Physics Simulations to Underpin Discoveries in the Neutrino Sector

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

In spite of the recent experimental and theoretical progress, a comprehensive description of neutrino-nucleus interactions in the few-GeV energy range is still missing. Neutrino-nucleus interaction uncertainties dominate the systematic error budget of current and future neutrino oscillation experiments and they have a detrimental effect on the sensitivity of those experiments to new physics. The GENIE Neutrino Monte Carlo generator is the world's most commonly-used simulation of neutrino interaction physics and it is employed by nearly all current and near-future accelerator-based neutrino experiments. GENIE provides an interface between theory and experiment, and it plays a fundamental role in our attempts to connect experimentally observed quantities to true neutrino properties. This project will focus on the further development of the GENIE global analysis of neutrino scattering data and will enable a) the deployment of improved comprehensive simulations and b) the careful, data-driven characterisation of simulation uncertainties. A substantial progress has already been made in the GENIE global analysis of neutrino CC (quasi-elastic enhanced) data and this project will extend the GENIE analysis to CC (resonance-enhanced) data. Due to the complexity of the underlying physics processes, the most reliable models are constructed from an amalgamation of (currently incomplete) theory and experimental data. Precise new neutrino data would offer new opportunities to further improve our empirical comprehensive models of neutrino-nucleus scattering. By the end of this decade, some of most precise measurements of neutrino interaction characteristics will come from the from the Fermilab short-baseline (SBN) programme and, in particular, from the SBND experiment starting data-taking operations in 2018. Liverpool already plays a central role in SBND, and this project will bridge the GENIE development and SBND physics exploitation activities in Liverpool. The new GENIE global tunes will be tested exhaustively against SBND data and work will be carried out, as part of this project, towards a CC measurement at SBND and its incorporation in the GENIE global analysis.

Publications

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