LBNE and the Fermilab Liquid Argon Detector Programme

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

The recent discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC was a major technical and scientific triumph, but it is not the end of the story. There are still many unanswered questions in particle physics. Of these, perhaps the most intriguing is the question of why there is more matter in the Universe than antimatter. If this wasn't the case essentially all the particles would have annihilated with their antiparticle partners and the Universe would be a very different place; there would be no large-scale structure and we wouldn't be here to answer this question.
There must be some explanation for this matter-antimatter asymmetry, and what ever the answer, it implies that "CP is violated", i.e. matter behaves slightly differently from antimatter. CP violation has been observed in the decays of strongly interacting particles, but this is not sufficient to explain the matter-dominated Universe. However, there are indications that neutrinos might provide the answer through a process called lepto-genesis. CP violation in the neutrino sector could represent the next major discovery in particle physics.

Neutrinos are neutral "ghost" particles that hardly interact with matter. When the travel over large distances they change their nature, a process called neutrino flavour oscillations, whereby one type of neutrino oscillates into a different type. CP violation for neutrinos would imply that these oscillation rates are slightly different for neutrinos and antineutrinos. Observing this difference is the next big challenge to experimental particle physics.

The LBNE experiment is the flagship of the future US particle physics programme. It is designed to discover CP violation for neutrinos. A powerful beam of neutrinos will be fired 1300 km from Fermilab, near Chicago, towards a huge underground detector in South Dakota. This underground detector will contain 50,000 tons of liquid argon at a temperature of 87 K (-186 degree Celsius). The liquid argon technology enables neutrinos to be detected with "photograph-quality" detail, marking a breakthrough in neutrino experiments.

In this proposal, UK physicists are requesting £2.5M over three years to take leading roles in the LBNE experiment and to develop the liquid argon detector technology. This research and development phase will allow the UK to be the leading non-US partner in this incredibly exciting experiment.

Planned Impact

see main proposal

Publications

10 25 50

 
Description This award is for research to pave the way to the development of the data acquisition system (DAQ) for a large liquid argon detector for a future neutrino oscillation experiment, the DUNE experiment. There were two major goals of this research, both of which have been met. (1) The work provided the data acquisition system for the '35ton prototype' liquid argon detector at Fermilab, that has now completed. (2) Providing the design of the DAQ (including costings) for the final DUNE experiment. The entire DUNE project has made very rapid progress and the work in this grant has led to a much more sophisticated prototype being proposed and built; ProtoDUNE at CERN. The team of people working on this prototype has enlarged considerably compared to the early prototype. The DAQ is at a very good stage of readiness and we expect to operate the prototype in the CERN particle beam in the summer of 2018. The design of the DAQ for the final DUNE experiment has also recently (Feb 2018) undergone a major iteration and is in the international search-for-funding phase.
Exploitation Route As the ProtoDUNE prototype starts operating, we will gain more insight into the next stage of the data acquisition design, including strategies for handling the immense amount of data expected from the final DUNE detector. This is essential for getting the full science potential from the DUNE experiment. Since the inception of this grant, teams from the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh have joined the UK DAQ effort on DUNE (alongside teams from Universities of Oxford, Warwick and Sussex). Added March 2020: The DUNE experiment is continuing to grow internationally and in the UK (for the UK, the additions are Imperial, UCL, RHUL, Liverpool, Rutherford Lab).
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Other

URL http://www.dunescience.org/
 
Description DUNE: Pre-Construction Phase
Amount £351,764 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/R000271/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Title ProtoDUNE DAQ design review 
Description The ProtoDUNE experiment at CERN has specific needs with regard to Data Acquisition from the experiment. This institute has direct responsibility to providing the data acquisition for ProtoDUNE. It is also a bridging step to providing DAQ for the large DUNE experiment to which this grant relates. In November 2016, the project went through a thorough design review process for the ProtoDUNE DAQ involving both internal and external reviewers. The review covered requirements, interfaces, risks, technical obstacles and other items. It was passed, by which we mean that the reviewers found no flaws. They made several helpful comments and recommendations, which are being acted on. The DAQ design relies on a combination of standard and innovative methods which will pave the way for the methodology on the DUNE experiment and possibly other neutrino experiments. The DUNE experiment is a multi-mnational collaboration and the design methodology is being shared among all institutes. Once a functional version is operating (expected in 2018), the design methodology will be presented at conferences and made available in journal articles. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The DAQ design relies on a combination of standard and innovative methods which will pave the way for the methodology on the DUNE experiment and possibly other neutrino experiments. The DUNE experiment is a multi-mnational collaboration and the design methodology is being shared among all institutes. Once a functional version is operating (expected in 2018), the design methodology will be presented at conferences and made available in journal articles. 
 
Description Submission of grant request for Pre-Construction of DUNE experiment 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Chemistry
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The DUNE experiment is a collaboration of over 150 institutions from 30 countries. The Oxford group is one of the groups that is hoping to provide the data acquisition system for this important experiment, which is one of the technologies required to operate it. The goal is to reduce the cost, while providing the maximum scope for physics discovery with the data that is collected. Oxford is providing management, software and hardware effort on this collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution Other partners are providing hardware, software, management and design effort to this collaboration.
Impact A grant has been written and submitted to the STFC for continuation funding. This will be reported in the grants and funding section of ResearchFish if successful.
Start Year 2014