Search for heavy neutral leptons decaying into muon-pion pairs in the MicroBooNE detector

The MicroBooNE Collaboration

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We present upper limits on the production of heavy neutral leptons (HNLs) decaying to μπ pairs using data collected with the MicroBooNE liquid-argon time projection chamber (TPC) operating at Fermilab. This search is the first of its kind performed in a liquid-argon TPC. We use data collected in 2017 and 2018 corresponding to an exposure of 2.0×1020 protons on target from the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Beam, which produces mainly muon neutrinos with an average energy of ≈800 MeV. HNLs with higher mass are expected to have a longer time of flight to the liquid-argon TPC than Standard Model neutrinos. The data are therefore recorded with a dedicated trigger configured to detect HNL decays that occur after the neutrino spill reaches the detector. We set upper limits at the 90% confidence level on the element |Uμ4|2 of the extended PMNS mixing matrix in the range |Uμ4|2<(6.6-0.9)×10-7 for Dirac HNLs and |Uμ4|2<(4.7-0.7)×10-7 for Majorana HNLs, assuming HNL masses between 260 and 385 MeV and |Ue4|2=|Uτ4|2=0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052001
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This document was prepared by the MicroBooNE Collaboration using the resources of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, HEP User Facility. Fermilab is managed by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), acting under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359. MicroBooNE is supported by the following: the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Offices of High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics; the U.S. National Science Foundation; the Swiss National Science Foundation; the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of the United Kingdom Research and Innovation; and The Royal Society (United Kingdom). Additional support for the laser calibration system and cosmic ray tagger was provided by the Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics, Bern, Switzerland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 authors.

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