Study of Solar Neutrinos at Super-Kamiokande

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Physics


This thesis will concentrate on the effect of matter effect on solar neutrino at Super-Kamiokande. It is a very precise measurement of the neutrinos, which in particular deals with very low energy particles, thus a careful analysis that can reconstruct low energy neutrinos and reject their background is needed. The thesis will focus on elastic scattering processes that provide the cleanest sample of solar electron neutrinos. A non-zero day/night asymmetry implies that the flavor oscillations of solar neutrinos are affected by the presence of matter within the neutrinos' flight path. The aim of this thesis is to take into account the full Super-Kamiokande statistics, improve the background rejection and provide the first observation of a non-zero day/night asymmetry.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N504257/1 30/09/2015 30/03/2021
1785971 Studentship ST/N504257/1 30/09/2016 31/10/2019 Susana Molina-Sedgewick
Description (InvisiblesPlus) - InvisiblesPlus
Amount € 2,322,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 690575 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2020
Title Geometrical analysis of solar neutrino flux data 
Description Throughout the solar analysis project, we developed a novel method to analyse the flux of solar neutrinos detected at Super-Kamiokande, which consisted in a geometrical analysis based on the Earth's orbit rather than previous methods which relied on a temporal study. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This method now serves as a cross-check to the previous method used, in order to ensure that these studies are completely consistent in future; it is currently being used by the next generation of PhD students working on the seasonal variation of solar neutrinos. 
Description Hyper-Kamiokande Collaboration 
Organisation Hyper-Kamiokande
Country Global 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution Looking to the future, our research team also joined the Hyper-Kamiokande Collaboration, in order to carry out some sensitivity studies regarding the effects of using a varying matter density profile on the potential measurements of neutrino oscillation probabilities.
Collaborator Contribution Our Hyper-Kamiokande collaborators provided helpful explanations and clarifications when needed, and attending a collaboration meeting proved extremely useful for our studies.
Impact The sensitivity studies to matter density profile effects were successfully completed and published as a theory paper, independent from the collaboration itself. This collaboration could be described as multi-disciplinary, as the experimental collaborators were helpful in providing the information necessary to carry out a theoretical analysis.
Start Year 2017
Description Joint studentship with the University of Southampton 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As a scholar of the NExT Institute, which aims to foster communication between theory and experiment, my studentship was joint with the University of Southampton, which provided financial support during the second year of my studies. This collaboration was extremely fruitful, and a theoretical paper was published as an outcome.
Collaborator Contribution Aside from general financial support, it was also through the University of Southampton that I was awarded travel money from the Invisibles Plus grant in order to undergo two secondments, to Fermilab in 2018 and to Columbia university in 2019 respectively. My supervisor at Southampton, Prof. Steve King, provided excellent guidance throughout my studies.
Impact A theoretical paper was published as an outcome of this collaboration.
Start Year 2017
Description Super-Kamiokande Collaboration 
Organisation Super-Kamiokande
Country Japan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution As members of the Super-Kamiokande collaboration, we worked closely with the Low-Energy working group in order to carry out the solar neutrinos analysis.
Collaborator Contribution The Low-Energy working group, as well as the rest of the Super-Kamiokande collaboration, provided invaluable guidance and feedback throughout the project.
Impact The solar neutrino analysis for the Super-Kamiokande Run IV data sample was successfully completed, and this work will continue with a larger data sample using the methods developed during this project.
Start Year 2016
Description Cosmic Con 2019: QMUL Physics Research in School Environments Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact From the Eventbrite page:
Students from local schools have been working on research projects in collaboration with QMUL and this is the opportunity for them to present their work. [...] parents, friends, teachers and QMUL staff, students and invited guests will be able to join us to see the results of their efforts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
Description Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact From the Royal Society website:
The Summer Science Exhibition is an annual display of the most cutting-edge science and technology in the UK. This free, week-long festival features 21 exhibits and a series of inspiring talks and activities for all ages. [The general public can] meet the scientists, discover the exciting research and technology they work on and have fun with exciting hands-on activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018