[PAST EVENT] Aleva V. Devan, Physics - Oral Exam for the Ph.D.

July 6, 2015
10am - 1pm
Small Hall, Room 122
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
MINOS, Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, is a long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment in the NuMI muon neutrino beam at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. It consists of two detectors, a near detector positioned 1 km from the source of the beam and a far detector 734 km away in Minnesota. MINOS is primarily designed to observe muon neutrino disappearance resulting from three flavor oscillations.

The Standard Model of Particle Physics predicts that neutrinos oscillate between three active flavors as they propagate through space. This means that a muon type neutrino has a certain probability to later interact as a different type of neutrino. In the standard picture, the neutrino oscillation probabilities depend only on three neutrino flavors and two mass splittings, ?m2. An anomaly was observed by the LSND and MiniBooNE experiments that suggests the existence of a fourth, sterile neutrino flavor that does not interact through any of the known Standard Model interactions. Oscillations into a theoretical sterile flavor may be observed by a deficit in neutral current interactions in the MINOS detectors. A distortion in the charged current energy spectrum might also be visible if oscillations into the sterile flavor are driven by a large mass-squared difference, ?m2s ? 1eV2. The results of the 2013 sterile neutrino search are presented here.

Alena V. Devan was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She moved to Germany in 1991 and to the United States in 1996. In August 2005, she began her undergraduate education at George Mason University, majoring in physics. She graduated in 2008 and began her graduate career at the College of William & Mary. In 2009, she began working with Dr. Patricia Vahle within the experimental high energy group. She received a Master of Science in 2010. Alena married her husband, Joshua, in 2012. They welcomed their daughter, Adelyn, in 2014. She is currently working for Dominion Enterprises in Norfolk, Virginia as a Data Engineer. Her thesis is devoted to the sterile neutrino search with the MINOS experiment at Fermilab.