Mariam Rifai M.Sc.

Mariam Rifai M.Sc.
  • PhD student, joined September 2020
  • Thesis Title: Reconstruction and Physics potential of a large volume liquid scintillator
  • Co-supervisor: Prof. Xianguo Lu, Warwick university

  • Phone: +49 2461 61 4735
  • E-mail:


  • The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) is a next-generation neutrino detector under construction in South China. It aims to determine the neutrino mass ordering (NMO) primarily by studying the vacuum-dominated oscillation pattern of reactor antineutrinos. The 20 kton liquid scintillator (LS) target of JUNO, surrounded by 17,612 20" and 25,600 3" PMTs, also offers a unique opportunity to study the matter-dominated oscillations of atmospheric neutrinos, complementing the NMO analysis. Thanks to the synergy between reactor and atmospheric neutrino measurements, JUNO sensitivity to NMO will be enhanced to beyond 3$\sigma$ C.L. within six years.

Current responsibility and organizational positions

  • Member of the reconstruction analysis foundation group in JUNO.
  • Member of the physics working groups for atmospheric neutrinos and for GeV-neutrino interactions in JUNO.
  • Task lead for the GiBUU generator within JUNO.
  • Responsible for the production of JUNO MC data for atmospheric neutrinos modeled by GiBUU.
  • Contributions to atmospheric neutrino analysis in JUNO

    • Event reconstruction: energy and directionality in JUNO's liquid scintillator detector
      • Adapt and apply the topological track reconstruction method to JUNO for atmospheric neutrinos.
      • Methodology: reconstructing the spatial and temporal distribution of light emission probabilities from secondaries interactions. This is based on B.S. Wonsak et al., 2018 (JINST 13 P0700).
      • Collaboration with Marta Colomer Molla from the Brussel group.
    • Generator: GIBUU - transport model (Germany Based) - Direct communications with authors, tasks are guided by Prof. Xianguo Lu
      • Implement GiBUU generator in the official JUNO software.
      • Implement a 3D atmospheric flux interface for GiBUU.
      • Validate the physics of the model based on the transverse kinematic imbalance (TKI) variables, using MINERvA data.
      • Build an atmospheric spectrum model for JUNO with GiBUU.
      • Study the impact of the GiBUU 2pi-background model on JUNO and compare it to other generator models, such as GENIE.
    • Researching JUNO's sensitivity to atmospheric neutrinos
      • Statistical Analysis: Develop a fitter and evaluate the systematic uncertainties on the cross-section.
      • Collaboration with Amina Khatun from Bratislava group

    Reconstruction software of JUNO

    • Improve the resolution of MeV events by handling the dark noise and optimizing the selection of the DAQ window




    • International Workshop on Multi-messenger Tomography of the Earth - July 4-7,2023 -Paris, France
      Invited talk: JUNO's Prospects for atmospheric neutrinos
    • 34th Rencontres de Blois on paricles physics and cosmology - May 14-19,2023 -Blois, France
      Parallel talk: Exploring neutrinos with the JUNO experiment: from MeV to GeV energy scale with unprecedented precision
    • DPG Spring Meeting 2023 - 20-24 March, 2023 -Dresden, Germany
      Parallel talk: Atmospheric neutrinos reconstruction for the neutrino mass ordering measurement of JUNO.
    • IKP seminar: "Future prospects for Neutrino Mass Ordering measurement with atmospheric neutrinos in JUNO" -June 13, 2022 -Juelich,Germany
    • DPG-Spring meeting - March 21-25,2022 (Online) - heidelberg,Germany
      Parallel talk: Event reconstruction for the neutrino mass ordering measurement of JUNO.
    • DPG-Spring meeting - March 15-19,2021 (Online) - Dortmund,Germany
      Parallel talk: Reconstruction of atmospheric neutrino events with JUNO, M.Rifai et al., atmospheric neutrinos reconstutcion.


    • Matter and Universe 2023 day - September 14th-15th - KIT, Germany
      M.Rifai - JUNO NMO’s sensitivity
    • Physics in Collision 2022, PIC conference - Sept 5th-9th, 2022 -Tbilisi, Georgia
      M.Rifai -Physics Prospects of the JUNO Experiment, Poster.
    • The XXX International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics(Neutrino 2022) - May 30-June 4, 2022 -Seoul, South Korea
      M.Rifai -Atmospheric neutrino physics in JUNO: reconstruction of GeV interactions, Reconstruction of GeV interaction.
      Selected as the best poster in its category.

    Summer schools

    • INFN School of Statistics 2022 - May 15–20,2022 -Paestum, Italy
    • The 1st INFN International School on Underground Physics (SoUP 2021), Virtual: 28 June - 2 July, 2021
      Poster: Reconstruction of atmospheric neutrinos in JUNO


    • M.Sc. in Subatomic and Astroparticle Physics
      Strasbourg University
      Master Thesis: Testing the NMO with the JUNO detector via atmospheric and reactor neutrinos.

    • B.Sc. in Physics
      Lebanese University

    Further publications: