Severe Constraints on New Physics Explanations of the MiniBooNE Excess

Johnathon R. Jordan, Yonatan Kahn, Gordan Krnjaic, Matthew Moschella, Joshua Spitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The MiniBooNE experiment has recently reported an anomalous 4.5σ excess of electronlike events consistent with νe appearance from a νμ beam at short baseline. Given the lack of corresponding νμ disappearance observations, required in the case of oscillations involving a sterile flavor, there is strong motivation for alternative explanations of this anomaly. We consider the possibility that the observed electronlike signal may actually be initiated by particles produced in the MiniBooNE target, without involving new sources of neutrino production or any neutrino oscillations. We find that the electronlike event energy and angular distributions in the full MiniBooNE dataset, including neutrino, antineutrino, and beam dump modes, severely limit and, in some cases, rule out new physics scenarios as an explanation for the observed neutrino and antineutrino mode excesses. Specifically, scenarios in which the particle produced in the target either decays (visibly or semivisibly) or scatters elastically in the detector are strongly disfavored. Using generic kinematic arguments, we extend the existing MiniBooNE results and interpretations to exhaustively constrain previously unconsidered new physics signatures and emphasize the power of the MiniBooNE beam dump search to further limit models for the excess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081801
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 26 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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