Zukai Wang successfully defends thesis on monopole search

Zukai Wang defends his thesis on the serach for monopoles in the NOvA far detector. This was the first blind analysis done by a member of the NOvA collaboration. The thesis abstract is below.

The magnetic monopole is a hypothetical particle, which is an important field configuration in many Grand Unifed Theories, and whose mass may vary from 104 to 1018 GeV. The quantization of magnetic charge derived by Dirac in 1931 suggests the heavy ionization nature of magnetic monopoles. The A collaboration is using the A far detector { the largest scintillator detector in the world { to search for signals of relic monopoles that might have been produced in the early universe. To achieve this, we have simulated the propagation of non-relativistic monopoles with a uniform distribution of velocity within the range 104 ≲ β ≲ 0.2, and the corresponding detector response. To record potential monopole-like events, we have developed a data-driven trigger system with two monopole triggers (the fast monopole trigger and the slow monopole trigger). This analysis focuses on the data recorded by the fast monopole trigger, which is sensitive to monopoles with velocity β ≳ 10-3. We have performed a blind analysis on a total live time of 1628.2 hours of data recorded by the fast monopole trigger. We present the updated flux limits with 90% CL (confidence level) as a function of monopole mass and velocity.