Studies using the SNO+ detectors

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


Daniel Cookman will be a graduate student in the SNO+ group at Oxford. His work will be fully integral to the SNO+ collaborations goals of measuring neutrinos from a variety of sources and ultimately of searching for neutrino-less double beta decay. His work will be split into two major areas. The first area is the calibration of the scattering properties of the SNO+ detector in the scintillator phase. The Oxford group is responsible for this calibration system and Daniel will be the main person taking these measurements from the water phase into the scintillator phase of the project. He will pick up the analysis work from the Esther Turner who has led this analysis during the water phase and Daniel will extend it to the new conditions in which absorption and re-emission pose a severe background to Rayleigh and other optical scattering phenomena. This will require more use of the wavelength tenability of our lasers and the absorption spectrum of the scintillator, which will be measured by other calibration systems. The entire optical calibration of the SNO+ detector will have to be approached in a more coherent way because scattering, absorption and detection efficiency measurements will be more coupled than they were in the water phase. Daniel will further automate the analysis process and extend the analysis methods to a measurement of the scattering angle as well as novel methods for signal selection. He will also take over the expertise on the scattering calibration hardware system from Jeffrey Lidgard who is the current expert on this topic because Daniel will become responsible together with our new postdoc for the regular operation of the scattering calibration process.
As the detector will be going through the scintillator filling and tellurium loading stages during Daniel DPhil period, he will use the calibration measurements to evaluate the optical quality of the scintillator mix in-situ and search potential contaminations. The second field of work will be a physics analysis. We have not yet picked a definite topic for this but his primary interest lies in measurement of neutrinos from Supernovae. The group already has a strong activity in this with Prof Jeff Tseng and his current graduate student Mr Josh Wang Daniel also shows some interest in the area of geo-anti-neutrinos, which would fit well with the current activities of two students on reactor anti-neutrinos. As of today it is too early to predict how exactly his analysis work will develop but it is clear that the SNO+ collaboration overall only has a small group working on supernova neutrinos and a very small group working on geo-neutrinos and there are many opportunities for Daniel to make a significant contribution.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/T506333/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023
2269412 Studentship ST/T506333/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2023 Daniel Cookman