Data-Driven Validation of NOvA's Convolutional Neural Network for Electron (Anti)Neutrino Selection

Author: ORCID icon
Hall, Anna, Physics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Group, Craig, Physics, University of Virginia

NOvA is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, designed to make measurements of several oscillation parameters using muon neutrino disappearance and electron neutrino appearance. It consists of two functionally equivalent detectors and utilizes the Fermilab NuMI neutrino beam. NOvA uses a convolutional neural network for particle identification of electron neutrino events with a validation process that includes several data-driven techniques. These Muon Removed studies ensure that our classifier performs the same on data as it does on simulation. In particular, Muon Removed Electron-Added studies involve selecting muon neutrino charged current events from both data and simulation and replacing the muon with a simulated electron of similar energy. For Muon Removed Bremsstrahlung and Muon Removed Decay-in-Flight studies, we remove muonic hits from cosmic muons that have either experienced Bremsstrahlung radiation or decayed in flight, producing samples of pure electromagnetic showers. Each of these electron neutrino-like samples are then evaluated by our classifier to obtain selection efficiencies. Our most recent analysis showed good agreement in the electron selection efficiency between data and simulation using these techniques. Furthermore, these cross-checks can be extended to corrections to our predicted electron neutrino signal. The impact of one such set of corrections on the overall analysis results were also evaluated in thesis.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Issued Date: