighter cuts on the fiducial volume increase the significance of the excess. The data likelihood ratio disfavors models that explain the event excess due to entering or exiting photons.

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