Scott M. Oser

Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver  BC  V6T 1Z1

Office: Hennings 342

Phone: (604) 822-3191
Fax: (604) 822-5324
at TRIUMF: (604) 222-7595

Office Hours:

currently by appointment



Department of Physics, University of Chicago

June 2000



Washington University. Double major in physics
and mathematics, with a minor in classical history.

May 1994


My research interests span a broad range of experimental high energy physics and particle astrophysics. My main research is in the field of neutrino oscillations and in the area of direct dark matter searches. I am the national spokesperson of the Canadian effort on the T2K neutrino oscillation experiment, which was the first long-baseline neutrino experiment to observe the appearance of electron neutrinos in a beam of muon neutrinos. From 2011-2013 I served co-convener of T2K's near detector group, consisting of over half of the collaboration. I also led the effort to build Fine-Grained Detectors (FGDs) for T2K, which are finely segmented active neutrino targets using polystyrene scintillator, passive water target layers, and Multi-Pixel Photon Counters with wavelength-shifting fibers for read-out. Previously I served as convener of T2K's near detector muon neutrino analysis group and as chair of T2K's Publication Board.

Since 2012 I have been involved with the SuperCDMS collaboration, which aims to detect dark matter particles interacting in cryogenic germanium and silicon detectors. SuperCDMS has proposed to build a next-generation dark matter experiment using this technology at SNOLAB. I am leading the Data Acquisition (DAQ) group for this proposal. We are constructing a new trigger and readout scheme for SuperCDMS using the MIDAS DAQ package.

I previously worked on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), which is a solar neutrino experiment designed to measure both the total flux of neutrinos from the Sun and the flux of electron neutrinos. SNO was the first experiment to directly measure the flavor content of the solar neutrino flux, and to demonstrate conclusively that solar neutrinos undergo flavor transformation, pointing to a final resolution of the long-standing solar neutrino problem. The SNO experiment ended in 2006, and has published its final physics results. My main contributions to the SNO experiment were in the areas of signal extraction techniques, day-night uncertainties, and time variability/periodicity measurements.

I was also involved with the K2K experiment. K2K was the first long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, and concluded data-taking in the fall of 2004. It was designed to look for for neutrino oscillations in a muon neutrino beam sent from the KEK laboratory towards the Super-Kamiokande detector.

As a graduate student I worked in the area of gamma-ray astrophysics with the STACEE experiment. STACEE is a novel ground-based atmospheric Cherenkov telescope built using the steerable mirrors at a solar power test facility. My Ph.D. thesis was the first ground-based measurement of the Crab Nebula's flux and search for pulsed emission from the Crab's pulsar below 200 GeV.


I currently teaching graduate-level classical electrodynamics (Physics 504), and an upper-level course called Zoological Physics (PHYS 438/BIOL 438), which is cross-listed between the physics and zoology departments. I have previously taught Physics 509, a graduate-level course in statistical data analysis for the physical sciences, although I probably won't teach it again for a few years.

Selected Awards:

  1. Sloan Research Fellowship, 2008

  2. Teaching Excellence Award, UBC Science Undergraduate Society, 2007

  3. NSERC John C. Polanyi Award, 2006

  4. Canada Research Chair in Origins, 2004-present

  5. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1994.

  6. Phi Beta Kappa, 1993

Some Talks I've Given:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (A Neutrino): a talk on neutrinos suitable for the general public

Blind Analyses, or The Answer's Not In the Back of the Book: a colloquium-level talk on blind analyses

Lake Louise Winter Institute 2006:
    Lecture 1: Neutrino Physics Part 1: Neutrinos in the Standard Model, and Why the Standard Model is Wrong
    Lecture 2: Neutrino Physics Part 2: Beyond the Nu Standard Model

Selected Publications
(You may also click the following link to search INSPIRES for more of my publications.):

Another Look at Confidence Intervals: Proposal for a More Relevant and Transparent Approach, Steven D. Biller & Scott M. Oser, arxiv:1405.5010, 2014.

Observation of Electron Neutrino Appearance in a Muon Neutrino Beam, K. Abe et al. (T2K collaboration), Phys.Rev.Lett. 112 (2014), 061802, 2014.

Precise Measurement of the Neutrino Mixing Parameter q23 from Muon Neutrino Disappearance in an Off-axis Beam, K. Abe et al. (T2K collaboration), Phys.Rev.Lett. 112 (2014) 181801, 2014.

First Muon-Neutrino Disappearance Study with an Off-Axis Beam, K. Abe t al., Phys. Rev. D. 85, 031103, 2012.

Combined Analysis of all Three Phases of Solar Neutrino Data from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al, Phys.Rev. C88 2, 025501, 2013.

Indication of Electron Neutrino Appearance from an Accelerator-produced Off-axis Muon Neutrino Beam, K. Abe et al., PRL 107, 104801, 2011.

Characterization and Simulation of the Response of Multi Pixel Photon Counters to Low Light Levels, A. Varechet et al., NIM A 656, 69-83, 2011.

Low Multiplicity Burst Search at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, Astrophys. J. 728, 83, 2011.

Low Energy Threshold Analysis of the Phase I and Phase II Data Sets of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al., Phys. Rev C 81, 055504, 2010.

Searches for High Frequency Variations in the 8B Solar Neutrino Flux at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al., Astrophys.J.710:540-548,2010.

An Independent Measurement of the Total Active B-8 Solar Neutrino Flux Using an Array of He-3 Proportional Counters at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al., Phys.Rev.Lett.101:111301, 2008.

Measurement of Neutrino Oscillation by the K2K Experiment, M.H. Ahn et al., Phys. Rev. D 74, 072003, 2006.

A Search for Neutrinos from the Solar hep Reaction and the Diffuse Supernova Neutrino Background with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al., Ap.J. 653, 1545, 2006.

Measurement of the quasi-elastic axial vector mass in neutrino-oxygen interactions, R. Grant et al., Phys. Rev. D 74, 052002, 2006.

An Improved Search For nu_mu to nu_e Oscillation In A Long-Baseline Accelerator Experiment, S. Yamamoto et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 181801, 2006.

A Search For Periodicities in the 8B Solar Neutrino Flux Measured By the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al., Phys. Rev. D72 (2005), 052010.

Search For Coherent Charged Pion Production In Neutrino-Carbon Interactions, M. Hasegawa et al., Phys. Rev. Lett 95 (2005) 252301.

Electron Energy Spectra, Fluxes, and Day-Night Asymmetries of 8B Solar Neutrinos from Measurements with NaCl Dissolved in the Heavy-Water Detector at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmim et al., Phys. Rev. C72 (2005), 055502.

Evidence for muon neutrino oscillation in an accelerator-based experiment, E. Aliu et al, (Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 (2005), 081802).

Electron Antineutrino Search at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, B. Aharmin et al, submitted to Phys. Rev. D, 2004

Constraints on Nucleon Decay via ``Invisible'' Modes from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
, S.N. Ahmed et al,  (Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 102004)

Measurement of the Total Active 8B Solar Neutrino Flux at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory with Enhanced Neutral Current Sensitivity, S.N. Ahmed et al.  (Phys. Rev. Lett. 92 (2004) 181301)

Direct Evidence for Neutrino Flavor Transformation from Neutral-Current Interactions in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Phys. Rev. Lett. 89 (2002) 011301)

Measurement of Day and Night Neutrino Energy Spectra at SNO and Constraints on Neutrino Mixing Parameters (Phys. Rev. Lett. 89 (2002) 011302)

Measurement of the rate of nu_e + d --> p + p + e- interactions produced by 8B solar neutrinos at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Phys.Rev.Lett. 87 (2001) 071301)

High Energy Gamma-Ray Observations of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar with the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (Ap. J. 547, p. 949, 2001)

The Cosmic Ray Composition Between 1014-eV and 1016-eV (Astropart. Phys. 12:1-17, 1999)

Prototype Test Results of the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) (NIM A408, p. 468, 1998)

Limits on the Isotropic Diffuse Flux of Ultra-high Energy gamma-radiation (Phys. Rev. Lett. 79, p.1805, 1997.)

Yes, the guy in the cartoon is supposed to be me.  Blame my cartoonist wife, who drew it.

Scott Oser ( June 17, 2014