Mike Mooney recently received a DOE Early Career award for his project entitled, “Constraining the Electromagnetic Shower Energy Scale at LArTPC Neutrino Detectors Near and Far.”
This award will support experimental work related to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) at the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. The DUNE project will use massive liquid argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) to address fundamental questions such as the origin of the matter/antimatter asymmetry in the universe. Another upcoming neutrino oscillation experiment is the Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) Program, which will use multiple LArTPC detectors to investigate the anomalous phenomenon of neutrino oscillation over shorter distances that could lead to the discovery of “sterile” neutrinos. Both DUNE and the SBN Program rely on precise measurements of electron neutrino interactions, which produce electromagnetic showers in LArTPC detectors. The energies of these electromagnetic showers must be well understood to achieve the main physics goals of each experiment. The primary objective of this research is to constrain the electromagnetic shower energy scale at DUNE and the SBN Program through precise calibration of detector effects and use of neutral pion decays to photons, which also produce electromagnetic showers in LArTPC detectors.