Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

MiniTimeCube: Building the World's Smallest Neutrino Detector
by Li, Viacheslav A., Ph.D., University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2018, 255; 11008560
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this thesis is to describe the creation and testing of the world's smallest antineutrino detector, which was designed and built at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and was deployed at the NIST research nuclear reactor facilities in Maryland during 2014–2016. First, we review relevant theoretical aspects of neutrino physics: sources of neutrinos and reactor antineutrinos in particular, and give a comparison between description of neutrino oscillations in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. Second, we focus on the main components of this new-generation detector, as well as the data taking, analysis, and conclusions we drew from the project.

The novelty was in having a very small volume (2 liters) compared to all other neutrino detectors, with fast-timing electronics and photodetectors in a very confined space. The idea was to reconstruct the direction of particles propagating inside the scintillator using information from the first arrival of both Cherenkov and scintillation photons. While the project did not succeed in detecting neutrinos in its first outing, many important lessons were learned which we take to the next-generation NuLat instrument, under construction at present.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Hawaii
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics, Particle physics
Keywords: Directional compact detectors, Fast electronics, Mcp-pmt, Neutrino oscillations, Neutrino physics, Reactor antineutrino experiments
Publication Number: 11008560
ISBN: 978-0-438-61492-5
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