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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Silvia Pascoli

Ballett, Peter, Pascoli, Silvia & Ross-Lonergan, Mark (2019). U(1) ′ mediated decays of heavy sterile neutrinos in MiniBooNE. Physical Review D 99(7): 071701(R).

Author(s) from Durham


The MiniBooNE low-energy excess is a long-standing problem which has received further confirmation
with a reanalysis using newly collected data, with the anomaly now at the 4.8σ level. In this paper we
propose a novel explanation which advocates a low-energy sector containing Z0 bosons with GeV-scale
masses and sterile neutrinos with masses around 100–500 MeV. We show that this scenario provides
excellent spectral agreement with the MiniBooNE low-energy excess in the form of Z0

  • mediated neutral

current production of heavy sterile states, a fraction of whose subsequent decay to eþe− pairs are
misidentified as single electronlike electromagnetic showers. Our model inscribes itself in the broad class
of models in which sterile neutrinos are charged under new interactions, allowing new couplings to hiddensector physics. Alongside the electronlike MiniBooNE signature this model also predicts a novel, lowbackground, signal in LArTPC detectors such as MicroBooNE consisting of two distinguishable
electronlike electromagnetic showers originating from a single vertex.