Research

Our group is actively involved in a number of current and future accelerator-based neutrino experiments that share the same detector technology, that of a liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC). These experiments include MicroBooNE, SBN, and DUNE, and they all share the common physics mission of advancing our understanding of neutrinos and their properties, and searching for new physics beyond the Standard Model. We are also interested in extending the application of the LArTPC detector technology to other areas of physics, including astro-particle physics, for example through the development of the future GRAMS mission.


MicroBooNE is a LArTPC neutrino experiment at Fermilab, and the first large-scale LArTPC experiment operated in the US. It ran at Fermilab during 2015-2020, with the goal of performing a follow-up test of the MiniBooNE anomaly. Possible interpretations of this anomaly include beyond-Standard Model physics, e.g. sterile neutrinos, non-standard neutrino interactions, etc.


Building on Columbia’s long history in short-baseline neutrino physics and related phenomenology, our group is leading several analyses on MicroBooNE and the upcoming Short Baseline Neutrino (SBN) experimental program at Fermilab, including the follow-up investigation of the MiniBooNE anomaly (see, e.g., our recent result), and searches for light sterile neutrino oscillations with SBN. Our students and researchers are based at either Nevis Labs or Fermilab, and are involved in both physics analysis and instrumentation development efforts.


Besides searches for new physics, MicroBooNE and SBN are providing world-leading measurements of neutrino cross-sections that are relevant for current and future neutrino experiments. They also serve as a test setup for future very large (~10-100 kton) liquid argon detectors, such as the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), whose goals include the discovery of CP violation in the neutrino sector, the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy, searches for proton decay and other baryon-number-violating processes, and searches for neutrinos from galactic supernova bursts.


Building on our prior experience on MicroBooNE, our group is leading the commissioning of the readout system for the upcoming Short Baseline Near Detector (SBND), which is part of SBN. This system also provides a platform for trigger and data acquisition development toward DUNE, which is critical for DUNE’s physics mission. We are particularly interested in real-time AI applications in the area of data selection and triggering.