Proposal for the continuation of a programme of Neutrino factory research and development

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Of the species of particles currently known to physics, the neutrinos, which come in three types: electron, muon, and tau, are probably among the most intriguing but least understood. The neutrinos have tiny masses and interact with matter only very weakly. The results of all particle physics experiments to date have been readily explained by the 'Standard Model' of particle physics, developed in the 1960s: that is, except, for a small set of results from a select few experiments investigating the behaviour of neutrinos. Neutrinos are naturally produced continuously in stars and the earth's atmosphere. Experiments to detect these neutrinos have consistently found fewer neutrinos than are produced. So where did they go? There is evidence that these 'missing' neutrinos have changed or 'oscillated' into different types of neutrino, that are not detected. More recently, experiments involving man-made neutrinos have demonstrated similar neutrino oscillation behaviour. For each particle type in nature, there is a corresponding anti-particle type - the anti-particles together are known as anti-matter. So, for each of the three types of neutrinos, there is a corresponding type of anti-neutrino. Of particular interest is the question of whether the oscillations of anti-neutrinos are the same as those of neutrinos, or do the anti-neutrinos behave differently? This question is believed to be related to the fact that the observable universe today is composed almost entirely of matter, whereas the Big Bang which created the Universe 14 billion years ago should have created equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. The mystery of where the anti-matter has gone could be explained by a difference in the oscillation behaviour of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos. This question can only be answered by making ultra-sensitive measurements of neutrino oscillations using high-intensity man-made beams of neutrinos. The ultimate goal of the proposed research is to produce the most intense beams of neutrinos ever created by man in a 'Neutrino Factory'. These beams of neutrinos will be directed at various angles through the Earth, to different detectors in several parts of the world, allowing the neutrino oscillations to be measured over different distances. This will allow the properties of the neutrinos to be determined far more precisely than ever before, and will allow us to answer the fundamental question of whether the oscillations of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos are the same or not. This should solve the puzzle of where the anti-matter created at the Big Bang has gone, and therefore help to explain the existence of the universe as we know it today.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Catanesi M (2008) Forward p± production in p-O2 and p-N2 interactions at 12GeV/c in Astroparticle Physics

publication icon
Skoro GP (2009) Solid target for a neutrino factory in European Strategy for Future Neutrino Physics 2009, Proceedings

publication icon
Skoro GP (2010) Tungsten behaviour at high temperature and high stress in IPAC 2010 - 1st International Particle Accelerator Conference

publication icon
Edgecock R (2010) Overview of solid target studies for a neutrino factory in IPAC 2010 - 1st International Particle Accelerator Conference

publication icon
Catanesi M. G. (2008) Absolute momentum calibration of the HARP TPC in JOURNAL OF INSTRUMENTATION

publication icon
Dobbs A (2016) The reconstruction software for the MICE scintillating fibre trackers in Journal of Instrumentation

 
Description A better understanding has been obtained of the properties of materials under extreme thermal shock. This has enabled decisions to be made about appropriate materials for the targets of future accelerators which are subject to extremely intense particle beams. IN addition, new techniques have been developed for measuring transient properties of materials at high temperatures.
Exploitation Route The work is continuing, with the techniques applied by other groups looking at targets for a Neutrino Factory or intense neutron source.
Sectors Energy,Other

 
Description Project grant
Amount £392,234 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 03/2012
 
Description UK Neutrino factory target 
Organisation Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Department Particle Physics Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Intellectual input; management of experimental work; simulation studies; analysis of data
Collaborator Contribution Simulation studies
Impact Publications on high temperature transient properties of tungsten and tantalum
 
Description UK Neutrino factory target 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual input; management of experimental work; simulation studies; analysis of data
Collaborator Contribution Simulation studies
Impact Publications on high temperature transient properties of tungsten and tantalum
 
Description Warwick 
Organisation University of Warwick
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Catalogue searech and observing support on large telescopes.
Collaborator Contribution Provision of modelling expertise
Impact Paper cited above
Start Year 2009
 
Description Poster session, RAL 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to local MP, accompanied by press.

Not known.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description UKNF & MICE Poster exhibitions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Poster Presentation
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Visitors to RAL expressed interest in the research described.

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2012,2013