MINOS

From New Atlas, Aug. 12, 2020: An extensive search for a hypothetical particle has turned up empty. The sterile neutrino is a proposed subatomic particle that could even be a candidate for the mysterious dark matter, and although previous studies have hinted at its existence, and the MINOS+ and Daya Bay experiments have all but ruled it out.

From APS Physics, Aug. 10, 2020: Fermilab scientist Pedro Machado co-authors this article on how the MINOS and MINOS+ experiments at Fermilab and the Daya Bay experiment have placed the most stringent limits to date on a hypothetical fourth neutrino. Still, the possibility that such a particle exists remains open.

From CERN Courier, July 7, 2020: A new generation of accelerator and reactor experiments is opening an era of high-precision neutrino measurements to tackle questions such as leptonic CP violation, the mass hierarchy and the possibility of a fourth “sterile” neutrino. These include the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab, and Fermilab’s NOvA and Short-Baseline Neutrino programs.

From PBS Space Time, Jan. 6, 2020: Why is there something rather than nothing? The answer may be found in the weakest particle in the universe: the neutrino. In this 10-minute video, PBS Space Time host Matt O’Dowd and Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln explore the mysteries of the neutrino and how Fermilab is tackling them. The elusive neutrino may hold powerful secrets, from the unification of the forces of nature to the biggest question of all: Why is there something rather than nothing?

In his doctoral thesis, Todd details a method for data analysis in a way that minimizes a source of bias in some particle physics experiments. By analyzing information from two distant detectors simultaneously rather than sequentially, he incorporated the lack of precision knowledge in both detectors. A University of Cincinnati graduate, Todd used data from Fermilab’s MINOS and MINOS+ experiments, and his analysis can be applied in other neutrino research as well.

The MINOS+ collaboration at Fermilab collected data with a medium-energy neutrino beam from September 2013 to June 2016. The collaboration has exploited the data to set more stringent boundaries on the possibility of sterile neutrinos mixing with muon neutrinos.

From CERN Courier, March 8, 2019: Newly published results from the MINOS+ experiment at Fermilab cast fresh doubts on the existence of the sterile neutrino — a hypothetical fourth neutrino flavor that would constitute physics beyond the Standard Model. MINOS+ studies how muon neutrinos oscillate into other neutrino flavors as a function of distance travelled.

Physicists often find thrifty, ingenious ways to reuse equipment and resources. What do you do about an 800-ton magnet originally used to discover new particles? Send it off on a months-long journey via truck, train and ship halfway across the world to detect oscillating particles called neutrinos, of course. It’s all part of the vast recycling network of the physics community.