LLNL’s unique combination of capabilities, expertise, and relationships provides leadership and collaboration opportunities in flagship neutrino physics experiments. LLNL either leads or plays an important role in the experiments described below.
LLNL is the founder and lead institution for AIT-WATCHMAN, an underground, 1000-ton water Cherenkov detector doped with the neutron-capture agent gadolinium. In addition to its reactor monitoring and technology development applications, WATCHMAN will be one of the world’s largest supernova detectors, with a unique ability to distinguish between the neutrino and antineutrino components of the supernova burst.
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Unique expertise in time-projection chamber technology has enabled LLNL to assume a leading role in the nEXO collaboration, which plans to field a ton-scale time-projection chamber detector wherein xenon-136 serves both as the decay source and detector. When nEXO is ready to deploy, it will be the largest collection of xenon-136 atoms on earth and will be more sensitive to neutrinoless double beta decay than any other experiment.
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LLNL is a founding member of the Project 8 collaboration, an experiment to directly measure the mass of the neutrino using cyclotron radiation emission spectroscopy (CRES). Project 8 plans to use atomic tritium to accomplish this goal, and LLNL is at the forefront of research in the production, purification, and cooling of the atomic tritium supply.
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LLNL is a founding member of the PROSPECT collaboration and the lead laboratory for the deployment and operation of the PROSPECT detector at the Oak Ridge High Flux Reactor. This experiment seeks to determine whether a new type of neutrino exists and to measure the flux of reactor antineutrinos with unprecedented accuracy.
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