Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics


The MicroBooNE experiment is a new type of neutrino detector that will operate at Fermilab (near Chicago) from 2015. It consists of a large volume (about the size of a double-decker bus) filled with liquid argon at -189 degrees Celsius. An intense beam of neutrinos is fired 470 m towards the detector from the Fermilab accelerator complex. Neutrinos are "ghost particles" that barely interact with matter and most will simply pass through the MicroBooNE detector and Earth's crust. However, the beam is sufficiently intense that a few 100,000 will interact in the detector in approximately three years. The MicroBooNE liquid argon technology enables the interactions to be photographed in three dimensions with sub-mm precision. This proposal focusses on the development of advanced reconstruction software to turn the recorded MicroBooNE data into three-dimensional images of the particles produced in the neutrino interactions.

Planned Impact

Three main areas of potential impact can be identified.

1) Societal impact through participation in this major experiment. The idea of firing neutrinos elusive neutrinos into a large tank of liquid argon and photographing the images in three dimensions has the potential to capture the imagination of the public and STEM students considering studying physic/mathematics. Through an active programme of public engagement, we will capitalise on this opportunity.

2) The development of liquid noble gas detectors is an important area in particle physics. The work in this proposal will place the UK in a stronger position to utilise this technology - possible applications beyond particle physics will be developed.

3) The development of sophisticated and flexible pattern recognition software for processing two-dimensional images from a LAr TPC and converting them into 3D reconstructed par tile tracks and showers may have applications in medical imaging applications - these areas will be investigated.
Description Developed major software infrastructure and new algorithmic techniques for reconstruction of LAr-TPC data
Exploitation Route We are investigating ways of spinning out the reconstruction framework to other sectors.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

Description Scientific and technical collaboration with the US
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Description MicroBooNE Collaboration 
Organisation Fermilab - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Department MicroBooNE Experiment
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Software using the PandoraPFA framework is now being used by the MicroBooNE experiment to reconstruct neutrino interactions in data.
Collaborator Contribution Addressed a long-standing challenge with the interpretation of data from LAr-TPC detectors. The output of this research was used for the first results presented by the MicroBooNE collaboration at the Neutrino 2016 conference.
Impact Cross-disiplinary connecting research in collider physics to research in neutrino physics.
Start Year 2015