Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

Yuri Kamyshkov

Committee Members

Thomas Handler, Yuri Efremenko, Robert Compton

Abstract

The NOvA (NuMI Off-axis νe [nu_e] Appearance) Experiment is a long-baseline accelerator neutrino experiment currently in its second year of operations. NOvA uses the Neutrinos from the Main Injector (NuMI) beam at Fermilab, and there are two main off-axis detectors: a Near Detector at Fermilab and a Far Detector 810 km away at Ash River, MN. The work reported herein is in support of the NOvA Experiment, through contributions to the development of data acquisition software, providing an accurate, absolute-scale energy calibration for electromagnetic showers in NOvA detector elements, crucial to the primary electron neutrino search, and through an initial evaluation of the cosmic background rate in the NOvA Far Detector, which is situated on the surface without significant overburden. Additional support work for the NOvA Experiment is also detailed, including DAQ Server Administration duties and a study of NOvA's sensitivity to neutrino oscillations into a "sterile'' state.

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