The research activities of the CIEMAT neutrino group are mainly focused on the study of neutrino oscillations, in particular, the measurement of the theta13 mixing angle with the Double Chooz reactor neutrino experiment, and the installation and operation of the WA105/protoDUNE-DP detector at the CERN Neutrino Platform as a large-scale dual-phase LAr prototype for the future DUNE long-baseline neutrino experiment in Fermilab.
Timescale of the projects are different since Double Chooz is at the end of the data taking and analysis exploitation, protoDUNE-DP is currently under construction at CERN and will take data in 2018-2019 while the DUNE project is in the design phase and its construction is expected to start in 2022. This allows sharing the technical and research personnel of the group among the different activities according to the stage of the different projects.
Neutrino Ciemat Group
The CIEMAT experimental neutrino group is currently composed by 4 senior researchers, 4 engineers, 1 physicist, 3 PhD students and 2 technicians.
The CIEMAT group had a major contribution in the design, construction and operation of both far and near Double Chooz detectors. In particular, we were responsible of the mechanical structures, magnetic shields and HV splitters for the light detection system (390 10” photomultipliers for each detector). Our group has strongly contributed to the Double Chooz detector analysis leading several studies on the accidental background events, neutrino selection, detection efficiency uncertainties and developed a new method based on the different reactor power conditions to provide a background-independent θ13 measurement. The near detector has started its operation in December 2014 and a first measurement of θ13 with both detectors will be presented soon. The CIEMAT group continues to play a very visible role in this new phase.
In addition, the CIEMAT neutrino group has started in 2014 an R&D program with small LAr TPC prototypes at the CIEMAT laboratories focused to future neutrino detectors. Several vacuum, gas and cryogenic systems have been developed at CIEMAT to operate gas and liquid Ar detectors in order to investigate the primary Ar scintillation light detection with different devices.
Our group is also participating in the WA105 experiment at CERN, with the goal of building and operating a 6 x 6 x 6 m3 double-phase LAr TPC in a new CERN test area with charged particles beam capability as a first step towards the development of future large scale neutrino LAr detectors. Together with the IFAE Neutrino group, CIEMAT is in charge of the WA105 light detection system. The CIEMAT group is also involved in the DUNE long-baseline experiment at Fermilab and Inés Gil was elected as convenor of the Supernova and Low Energy Neutrino Physics Working Group.
We also participate in the AIDA-2020 European Project (Advanced European Infrastructures for Detectors and Accelerators), funded by the Horizon 2020 European Programme. CIEMAT is the leader of the task “Light Readout” of the Working Group “Large Scale Cryogenic Liquid Detectors”. The main goals are the evaluation of large area photosensors for the readout of the scintillation light in liquefied noble gases, the assessment of wavelength-shifting techniques for large area conversion surfaces in cryogenic detectors, the assessment of the digitization techniques of the scintillation signals in liquefied noble gases and the definition of a basic setup (photodetector + associated electronics) for sharing in the HEP community.