Characterization of liquid argon detectors for next generation neutrino physics


  • Call:

    PT-CERN Call 2021/2

  • Academic Year:


  • Domain:


  • Supervisor:

    José Maneira

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Fernando Barao

  • Institution:

    Universidade de Lisboa

  • Host Institution:

    Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas

  • Abstract:

    The question of how neutrinos may be related to the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe is one of the fundamental goals of Particle Physics today, and the central motivation to accurately measure long-baseline neutrino oscillations with the next generation of experiments. The technology of liquid argon time projection chambers (LAr TPCs) allows for massive detectors with excellent tracking and calorimetry -- all crucial capabilities to meet the requirements of the next generation of experiments. In this technique, particles ionize the argon, creating free electrons that drift in an intense electric field and are collected in wire anodes planes, with the measured time providing the drift length. A full characterization of the electric field uniformity and the charge attenuation along the drift are essential to guarantee a precise 3D reconstruction of the neutrino interaction and its energy. This requires calibration systems and methods capable of measuring parameters describing those effects with enough granularity in time and space. This project will be based on the development of calibration and characterization techniques of LAr TPCs with cosmic ray muons, intense UV laser beams, and possibly a dedicated radiation source. It will be focused on the DUNE experiment and the second run of its prototype at CERN, ProtoDUNE, that will be installed and start to take data in 2022. The commissioning, operation, and data analysis of ProtoDUNE-II and its new calibration systems, in order to validate the designs, methods, and expected precision, will be the central part of this work plan. Since this validation is a pre-requisite for the future scope of the calibration systems in the DUNE far detectors, it will directly influence the future DUNE calibration and performance. The candidate will integrate the CERN Neutrino Platform team and will play an active role in the ProtoDUNE2 installation.