On July 21, 2020, Supraja Balasubramanian successfully defended her thesis, “A Differential Cross-Section Measurement of Muon Neutrino-Induced Charged Current Neutral Pion Production in MicroBooNE” (advisor Bonnie Fleming).
Balasubramanian will join Fermi National laboratory as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Fall to continue studying neutrinos.
Thesis abstract: MicroBooNE is a liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) on the Booster Neutrino Beam at Fermi National Laboratory. Its primary goals are to conduct a νe appearance search to investigate the nature of the anomalous low-energy excess of electromagnetic events observed by MiniBooNE, study neutrino-argon interactions, and conduct research and development for future large-scale argon based detectors such as DUNE. A significant background for MicroBooNE’s νe appearance measurement are photon showers from neutral pion decay, which can mimic the electromagnetic cascade signature of electrons from νe ’s. Studying neutral pion production in the MicroBooNE detector provides the opportunity to better understand electromagnetic shower topologies in LArTPCs. Furthermore, conducting experimental neutrino-argon cross sections is crucial for constraining modeling systematics and calculating the neutrino energy and flux accurately for future accelerator-based neutrino oscillation experiments. This thesis presents a measurement of νμ charged current single π0 differential production cross sections on argon in the MicroBooNE detector. This will be the first of its kind on argon.