Large scale technology demonstration at CERN of a UK developed optical readout for two-phase LAr Neutrino Detectors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) is hosted at Fermilab USA. It is being designed and will be operated by a collaboration of over 1,000 physicists across 32 countries from Asia, Europe and the Americas and it will be the world's most advanced neutrino observatory. DUNE aims to advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the universe by allowing the study of the behaviour of particles called neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos. This could provide insight as to why we live in a matter-dominated universe suitable for life as we know it. DUNE will also watch for supernova neutrinos produced when a star explodes, which will allow scientists to observe the formation of neutron stars and black holes, and will investigate whether protons live forever or eventually decay, bringing us closer to fulfilling Einstein's dream of a grand unified theory.

The DUNE detector will comprise four large detector modules each containing 17,000 kg of liquid argon where neutrino interactions will be captured. There is still much scope for optimising the readout of these detectors. In the UK we have developed a revolutionary technology based on ultra-fast imaging cameras capable of continuous streaming and therefore continuous capturing of particle interactions with nano-second resolution. This is equivalent to having a camera capable of recording several million frames per second. This is a powerful system that takes the field away from the old technologies developed in the 70s which are based on reading signals from complex interwoven long wires. Our camera-based system will allow us to capture even lower energy particles (thus enhancing the physics potential), view interactions with millimetre resolution, and will simplify the huge engineering challenges that this colossal experiment faces while at the same time bringing the cost down considerably.

The current DUNE experiment is actively seeking new technologies for the final modules for which the final design has not yet been decided. The objective of this proposal is to take the technology that we have demonstrated in Liverpool with the ARIADNE experiment to a larger scale experiment at CERN which will provide feasibility studies and progress the technology towards implementation within the DUNE experiment.

Planned Impact

This project will impact the biggest planned LAr Neutrino experiment DUNE, as it is demonstrating an innovative optical readout technology to replace the old charge readout approach. Our camera-based system will allow us to capture even lower energy particles (thus enhancing the physics potential), view interactions with millimetre resolution, and will simplify the huge engineering challenges that this colossal experiment faces while at the same time bringing the cost down considerably. This technology is a clear innovation, replacing old technologies and bringing a powerful futuristic TPC to the Particle Physics community.

This optical readout technology has been developed solely in the UK, and therefore this project of further optimisation and feasibility demonstrations will support bringing UK leadership in implementing this innovation to an entire DUNE module.

Beyond particle physics, this camera readout detector technology can be used for medical imaging; similar camera readout approaches have been demonstrated in the past however they were lacking the speed and therefore full 3D reconstruction required, which is exactly the key power of our system.

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