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Sensitivity study and first prototype tests for the CHIPS neutrino detector R&D program

Pfutzner, Maciej Marek; (2018) Sensitivity study and first prototype tests for the CHIPS neutrino detector R&D program. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

CHIPS (CHerenkov detectors In mine PitS) is an R&D project aiming to develop novel cost-effective detectors for long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments. Water Cherenkov detector modules will be submerged in an existing lake in the path of an accelerator neutrino beam, eliminating the need for expensive excavation. In a staged approach, the first detectors will be deployed in a flooded mine pit in northern Minnesota, 7 mrad off-axis from the existing NuMI beam. A small proof-of-principle model (CHIPS-M) has already been tested and the first stage of a fully functional 10 kt module (CHIPS-10) is planned for 2018. The main physics aim is to measure the CP-violating neutrino mixing phase (δCP). A sensitivity study was performed with the GLoBES package, using results from a dedicated detector simulation and a preliminary reconstruction algorithm. The predicted physics reach of CHIPS-10 and potential bigger modules is presented and compared with currently running experiments and future projects. One of the instruments submerged on board CHIPS-M in autumn 2015 was a prototype detection unit, constructed at Nikhef. The unit contains hardware borrowed from the KM3NeT experiment, including 16 3 inch photomultiplier tubes and readout electronics. In addition to testing the mechanical design and data acquisition, the detector was used to record a large sample of cosmic ray muon events. A preliminary analysis of the collected data was performed, in order to measure the cosmic background interaction rates and validate the Monte Carlo simulation used to optimise future designs. The first in situ measurement of the cosmic muon rate at the bottom of the Wentworth Pit is presented, and extrapolated values for CHIPS-10 show that the dead time due to muons is below 0.3 %.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Sensitivity study and first prototype tests for the CHIPS neutrino detector R&D program
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052874
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