Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Patricia Vahle

Committee Members

Irina Novikova

Ilya Spitkovsky

Charles Perdrisat


The Neutrinos at Main Injector (NuMI) beam is an intense neutrino source formed by firing protons from the Fermilab Main Injector into a graphite target. The NuMI Off-Axis nu-e Appearence (NOvA) experiment is a pair of neutrino detectors being constructed downstream of NuMI. The main purpose of NOvA is to study neutrino oscillations by analyzing the change in the neutrino energy spectrum and/or composition over the distance between the near detector and the far detector. It is difficult to model the spray of particles exiting the graphite target that drives NuMI but it is important to understand it because it determines the neutrino energy spectrum. I analyzed the NuMI beamline model for the NOvA experiment with two approaches. A hadron-production reweighting algorithm was developed for a previous neutrino experiment and I applied it to the model for the neutrino flux at NOvA. I found that there are more positive kaons generating neutrinos in the NuMI beamline than previously supposed. In my second analysis, I find that tracking the trajectory of a muon created by a charged current (CC) neutrino interaction in the detector can be used to infer where in the NuMI beamline the neutrino originated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only