Optimisation of detectors for the golden channel at a neutrino factory

Laing, Andrew Brian (2010) Optimisation of detectors for the golden channel at a neutrino factory. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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That neutrinos have mass and mix is now well established experimentally. Measurements of the properties of neutrinos from both natural and man-made sources have measured the large mixing angles and mass squared differences. In order to fully understand the nature of the neutrino, and ultimately the lepton sector, a number of measurements remain to be made. The Neutrino Factory would produce an intense beam of muon neutrino (muon antineutrino) and electron antineutrino (electron neutrino) from the decay of muons creating an intense flux of neutrinos. Such a facility would be capable of constraining the already measured mixing parameters to unprecedented accuracy while achieving sensitivity to the measurement of the third mixing angle and leptonic CP violating phase unrivaled by other facilities. The golden channel is characterised by the observation of a primary muon of the opposite charge to that decaying at the source, however, since this signal is subdominant the large data sample of correct sign muons have the potential to produce backgrounds to the desired signal channel and as such understanding the cross-sections to high accuracy enables a far better understanding of the response of the detector. Making these measurements requires the optimisation of all aspects of the detectors used for the measurement of the interaction properties as well as those which search for the appearance of neutrino flavours not present at the source.

Pixellated silicon detectors are capable of high resolution three dimensional track reconstruction and vertexing. In studying active pixel sensors (APS) it was sought to understand the feasibility of commercially available technology to perform vertexing at a detector positioned within 1~km of the neutrino factory source. Using such technology at this near detector would improve significantly the ability of the experiment to constrain the cross-sections of neutrinos. These measurements would be particularly important in understanding neutrino induced charm production since the decays, in particular of charged D mesons, can produce penetrating muons with the potential to confuse the extraction of the appearance of muon neutrino (muon antineutrino). The capability to observe the impact parameter of the decaying meson significantly improves the accuracy of any measurement of the charm production cross-section.

A Magnetised Iron Neutrino Detector (MIND) of large mass (50-100 ktonne) has been studied as the far detector where high suppression of the beam inherent backgrounds can be achieved due to the powerful suppression of hadronic particles in iron. Particular focus has been given to the introduction of a realistic reconstruction of the signal and analysis which optimises the signal efficiency below 5 GeV which has been identified by theoretical studies as key to the accurate measurement of the oscillation parameters down to low values. Studies of this detector have led to the extraction of the expected response of the detector to both golden channel signals and demonstration of the power of such an analysis to the measurement of the remaining oscillation parameters.

Using minimal assumptions in the digitization of the simulated signal, the reconstruction and analysis of a large data-set of neutrino interactions, including deep-inelastic scattering (DIS), quasi-elastic scattering (QEL) and resonant pion production (RES), in MIND has led to the extraction of response matrices predicting signal efficiency for both muon neutrino and muon antineutrino appearance with thresholds between 2-3 GeV while suppressing key beam inherent backgrounds to at or below the 10^-4 level. Such a response has been shown to open the possiblity of sensitivity to the measurement of leptonic CP violation through the measurement of the mixing complex phase delta down to theta13 of order 0.2 degrees for maximal violation and to most possible values from theta13 of order 1 degrees. Sensitivity to the measurement of theta13 and to the determination of the true mass hierarchy is maintained down to theta13 of order 0.25 degrees.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Supervisor's Name: Soler, Dr. Paul
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Mr Andrew B Laing
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-2216
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:52
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2216

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