Detector r d opportunities at fermilab a must or a may do
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Detector R&D Opportunities at Fermilab: a Must or a May Do?. Adam Para. Fast Forward: Fermilab, AD 2013. We are the flagship of HEP in the US, spending 35% of the HEP funding We have one accelerator-based experiment

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Fast forward fermilab ad 2013
Fast Forward: Fermilab, AD 2013

  • We are the flagship of HEP in the US, spending 35% of the HEP funding

  • We have one accelerator-based experiment

  • It is struggling to compete with one of the LHC experiments (not the first rate one)

  • It is an optimistic scenario

  • Need to find better/more use of our unique resources

  • Diversify

Liquid argon time projection chamber
Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber

  • Proposed in May 1976 at Fermilab (Herb Chen, P496). R&D enthusiastically endorsed by the PAC (BTW: is the endorsement still valid?)

    • 50 L/100 L prototypes at UCI and Caltech,

    • Fermilab prototype (Sam Segler/Bob Kephart)

    • 10 ton prototype at Los Alamos (Herb Chen, Peter Doe)

  • BARS spectrometer operating in Protvino (2 x 150 ton) (Franco Sergiampietri, S. Denisov, Alberto Marchionni)

  • 25 years of pioneering efforts at CERN and INFN (Carlo Rubbia + countless others) + advances in technology

    • 50 l prototype in WANF beam

    • 3 ton prototype, 10 m3 prototype

    • 600 ton detector operating in Pavia

    • 2x1200 ton detectors under construction for GS (ICARUS)

Liquid argon imaging calorimeter is a mature technology
Liquid Argon Imaging Calorimeter is a Mature Technology

  • Three dimensional image of all charged tracks

  • Excellent multi-track resolution

  • Very good spatial resolution (~ 2-3 mm)

  • Excellent energy resolution (7% at 4 MeV)

  • It works!

Superb detector in search of physics

Liquid argon tpc and fermilab
Liquid Argon TPC and Fermilab?

  • Physics (part I)

    • NuMI neutrino beam – an unique asset, surely a major component of our physics program

    • Lar TPC as an off axis detector has five times bigger reach as more conventional sampling detectors :

      • high electron ID efficiency

      • excellent background rejection capabilities

  • Liquid Argon TPC == proton driver at no cost

  • Proton driver + $100 M – a factor 10 further improvement of reach

  • Technical expertize

    • Cryogenics

    • Large area wire chambers

    • Low noise readout electronics (pixels?)

    • Large systems engineering

    • Very high voltage systems

    • Computing (huge data volumes, pattern recognition, analysis techniques)

Fine print
Fine print?

  • Problems which aren’t:

    • Liquid argon purity (drift up to 5 meters possible)

    • Cryogenics

  • Problems which are:

    • Safety  detector design  cost

      Related to the underground location

  • Large detectors are easier and much cheaper (per unit mass) to build than small ones. Most of the problems are related to the surface (heat leaks, contamination) or are independent of the size ( HV feed throughs, purification plants)

Large lar tpc concept
Large LAr TPC concept

LANDD (Cline, Rubbia, McDonald,…)


  • Large single cryogenic tank

  • Cathode planes every 6-10 meters

  • Large area wire chambers

  • Modern low noise electronics

  • Powerful data acquisition system

  • HV 150-125 kV


  • Tank geometry/aspect ratio

  • Drift distance/HV

  • Readout scheme: granularity, induction planes/pads/pixels

    50 kton detector very realistic. At or below the cost of other, less powerful, technologies

Physics part ii a k a diversify
Physics, part II (a.k.a. diversify)

  • 50 kton LAr TPC has a unique potential to discover/set stringent limit on a proton decay (especially the interesting decay mode Kn)

    Data handling capabilities likely to be the primary challenge here

  • Good imaging capabilities combined with excellent energy resolution makes a LAr TPC a very attractive detector for a neutrinoless double beta decay experiment:

    • an opportunity to establish the nature on a neutrino

    • An opportunity to establish the neutrino hierarchy/measure the mass

  • Good energy resolution, spatial resolution and self-calibrating nature of the measurement makes LAr detector a very attractive choice for a reactor oscillation experiment. Do not need to move the far detector ?

Steps r d efforts
Steps/ R&D efforts

  • Construct (find/borrow.. Whatever is more effective) a small prototype (~100 liters) to serve as a test bed for

    • Readout chambers

    • Readout electronics

    • Ultimate energy resolution

  • Construct, in collaboration with INFN, 5-6 meter long prototype (tube, ~ 30-40 cm diameter) to serve as a test bed for:

    • Long drift distances/purification techniques

    • High voltage, feed throughs, field shaping, handling, generation ( Cockroft-Walton??)

  • Jump start by capitalizing on a huge successful effort in Europe (ICARUS)

  • Design dedicated, highly reliable, low noise readout system (ASIC) to work inside the liquid argon

  • Start engineering studies of a very large, 50 kton class, detector. One tank? Two-three tanks?

Icarus vs at fermilab why would they care to teach us
ICARUS vs/at Fermilab (why would they care to teach us??)

  • Our unique asset: neutrino test beam (a.k.a. MiniBOONE) (John Cooper’s talk)

  • Window of opportunity: new T1200 modules are being constructed, but the CNGS beam is delayed (caught Fermilab fever?)

  • Possible scenario:

    • Construct a hall in the MiniBOONE beam

    • Borrow the first ICARUS T1200 complete module (including electronics, software, people)

    • Run for a year or two, schedule dependent

Win win opportunity
Win-win opportunity

  • ‘We’:

    • Get first hand experience with large, functioning device.

    • Understand the issues, develop possible improvements for larger scale detectors

    • Port simulation/analysis software

  • ‘They’:

    • Test beam exposure of the new design of the detector

    • System shake-down

    • Calibration of the detector response

  • All:

    • Interesting physics:

      • Neutrino magnetic moment, factor 10-20 beyond the current limit (Bonnie Fleming)

      • Exlusive reactions, resonance production

      • Vector and axial form-factors

      • Strange spin component of the proton (FINESSE)


  • Newly developed technology of liquid argon imaging calorimetry offers a very attractive (and diversified) physics opportunities to our physics program

  • We can make a Great Leap Forward by learning and using the technology developed by/for ICARUS (and get some physics as an extra bonus)

  • Application of the technology to a very large detectors offers several interesting problems.

  • These problems well match skills and experience of our scientific and technical staff

  • It looks like a lot of challenging fun