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Kanika Sachdev

PAN 332 (office), 624-0511
ksachdev @


I am a fifth year Graduate Student in Physics. I did my undergraduate study in Physics at the University of Mumbai, India. I work with Prof. Dan Cronin-Hennessy and Prof. Greg Pawloski on NOvA, a long baseline neutrino experiment.

Summary of Interests
Experimental Neutrino Physics

About My Work

NOvA uses the NuMI beam, a beam of muon neutrinos created at Fermilab, to study the oscillation of muon neutrinos to electron neutrinos. The beam points to the Soudan Mine in Northern Minnesota. Neutrinos interact very weakly with matter and most of the neutrinos in the beam pass right through the earth's crust without ever interacting. NOvA near detector, that measures the inital beam and its composition, is located at Fermilab, close to the neutrino source. The far detector is located at Ash River, in Northern Minnesota, off-axis from the NuMI beam to maximize the probability of oscillation from muon neutrino to electron neutrino.

We recently completed the construction of the NOvA detectors. We have been taking beam data with a partially instrumented Far Detector since October 2013, and fully instrumented Near Detector since August 2014. Along with looking for neutrinos in our data, we are commissioning and calibrating our detectors using the cosmic ray data.

I have been working with NOvA since 2011. My early work at NOvA was to check for materials being used to construct the detector against interaction with the scintillator. Recently, I developed a method to estimate the Neutral Current backgrounds in the Near Detector for the electron neutrino appearance and muon neutrino disappearance analyses. In addition to that, I worked on a data-driven method of measuring signal selection efficicency and gauging the performance of the particle identification algorithms for the nue appearance analysis. I also work with Jianming Bian on developing a log-likelihood based particle identification algorithm for nue interactions in NOvA. Currently, I'm working on commissioning the Near Detector.


B.Sc in Physics, University of Mumbai, India (2009)