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sowjanya gollapinni
Sowjanya Gollapinni
Adjunct Faculty
Experimental Neutrino Physics

Los Alamos National Laboratory (primary) (secondary)


My research is focused on studying one of the fundamental particles in the Universe called neutrinos. In the world of subatomic physics, neutrinos form the most bizarre tiny entities known to date. Scientists study these elusive particles to understand the biggest puzzles in the universe, from the structure of the atom to the formation of a star. Neutrinos form the second most abundant particle in the Universe after photons and are produced by many sources such as the Sun, the Stars, Nuclear reactors, and even by bananas! Although more than a trillion of these little particles pass unnoticed through our bodies every second, neutrinos still remain largely mysterious. These shy particles are notoriously difficult to detect given how rarely they interact with normal matter. In your entire lifetime, perhaps one neutrino will interact with an atom in your body. Neutrinos also have the ability to morph into one another which makes it even more difficult to detect them. Despite these challenges, researchers have managed to capture a handful of neutrinos by building large and sensitive detectors in some of the most remote places on the planet, including deep in the Antarctic ice, miles under a mine in Canada, and under a mountain in Japan. For a big picture understanding of why neutrinos are important and what we are doing to understand them, watch my public lecture here: ps://

The current and next generation neutrino experiments are aimed at resolving some of the very important open questions in particle physics such as CP violation with neutrinos (important to understanding matter/anti-matter asymmetry in the Universe), Sterile neutrinos (are there more types of neutrinos?), supernovae neutrinos (astrophysical phenomena), and nucleon decay searches (proton decay is not observed till date). Additionally, there is also a lot of active on-going effort to build advanced detector technologies to achieve the precision we need to make these measurements. The Liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) technology is currently driving the neutrino physics program for several years into the future. I am currently part of the MicroBooNE, Short-Baseline Near Detector (SBND) and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) LArTPC experiment collaborations.

Brief Vita
  • 2019-present: Scientist 4, Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • 2019-present: Adjunct Faculty, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 2016-2019, Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 2012-2016, Post-doctoral Fellow, Kansas State University (stationed at Fermilab full time)
  • 2007-2012, Ph.D in Physics, Wayne State University, Detroit
    Thesis research: Search for contact interactions in the Di-muon channel at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment
  • 2007-2009, M.S. in Physics, Wayne State University, Detroit
    Masters thesis: Cathode Strip Chambers performance studies in the Muon Spectrometer at CMS
  • 2003-2005, M.Sc in Physics at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India
    Specialization: Particle Physics
  • 2000-2003, B.Sc in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi, India

Full CV

  • Spring 2019: Electricity and Magnetism (Engineers) (PHY231) (double teaching)
  • Spring 2018: Electricty and Magnetism (Engineers) (PHYS231)
  • Fall 2017: Elements of Physics II, Pre-med (PHYS222)
  • Spring 2017: Particle Physics and Astro-Cosmology Seminars (PHYS599)
  • Spring 2017: Elements of Physics II, Pre-med (PHYS222)

Selected Publications
  1. "First Measurement of Inclusive Muon Neutrino Charged Current Differential Cross Sections on Argon a Eν ~ 0.8 GeV with the MicroBooNE detector”, arXiv:1905.09694, 2019 (submitted to Physics. Review Letters).
  2. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, “First Measurement of Muon Neutrino Charged Current Neutral Pion Production on Argon with MicroBooNE LArTPC”, Phys. Rev. D99, 091102 (R) (2019).
  3. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, “Comparison of νμ-Ar multiplicity distributions observed by MicroBooNE to GENIE model predictions”, May 2018, Eur. Phys. J. C79, 248 (2019).
  4. The DUNE Collaboration, “The DUNE Far Detector Interim Design Report, Volume 1: Physics, Technology and Strategies”, July 2018,
  5. The DUNE Collaboration, “The DUNE Far Detector Interim Design Report, Volume 2: Single- Phase Module”, July 2018,
  6. The DUNE Collaboration, “The DUNE Far Detector Interim Design Report, Volume 2: Dual- Phase Module”, July 2018,
  7. MICROBOONE-NOTE-1041-PUB: The MicroBooNE Search for Single Photon Events (July 2018).
  8. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "Michel Electron Reconstruction Using Cosmic Ray Data from the MicroBooNE LArTPC", JINST 12, P09014 (2017).
  9. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "Measurement of Cosmic Ray Reconstruction Efficiencies in the MicroBooNE LArTPC Using Small External Cosmic Ray Counter", JINST 12, P12030 (2017).
  10. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "A Measurement of the Attenuation of Drifting Electrons in the MicroBooNE LArTPC”, MICROBOONE-NOTE-1026-PUB (August 2017).
  11. R. Acciarri et al., "Design and Construction of the MicroBooNE Detector", JINST 12, P02017 (2017).
  12. R. Acciarri et al., "Construction and Assembly of the Wire planes for the MicroBooNE Time Projection Chamber", JINST 12, T03003 (2017).
  13. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "Selection and kinematic properties of numu charged-current inclusive events in 5E19 POT of MicroBooNE data”, MICROBOONE-NOTE-1010-PUB (July 2016).
  14. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "Cosmic Shielding Studies at MicroBooNE”, MICROBOONE-NOTE-1005-PUB (May 2016).
  15. Sowjanya Gollapinni, "Neutrino Cross-section Future", arXiv: 1602.05299 (February 2016)
  16. The MicroBooNE Collaboration, "MC performance study for an early numu charged current inclusive analysis with MicroBooNE”, MICROBOONE-NOTE-1004-PUB (November 2015).
  17. Sowjanya Gollapinni, "Accelerator-based Short-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments", arXiv: 1510.04412 (October 2015).
  18. R. Acciarri et al., "A Proposal for a Three Detector Short-Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Programin the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Beam", arXiv: 1503.01520 (March 2015).
  19. L. F. Bagby et al., "Breakdown Voltage of Metal-oxide Resistors in Liquid Argon", JINST 9, T11004 (2014).
  20. J. Asaadi et al., "Testing of High Voltage Surge Protection Devices for use in Liquid Argon TPC Detectors", JINST 9, P09002 (2014).
  21. The CMS Collaboration, "Search for Contact Interactions using the Di-muon Mass Spectrum in pp Collisions at sqrt(s) = 7 TeV", Phys. Rev. D 87, 032001 (2013).

  • Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award (ECA), 2019
  • Intensity Frontier Fellow, Fermilab, 2015
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Wayne State University, 2012
  • Universities Research Association (URA) Visiting Scholar Award, Fermilab, 2011

Present Group Members
Andrew Mogan, Graduate Student

Gray Yarbrough, Graduate Student

Wei Tang, Post-doctoral Fellow

Past Group Members
Tara Skiba, Undergraduate Student



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