MINERvA muon neutrino measurement 2024


Remote Masterclass? Students need more prep? Try MINERvA Instructional Screencasts!



First things: prepare ahead

Each computer should have robust internet access. Two students should work together at each computer to complete a 50 events dataset. Before the masterclass, mentors, tutors, and teachers should:



Students arrive

This should occupy the first 30-60 min

  • Registration: please have students sign in on a registration sheet with name, school, and teacher.
  • Gateway experience: have a cloud chamber, e/m apparatus, or something similar to whet interest
  • Ice-breaker activity: students in small inhomogeneous groups create 1-2 good questions about particle physics, neutrinos, MINERvA, and/or DUNE.



Shift training

Get students ready for their data analysis shift! This will take about 3 hours, though parts of it can be moved to other times of the day. 

Mentor presentation, 30-60 min:

  • keep it interactive - ask questions about prior experience, shows of hands, wild guesses, etc.
  • give students something to touch, e.g. a wave-shifting fiber
  • connect to classroom prep
  • touch on standard model
  • talk about your research
  • Focus on theme of MINERvA masterclass: using a neutrino beam from Fermilab to probe the atomic nucleus and better understand weak scattering in preparation for DUNE.


Tour, 30-60 min:

  • adds much to the day - often most popular part
  • if you have an accelerator to show, great!
  • if not: any interesting labs, even if not particle physics, are still great
  • have enthusiastic grad students around to chat and explain

Analysis Prep (30-60 min):

  • Have a teacher lead this if practical.
  • Use/adapt the MINERvA Masterclass Measurement slides (PPT) (PDF).
  • Important: go through "masterclass-samples" in ARACHNE Simple on the projector with the students:
    • Show students how to navigate to a data file.
    • Discuss how to use the tools in ARACHNE.
    • Discuss each event in terms of:
      • Signal vs. (vertex or recoil) background
      • Where the neutrino goes, where the vertex is, muon and proton tracks
      • Copying kinematic data to the spreadsheet.
    • What we plan to do with the recorded data.

Lunch with a Physicist (30-60 min):

  • This is also very popular and a great way for students to interact and get comfortable with scientists.



Data Analysis

This is the heart of the masterclass and takes about 60 min. There should be 2 students at each computer, cooperating to get their data measured. Mentors, tutors, and teachers should circulate to help the students analyze the events and work out any problems they have. Don't give them answers. Help them figure things out and learn to see data as scientist does. 


Data Assignments 2024:

International Masterclasses

Date/time (U.S. Central Time) Institute (Data Group) Institute (Data Group) Spreadsheet
Fri 08 Mar/15:00 Lead (B) Vermillion (A) FNAL-MINERvA-2024–03-08
Sat 16 Mar/14:00 Duluth (C) Mayaguez (F) FNAL-MINERvA–03-16a
Sat 16 Mar/17:00 Irvine (E)   FNAL-MINERvA–03-16b
Fri 22 Mar/09:00 Constantine (D, G) Durham, UK (A, B, C) FNAL-MINERvA-2024–03-22
Mon 25 Mar/09:00 Valencia (A, B, F, G)   FNAL-MINERvA-2024–03-25

*no videoconference

If >50 students are expected, contact Masterclass Coordination for more data groups.


All MINERvA Data for International Masterclasses:

  1. mergedTuples 1-25
  2. mergedTuples 26-50
  3. mergedTuples 51-75
  4. mergedTuples 76-100
  5. mergedTuples 101-125
  6. mergedTuples 126-150
  7. mergedTuples 151-175
  8. practiceTuples (includes teacherTuple and Archive)

Each mergedTuple has ~50 "gates" with multiple events. The student must find the useful event, if it exists, in each gate.




    Sharing Results

    This takes a little over one hour. Both parts are important.

    Discussion (30-45 min):

    • Mentor leads, students interact.
    • View and discuss combined plots for your institute in spreadsheet.
    • Help students analyze histograms to find:
      • Neutrino beam momentum and energy
      • Uncertainty in px and py
      • Estimate of carbon nucleus radius using Uncertainty Principle and Fermi Gas approximation
    • Discuss meaning of result for understanding nucleus and weak scattering.

    For more information, see Understanding MINERvA Masterclass Results


    Videoconference (30-45 min):

    Connecting to videoconferences:

    Course of a videoconference:

    • Connect to videoconference link or Indico page (see above).
    • Someone should log into the videoconference 15 min early to be sure the connection is established. See the Schedules page.
    • Follow the agenda on Indico:
      • Introductions and warm-up
      • Institute results
      • Combined results
      • Discussion, Q&A, and wrap-up
    • It is good to have a student spokesperson but try to arrange so it is not too hard for another student to make a comment or ask a question.

    After this, we have post-discussion and closeout.

    Before you go home:

    Please report your attendance numbers on our Attendance Form!

    We ask teachers, tutors, and mentors to fill out a short survey within a day or two after the masterclass.

    Have a great day!



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