Nakul Gangolli
Research Assistant at Rutgers University

Research at CIERA

At CIERA I work with Dr. Andre De Gouvea and Kevin Kelly. We are currently trying to replicate the results from the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) Conceptual Design Report. This is an electron anti-neutrino (νe) detector that aims to observe neutrinos from nuclear reactors. The baseline of this experiment is about 53km. The purpose of these detections is to determine the existence of a decay parameter for the third neutrino mass eigenstate.

Neutrinos are near-massless particles (the sum of all three neutrino species are less than .23eV) that weakly interact with the matter around them. It is believed that neutrinos can only interact through the weak force and gravity. There are two different ways neutrinos are categorized: by flavor and mass. The more common of these catalogues is the flavor and the neutrinos are considered either electron (e-), muon (μ) and tau (τ). The other classification utilizes the mass eigenstates of the neutrinos, and this is the classification system that we use in this project. Since we know that the two are related through superposition, we detect νe and try to find the probability profile of the incoming particles and their energies. Once we find and determine this, we used Χ2 analysis to find the significance of the data obtained. We do this by comparing location of the parameters from JUNO and with those from the parameter space we found through marginalizations with and without the decay parameter.

Additionally, we also try to find the mass hierarchy of the neutrino mass eigenstates through a similar method as stated above. The only difference is that the mass squared difference between the third and first mass eigenstates are negative instead of positive. This shifts the Χ2 of the Δ 312 parameter.