Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1307.7419 (Steve Kettell et al.)

Neutrino mass hierarchy determination and other physics potential of
medium-baseline reactor neutrino oscillation experiments

Steve Kettell, Jiajie Ling, Xin Qian, Minfang Yeh, Chao Zhang, Cheng-Ju Lin, Kam-Biu Luk, Randy Johnson, Bryce Littlejohn, John Learned, Jelena Maricic, Jen-Chieh Peng, Russell Betts, Chrisopher White, Stephen Dye, Kwong Lau, Dawei Liu, Kirk McDonald, Jim Napolitano, Jason Detwiler, Nikolai Tolich, Tianchi Zhao, Robert D. McKeown, Wei Wang, A. B. Balantekin, Henry Band, Jeff Cherwinka, Karsten M. Heeger
Medium-baseline reactor neutrino oscillation experiments (MBRO) have been proposed to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy (MH) and to make precise measurements of the neutrino oscillation parameters. With sufficient statistics, better than $\sim 3% / \sqrt{E(MeV)}$ energy resolution and well understood energy non-linearity, MH can be determined by analyzing oscillation signals driven by the atmospheric mass-squared difference in the survival spectrum of reactor antineutrinos. With such high performance MBRO detectors, oscillation parameters, such as $\sin^22\theta_{12}$, $\Delta m^2_{21}$, and $\Delta m^2_{32}$, can be measured to sub-percent level, which enables a future test of the PMNS matrix unitarity to $\sim$1% level and helps the forthcoming neutrinoless double beta decay experiments to constrain the allowed $\langle m_{\beta \beta} \rangle$ values. Combined with results from the next generation long-baseline beam neutrino and atmospheric neutrino oscillation experiments, the MH determination sensitivity can reach %the $5\sigma$ discovery higher levels. In addition to the neutrino oscillation physics, MBRO detectors can also be utilized to study geoneutrinos, astrophysical neutrinos and proton decay. We propose to start a U.S. R&D program to identify, quantify and fulfill the key challenges essential for the success of MBRO experiments.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.7419

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