Neutrinos are the most elusive fundamental constituents of matter. And yet these particles may hold the key to exotic new phenomena, which transcend our Standard Model of particle physics. In the last several decades neutrino oscillation experiments have given us a consistent picture of neutrino mass and mixing among three neutrino flavors. However, fundamental questions about the nature of the neutrino and matter itself remain unanswered. In addition, a series of anomalies, including an unexplained excess of electron-like events seen by the MiniBooNE experiment, hint at the existence of additional “sterile” neutrino flavors and complicate this simple picture. In order to improve on the previous generation of neutrino oscillation experiments and address these anomalies, new detector technologies are required. Liquid Argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs) promise to have the sensitivity and scale needed to chart this new territory. MicroBooNE is the first large-scale LArTPC detector built in the U.S. as part of the newly re-established Short Baseline Neutrino program at Fermilab, whose aim is to address the sterile neutrino hypothesis. In this talk, I will present results from the MicroBooNE’s first series of analyses investigating the anomalous excess of electron-like events seen by MiniBooNE.
Matthew Toups is a Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) who works primarily with liquid argon time projection chamber detectors on the Short-Baseline Neutrino Program (SBN), searching for signs of new particles and interactions motivated by unexplained event excesses seen by previous short-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments. Toups served as Physics Analysis Co-Coordinator of the first SBN detector constructed, MicroBooNE, starting in 2015, and led the experiment to report its first anomalous event excess search results last month, which indicated that no anomalous event excess was observed in either of the channels most favored as explanations for the excess events seen in the past. Toups graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Duke University and went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University, New York. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was awarded the Alvin Tollestrup for Postdoctoral Research by the Universities Research Association in 2015 for his contributions to the liquid-argon-based short-baseline neutrino program at Fermilab.