SuperNEMO PROJECT COORDINATION

Lead Research Organisation: University College London

Abstract

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Technical Summary

SuperNEMO is a next generation experiment to search for Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay (NDBD) based on the successful NEMO-3 experiment. NDBD is the only way to access the fundamental nature of the neutrino. It is the aim of SuperNEMO to increase the sensitivity, compared with current experiments, to the absolute Majorana neutrino mass by an order of magnitude. This is the region of neutrino mass suggested by recent neutrino oscillation experiments. It will house 100 kg of isotopes, ten times more than NEMO 3, thus reaching a neutrino mass sensitivity of about 50 meV. The SuperNEMO detector will comprise several identical modules, each containing a source foil surrounded by a tracker with drift cells and a calorimeter. The SuperNEMO approach aims to measure the complete topological signature of the process (two electrons emitted from the same vertex with the summed energy of the DBD transition). This will allow for the extremely efficient background suppression needed for the discovery of NDBD. SuperNEMO will also be in the unique position to identify and study the specific mechanism responsible for NDBD (e.g. right-handed current admixture in weak interaction versus supersymmetry etc). SuperNEMO is also the only experiment of this type that can use many isotopes, therefore, should evidence be found by an alternative technique, it will provide the necessary cross-check to confirm the observations.
Notes:
1. These projects are not awards in themselves. They are a mechanism to capture outputs common to the project (usually, but not exclusively, publications).
2. Each project has a number of contributing research teams, based at multiple institutions. The research teams are funded through the institutes’ consolidated grants.
3. It is not possible to quantify the proportion of effort that each research team contributes to the project.

Publications


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Argyriades J (2010) Results of the BiPo-1 prototype for radiopurity measurements for the SuperNEMO double beta decay source foils in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Argyriades J (2011) Spectral modeling of scintillator for the NEMO-3 and SuperNEMO detectors in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Arnold R (2010) Probing new physics models of neutrinoless double beta decay with SuperNEMO in The European Physical Journal C
Cascella M (2016) Construction and commissioning of the SuperNEMO detector tracker in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Saakyan Ruben (2013) Two-Neutrino Double-Beta Decay in ANNUAL REVIEW OF NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE SCIENCE, VOL 63
 
Description In the UK, we have built an ultra-low radioactivity tracking detector for SuperNEMO, obtaining world-leading low levels of radon and other impurities. This is a step toward proving the viability of this detection technique for the next generation of neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments.
Exploitation Route Many of the techniques developed in this project will have applications in low-background physics, such as the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay and dark matter. There may be applications to other fields of physics as well as beyond.
Sectors Education
 
Description The progress of the SuperNEMO project featured in an article appearing in The Guardian newspaper in October 2015, following the successful transport of the first tracker module from the UK to France. The calorimeter optical module technology developed for SuperNEMO has subsequently been used to develop instrumentation for proton beam therapy, leading to successful grant applications in this area of medical research.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Healthcare
Impact Types Cultural,Societal