Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. All particle physics experiments rely on computer simulations of their detectors to make measurements, but neutrino experiments struggle to test these simulations using particles that are created from the neutrino beam itself. Neutrino interactions often produce charged particles such as muons or electrons, and they knock one or more protons or neutrons out of the nucleus. Neutrino interactions also produce quark-antiquark pairs called pions (see earlier MINERvA results from February, August and… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. Neutrinos are odd particles: They rarely interact in matter and can change character back and forth over time in a process called oscillation. When neutrinos do interact with matter, however, they do so in ways that are similar to how other high-energy particles produced by Fermilab accelerators interact: by making still more particles. So even though neutrinos themselves contain no quarks, they are still able… More »

The Neutrinos at the Main Injector beam facility, known as NuMI, was built at Fermilab so that scientists could have a tunable source of neutrinos with which to conduct experiments. The NuMI beam has been a fantastic success, leading to important measurements made by the MINOS, MINERvA and other experiments. The beam has now been “retuned” to optimize the sensitivity of the NOvA experiment, which expects to have first neutrino oscillation results in 2015. The NuMI beam is produced by… More »

The neutrino is known for how rarely it interacts with matter. But when it does, the interaction can take place numerous ways, and some interaction types happen more often than others. The ArgoNeuT experiment recently looked at one of the more rare cases — one that comes to only about 1 percent of all the possible ways a neutrino can interact. As one might expect, its infrequency poses a great challenge in our efforts to measure it. This month, the… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. In February, the MINERvA experiment at Fermilab reported its findings of what happens when a neutrino produces a pion (a particle made of a quark and an antiquark) by interacting with a proton or neutron inside the nucleus. In today’s wine and cheese seminar, MINERvA will release its measurement of what happens when a neutrino or antineutrino produces a pion outside a nucleus by interacting… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. Neutrinos are difficult to study because their interaction with matter is extremely rare. Nonetheless, neutrino experiments do what they can to improve the odds: They use a neutrino beam with as high an energy as possible and build detectors filled with as many protons and neutrons as possible. One thing these detectors have in common is that they see nothing coming in, only something going… More »

What does the proton say? Tammy Walton will discuss MINERvA’s latest result at today’s wine and cheese seminar. Fermilab postdoc Tammy Walton, formerly of Hampton University, will present a new measurement from the MINERvA experiment, “Exclusive Muon and Proton Quasileastic-like Scattering,” at the Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar today at 4 p.m. in One West. Quasielastic scattering is one of the most important interactions in neutrino physics these days. For a muon neutrino interaction, both a muon and one or more… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. When a neutrino enters the nucleus of an atom, it can interact with the protons and neutrons inside and impart enough energy to create completely new particles. Often a pion (a particle made of a quark and an antiquark) is produced. However, the nucleus is such a dense place that sometimes the pions never make it out of the atom! Figuring out how many pions are produced and how many exit the… More »

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. MINERvA is a neutrino scattering experiment that prides itself on being able measure in exquisite detail the probability that a neutrino will interact: We look for many different reactions on many different nuclei. However, in order to measure those probabilities, we have to know precisely how many neutrinos are produced in the first place. Although Fermilab’s Accelerator Division can tell MINERvA just how many protons it delivers to the target that starts… More »

Women at work

Last week a front-end electronics board for MINERvA was replaced by a team of detector experts — who coincidentally all happened to be women. This is the first time an all-female team has performed this task. Dr. Carrie McGivern took a celebratory picture on the elevator on the way up to the surface from the underground detector. From left: Dr. Carrie McGivern, University of Pittsburgh; Anne Norrick, College of William and Mary; Prof. Emily Maher, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.