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Title: Demonstration of Key Elements of a Dual Phase Argon Detection System Suitable for Measurement of Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering

Abstract

This feasibility study sought to demonstrate several necessary steps in a research program whose ultimate goal is to detect coherent scattering of reactor antineutrinos in dual-phase noble liquid detectors. By constructing and operating a Argon gas-phase drift and scintillation test-bed, the study confirmed important expectations about sensitivity of these detectors, and thereby met the goals set forth in our original proposal. This work has resulted in a successful Lab-Wide LDRD for design and deployment of a coherent scatter detector at a nuclear reactor, and strong interest by DOE Office of Science. In recent years, researchers at LLNL and elsewhere have converged on a design approach for a new generation of very low noise, low background particle detectors known as two-phase noble liquid/noble gas ionization detectors. This versatile class of detector can be used to detect coherent neutrino scattering-an as yet unmeasured prediction of the Standard Model of particle physics. Using the dual phase technology, our group would be the first to verify the existence of this process. Its (non)detection would (refute)validate central tenets of the Standard Model. The existence of this process is also important in astrophysics, where coherent neutrino scattering is assumed to play an important role in energymore » transport within nascent neutron stars. The potential scientific impact after discovery of coherent neutrino-nuclear scattering is large. This phenomenon is flavor-blind (equal cross-sections of interaction for all three neutrino types), raising the possibility that coherent scatter detectors could be used as total flux monitors in future neutrino oscillation experiments. Such a detector could also be used to measure the flavor-blind neutrino spectrum from the next nearby (d {approx} 10kpc) type Ia supernova explosion. The predicted number of events [integrated over explosion time] for a proposed dual-phase argon coherent neutrino scattering detector is 10000 nuclear recoils/kton, compared to the estimated rate in the Solar Neutrino Observatory (neutral current configuration); 200 deuteron breakup events/kton of D2O, yielding almost a factor 50 improvement in rate. In a more practical vein, these detectors may also be useful for improved cooperative monitoring of nuclear reactors, as required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Recognizing this potential, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which administers the global reactor monitoring regime, has endorsed our research into this technology.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
908090
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-230663
TRN: US0703612
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; ARGON; COHERENT SCATTERING; CROSS SECTIONS; DETECTION; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; NEUTRINO OSCILLATION; NEUTRINOS; NEUTRON STARS; NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; SCATTERING; SOLAR NEUTRINOS; STANDARD MODEL; MONITORING

Citation Formats

Adam, B, Celeste, W, Christian, H, Wolfgang, S, and Norman, M. Demonstration of Key Elements of a Dual Phase Argon Detection System Suitable for Measurement of Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/908090.
Adam, B, Celeste, W, Christian, H, Wolfgang, S, & Norman, M. Demonstration of Key Elements of a Dual Phase Argon Detection System Suitable for Measurement of Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering. United States. doi:10.2172/908090.
Adam, B, Celeste, W, Christian, H, Wolfgang, S, and Norman, M. Mon . "Demonstration of Key Elements of a Dual Phase Argon Detection System Suitable for Measurement of Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering". United States. doi:10.2172/908090. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/908090.
@article{osti_908090,
title = {Demonstration of Key Elements of a Dual Phase Argon Detection System Suitable for Measurement of Coherent Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering},
author = {Adam, B and Celeste, W and Christian, H and Wolfgang, S and Norman, M},
abstractNote = {This feasibility study sought to demonstrate several necessary steps in a research program whose ultimate goal is to detect coherent scattering of reactor antineutrinos in dual-phase noble liquid detectors. By constructing and operating a Argon gas-phase drift and scintillation test-bed, the study confirmed important expectations about sensitivity of these detectors, and thereby met the goals set forth in our original proposal. This work has resulted in a successful Lab-Wide LDRD for design and deployment of a coherent scatter detector at a nuclear reactor, and strong interest by DOE Office of Science. In recent years, researchers at LLNL and elsewhere have converged on a design approach for a new generation of very low noise, low background particle detectors known as two-phase noble liquid/noble gas ionization detectors. This versatile class of detector can be used to detect coherent neutrino scattering-an as yet unmeasured prediction of the Standard Model of particle physics. Using the dual phase technology, our group would be the first to verify the existence of this process. Its (non)detection would (refute)validate central tenets of the Standard Model. The existence of this process is also important in astrophysics, where coherent neutrino scattering is assumed to play an important role in energy transport within nascent neutron stars. The potential scientific impact after discovery of coherent neutrino-nuclear scattering is large. This phenomenon is flavor-blind (equal cross-sections of interaction for all three neutrino types), raising the possibility that coherent scatter detectors could be used as total flux monitors in future neutrino oscillation experiments. Such a detector could also be used to measure the flavor-blind neutrino spectrum from the next nearby (d {approx} 10kpc) type Ia supernova explosion. The predicted number of events [integrated over explosion time] for a proposed dual-phase argon coherent neutrino scattering detector is 10000 nuclear recoils/kton, compared to the estimated rate in the Solar Neutrino Observatory (neutral current configuration); 200 deuteron breakup events/kton of D2O, yielding almost a factor 50 improvement in rate. In a more practical vein, these detectors may also be useful for improved cooperative monitoring of nuclear reactors, as required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Recognizing this potential, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which administers the global reactor monitoring regime, has endorsed our research into this technology.},
doi = {10.2172/908090},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Apr 16 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Mon Apr 16 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • We propose to build and deploy a 10-kg dual-phase argon ionization detector for the detection of coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering, which is described by the reaction; (V) + (Z,N) {yields} (v) + (Z,N). Our group would be the first to make this measurement. Its detection would validate (or refute) central tenets of the Standard Model. The existence of this process is also relevant to astrophysics, where coherent neutrino scattering is assumed to impede energy transport within neutron stars. We have built a gas-phase argon ionization detector to determine the feasibility of measuring small recoil energies ({approx}1keV) predicted from coherent neutrino scattering,more » and to characterize the recoil spectrum of the argon nuclei induced by scattering from medium-energy neutrons. We present calibrations made with 55-Fe, a low energy x-ray source, and describe a planned measurement of the recoil spectra from the 60keV Lithium-target neutron generator at LLNL. A high signal-to-noise measurement of the recoil spectrum will not only serve an important milestone in achieving the sensitivity necessary for measuring coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering, but will break new scientific ground by providing a first ever measurement of low-energy quenching factors in argon. Coherent scattering occurs when the momentum transfer from a neutrino to the nucleus is much smaller than the inverse size of the recoil nucleus. A detection of coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering would verify an unconfirmed Standard Model prediction [1], explore non-standard neutrino-quark interactions, confirm stellar collapse and supernova energy transport and neutrino opacity models, and could be applied to the measurement of the flavor-blind neutrino spectrum from next nearby supernova, or could be used to promote non-intrusive reactor power monitoring [2]. We propose detecting the ionization induced by recoiling argon nuclei using a 10 kg dual-phase argon detector. The principle of dual-phase detection has been described elsewhere [3]. We propose using a 3 GW commercial nuclear reactor as a source of antineutrinos. We have designed and built a gas-phase prototype of the detector with which we have measured the 200-electron equivalent ionization signals from a 6keV Fe-55 source with a signal-to-noise threshold of 50 electrons. This prototype also enables study of scintillation properties of Argon and investigation of electron and nuclear recoils in Argon. We will measure medium energy neutron-nuclear recoils in our prototype detector using the recently-commissioned LLNL compact pulsed neutron source.« less
  • We propose to build and deploy a 10-kg dual-phase argon ionization detector for the detection of coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering, which is described by the reaction; {nu} + (Z,N) {yields} {nu} + (Z,N), where {nu} is the scattering neutrino, and (Z,N) is the target nucleus of atomic number Z and neutron number N. Its detection would validate central tenets of the Standard Model. We have built a gas-phase argon ionization detector to determine the feasibility of measuring the small recoil energies ({approx} 1keV) predicted from coherent neutrino scattering, and to characterize the recoil spectrum of the argon nuclei induced by scatteringmore » from medium-energy neutrons. We present calibrations made with 55-Fe, a low-energy X-ray source, and report on measurements to date of the recoil spectra from the 2-MeV LINAC Li-target neutron source at LLNL. A high signal-to-noise measurement of the recoil spectrum will not only serve as an important milestone in achieving the sensitivity necessary for measuring coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering, but will break new scientific ground on its own.« less
  • Using High Performance Computing to Examine the Processes of Neurogenesis Underlying Pattern Separation/Completion of Episodic Information - Sandia researchers developed novel methods and metrics for studying the computational function of neurogenesis,thus generating substantial impact to the neuroscience and neural computing communities. This work could benefit applications in machine learning and other analysis activities. The purpose of this project was to computationally model the impact of neural population dynamics within the neurobiological memory system in order to examine how subareas in the brain enable pattern separation and completion of information in memory across time as associated experiences.
  • We propose to construct and deploy a fine-grained detector in the Fermilab NOvA 2 GeV narrow-band neutrino beam. In this beam, the detector can make unique contributions to the measurement of quasi-elastic scattering, neutral-current elastic scattering, neutral-current {pi}{sup 0} production, and enhance the NOvA measurements of electron neutrino appearance. To minimize cost and risks, the proposed detector is a copy of the SciBar detector originally built for the K2K long baseline experiment and used recently in the SciBooNE experiment.