Measurement of the Velocity of the Neutrino with MINOS
NAVAL OBSERVATORY WASHINGTON DC
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The MINOS experiment uses a beam of predominantly muon-type neutrinos generated using protons from the Main Injector at Fermilab in Batavia, IL, and travelling 735 km through the Earth to a disused iron mine in Soudan, MN. The 10 microsecond-long beam pulse contains fine time structure which allows a precise measurement of the neutrino time of flight to be made. The time structure of the parent proton pulse is measured in the beamline after extraction from the Main Injector, and neutrino interactions are timestamped at the Fermilab site in the Near Detector ND, and at the Soudan site in the Far Detector FD. Small, transportable auxiliary detectors, consisting of scintillator planes and associated readout electronics, are used to measure the relative latency between the two large detectors. Time at each location is measured with respect to HP5071A Cesium clocks, and time is transferred using GPS Precise Point Positioning PPP solutions for the clock offset at each location. We describe the timing calibration of the detectors and derive a measurement of the neutrino velocity, based on data from March and April 2012. We discuss the prospects for further improvements that would yield a still more accurate result.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
- Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics