Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Yuri A. Kamyshkov
Nadia Fomin, Sowjanya Gollapinni, Yuri Efremenko, Lawrence Townsend
To probe the origins of the baryon asymmetry, baryon number violation, the last unconfirmed Sakharov condition, must be definitively observed experimentally. Similarly, the nature of dark matter is currently unknown, and calls out for new candidates to be investigated. Each of these issues can be considered through the study of neutron transformations.
Some rare baryon number violating processes, such as neutron-antineutron transformations, are expected to probe baryogenesis. Here, I show progress on this discovery target through construction of more accurate Monte Carlo models, the design of future detectors, creation of more complete atmospheric neutrino background simulations, and use of automated analysis techniques within the the NNBAR/HIBEAM experimental program at the European Spallation Source (ESS) and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). First simulation-based sensitivities for these experiments will be discussed. Modeling of rare neutron-antineutron transformation and subsequent annihilation will be discussed at length for multiple nuclei useful to these and other collaborations. To go along with this work, more comprehensive lepton-scattering nuclear models must be integrated into neutrino event generators for proper atmospheric neutrino background simulations. I discuss the first furnishing of these backgrounds for DUNE, and I highlight a potential path forward for the community in this vein using precision electron scattering modeling as a facsimile.
Aspects of other potentially related neutron--mirror-neutron oscillations pertinent to dark matter and the neutron lifetime anomaly will also be considered for the ESS HIBEAM experiment. Here, I will present the first experimental sensitivity calculations for a broad range of modular experimental setups which will serve as research and design stepping stones toward NNBAR while producing a multitude of physics results over short time scales.
Barrow, Joshua L., "Towards Neutron Transformation Searches. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2021.