Oxford MINOS

MINOS neutrino oscillation measurement hep-ex/0607088

The Minnesota Illinois Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) is a major experiment, currently at the data taking stage. It is a collaboration between groups in the USA, the UK, France, the former Soviet Union, Brazil and China. The motivation for the experiment is to confirm or refute the suggestion that the atmospheric neutrino 'flavour anomaly' is the result of neutrino oscillations.

Rather than relying on natural sources of neutrinos from cosmic rays or the Sun over which there is no control, a beam of neutrinos from Fermilab (near Chicago) is fired on a straight-line 735 km through the Earth to the Soudan Mine where a new 8,000 ton detector records the arrival and type of the neutrinos; comparison of the interactions of the neutrinos in the detector at Soudan and a similar, but smaller, detector at Fermilab allows the existence of neutrino oscillations to be demonstrated and the oscillation parameters to be accurately determined.

The UK groups made a major contribution to the design of the experiment. A sensitive test for neutrino oscillations using the energy spectrum of neutrino events has been developed. The first ever D. Phil thesis on a long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment was completed by an Oxford Student (D. Petyt).

In addition to the University of Oxford the UK groups are:

Cambridge University [Dr. Mark Thomson et al],

University College, London [Prof. Jenny Thomas et al],

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory [Dr. Geoff Pearce et al],

University of Sussex [Dr. Philip Harris et al].

Current Oxford members of the Collaboration




Giles Barr

Chris Backhouse

Jeff DeJong

Alfons Weber*

Robert Pittam

Colin Perry


Philip Rodrigues

Phil Sullivan


Gemma Tinti

Nick West

* Group leader

Some previous members of the Oxford Group (locations in brackets of the people who are still active in MINOS): Wade Allison, Matthew Barker, Anatael Cabrera, John Cobb, Antonella De Santo, Hugh Gallagher (Now at Tufts), Jeff Hartnell (Now at RAL), Katarzyna Grzelak (Now at Warsaw Univ.), Phill Litchfield (Now at Warwick University), Paul S. Miyagawa, David Petyt (Now at Univ. Minnesota), Tobias Raufer (Now at RAL), Nathaniel Tagg (Now at Otterbein College.), Alex Sousa (Now at Harvard Univ.), Justin Evans (Now at UCL).

The experiment started taking data in 2005.  The UK groups designed and contributed a major part of the electronics for the experiment; a light calibration system and much of the software.  Work is now focused on collecting high quality data and analysis of neutrino oscillation phenomena.  The Oxford group is involved in CC, NC and antineutrino analysis as well as cosmic rays.

Return to Oxford Neutrino page.

If you are looking for projects for a PhD and are thinking of applying to Oxford, MINOS is probably in too late a stage to accept new people.  But please have a look at our T2K page

(Last modified 01-Dec-2009 by G.Barr)