DUNE potential to measure CP violation with sub-GeV atmospheric neutrinos



The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) [a,b] is a next-generation neutrino oscillation experiment to measure unknown parameters of the Standard Model of particle physics and to search for new phenomena.  A high power wide-band beam operating in neutrino or anti-neutrino mode will be produced at Fermilab, the flux and flavour composition will be characterised with the Near Detector. At a baseline of 1,300 km, deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF, South Dakota), four gigantic Far Detector modules will measure the three neutrino flavours with the goals of determining the Neutrino Mass Ordering, determining the charge-parity (CP) Violation phase, measuring precisely the oscillation parameters and testing the 3-flavour paradigm.

The DUNE Far Detector modules will be liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers (LAr-TPCs) each with a fiducial mass of 10 ktons. With huge detectors deep underground, DUNE will be able to search for physics beyond the Standard Model and to observe also neutrinos from astrophysical sources. 

The first two DUNE Far Detector modules are expected to be completed in 2029. Before the neutrino beam becomes operational, the DUNE detectors will be exposed to atmospheric neutrinos for several months. The analysis of the first data will not only allow to assess the detector performance, but also to provide measurements of the neutrino oscillation parameters. Most of the studies so far have focused on the potential to measure the neutrino Mass Ordering and the θ23 mixing angle using GeV atmospheric neutrinos. The unique reconstruction capabilities of DUNE, and in particular the detection of the low-energy recoil proton, will also allow to study sub-GeV atmospheric neutrinos, which can provide a determination of the leptonic CP-violating phase independent of the accelerator neutrino measurement [c]. Moreover, the determination of the sub-GeV atmospheric neutrino flux will have important consequences in the detection of diffuse supernova neutrinos and in dark matter experiments.

The focus of the internship will be on the potential of the DUNE detectors to study sub-GeV atmospheric neutrinos. Tho goal is to analyse simulated sample to assess the performance of the detector for the reconstruction of sub-GeV atmospheric neutrino interactions. This is the first step towards a realistic CP analysis.


Alessandra Tonazzo






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