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A search for hep neutrinos with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Open Access


Other title
solar model
markov chain monte carlo
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Howard, Christopher William
Supervisor and department
Aksel Hallin (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This thesis focuses on the search for neutrinos from the solar hep reaction using the combined three phases of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) data. The data were taken over the years 1999–2006, totalling 1,083 days of live neutrino time. The previous published SNO hep neutrino search was completed in 2001 and only included the first phase of data taking. That hep search used an event counting approach in one energy bin with no energy spectral information included. This thesis will use a spectral analysis approach. The hep neutrino search will be a Bayesian analysis using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), and a Metropolis-Hastings algorithm to sample the likelihood space. The method allows us to determine the best fit values for the parameters. This signal extraction will measure the 8B flux, the atmospheric neutrino background rate in the SNO detector, and the hep flux. This thesis describes the tests used to verify the MCMC algorithm and signal extraction. It defines the systematic uncertainties and how they were accounted for in the fit. It also shows the correlations between all of the parameters and the effect of each systematic uncertainty on the result. The three phase hep signal extraction was completed using only 1/3 of the full data set. With these lowered statistics, this analysis was able to place an upper limit on the hep flux of 4.2 × 10^4 cm−2 s−1 with a 90% confidence limit. It was able to measure a hep flux of (2.40(+1.19)(-1.60))×10^4 cm−2 s−1. These numbers can be compared with the previous SNO upper limit of 2.3×10^4 cm−2 s−1 with a 90% confidence limit, and the standard solar model prediction of (7.970 ± 1.236) × 10^3 cm−2 s−1.
License granted by Christopher Howard ( on 2010-08-18 (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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