Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Searching for Supernova Neutrinos with MiniBooNE
|Student's Home Institution:||Macalester College|
|Research Advisor:||Dr. Linda Coney|
|Source of Support:||This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF-REU Grant No. 0452206.|
The MiniBooNE experiment, while primarily seeking to analyze neutrino oscillations,
is also suited to detect neutrinos from supernova explosions using particle
identification and event filters. The goal of this project was to search through
all of MiniBooNE’s data and determine if there is any evidence for supernova
signals. Analysis required a proper filtering of all events that took place
within the detector, as well as an algorithm to search for bursts of events
that deviated from the standard expected background.
Using ROOT, event clusters were plotted for various time windows over all of the data, which comprises several years. The time windows were chosen between 1 millisecond and 100 seconds (the expected window for a supernova being 10 seconds). The plots all approximated a Gaussian bell curve. However, clusters with events beyond 5 standard deviations from the mean have been identified as possible supernova neutrino events.