The ν -cleus experiment: a gram-scale fiducial-volume cryogenic detector for the first detection of coherent neutrino–nucleus scattering

R. Strauss, J. Rothe, G. Angloher, A. Bento, A. Gütlein, D. Hauff, H. Kluck, M. Mancuso, L. Oberauer, F. Petricca, F. Pröbst, J. Schieck, S. Schönert, W. Seidel, L. Stodolsky

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Abstract

We discuss a small-scale experiment, called ν-cleus, for the first detection of coherent neutrino–nucleus scattering by probing nuclear-recoil energies down to the 10 eV regime. The detector consists of low-threshold CaWO4 and Al2O3 calorimeter arrays with a total mass of about 10 g and several cryogenic veto detectors operated at millikelvin temperatures. Realizing a fiducial volume and a multi-element target, the detector enables active discrimination of γ, neutron and surface backgrounds. A first prototype Al2O3 device, operated above ground in a setup without shielding, has achieved an energy threshold of ∼ 20 eV and further improvements are in reach. A sensitivity study for the detection of coherent neutrino scattering at nuclear power plants shows a unique discovery potential (5σ) within a measuring time of ≲ 2 weeks. Furthermore, a site at a thermal research reactor and the use of a radioactive neutrino source are investigated. With this technology, real-time monitoring of nuclear power plants is feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Article number506
JournalEuropean Physical Journal C
Volume77
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

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