Observation of disappearance of muon neutrinos in the NuMI beam
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The Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) is a two detector long-baseline neutrino experiment designed to study the disappearance of muon neutrinos. MINOS will test the v[subscript mu] → v[subscript tau] oscillation hypothesis and measure precisely [Delta]m[superscript 2 subscript 23] and sin² 2[theta subscript 23] oscillation parameters. The source of neutrinos for MINOS experiment is Fermilab's Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) beamline. The energy spectrum and the composition of the beam is measured at two locations, one close to the source and the other 735 km downstream in the Soudan Mine Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota. The precision measurement of the oscillation parameters requires an accurate prediction of the neutrino flux at the Far Detector. This thesis discusses the calculation of the neutrino flux at the Far Detector and its uncertainties. A technique that uses the Near Detector data to constrain the uncertainties in the calculation of the flux is described. The data corresponding to an exposure of 2.5×1020 protons on the NuMI target is presented and an energy dependent disappearance pattern predicted by neutrino oscillation hypotheses is observed in the Far Detector data. The fit to MINOS data, for given exposure, yields the best fit values for [Delta]m[superscript 2 subscript 23] and sin² 2[theta subscript 23] to be (2.38[superscript +0.20, subscript -0.16] x 10⁻³eV²/c⁴ and 1.00[subscript -0.08], respectively.