The CAPTAIN Detector and Physics Program

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Conference Proceeding

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The Cryogenic Apparatus for Precision Tests of Argon Interactions with Neutrinos (CAPTAIN) program is designed to make measurements of scientific importance to long-baseline neutrino physics and physics topics that will be explored by large underground detectors. The CAPTAIN detector is a liquid argon TPC deployed in a portable and evacuable cryostat. Five tons of liquid argon are instrumented with a 2,000 channel liquid argon TPC and a photon detection system. Subsequent to the commissioning phase, the detector will collect data in a high-energy neutron beamline that is part of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center to measure cross-sections of spallation products that are backgrounds to measurements of neutrinos from a supernova burst, cross-sections of events that mimic the electron neutrino appearance signal in long-baseline neutrino physics and neutron signatures to constrain neutrino energy reconstruction in LBNE's long-baseline program. Subsequent to the neutron running, the CAPTAIN detector will be moved to a neutrino source. Two possibilities are an on-axis run in the NuMI beamline at FNAL and a run in the neutrino source produced by the SNS. An on-axis run at NuMI produces more than one million events of interest in a two or three year run at neutrino energies between 1 and 10 GeV - complementary to the MicroBooNE experiment, which will measure similar interactions at a lower energy range - 0.5 to 2 GeV. At the SNS the neutrinos result from the decays of stopped positively charged pions and muons yielding a broad spectrum up to 50 MeV. If located close to the spallation target, CAPTAIN can detect several thousand events per year in the same neutrino energy regime where neutrinos from a supernova burst are. Measurements at the SNS yield a first measurement of the cross-section of neutrinos on argon in this important energy regime.


Lead author: Hans Berns

Corresponding author: Christopher Mauger

Collaboration: CAPTAIN



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