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Title: Simulation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory neutral current detectors
Author: Wan Chan Tseung, Hok Seum
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 0084
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), a heavy water Cherenkov experiment, was designed to detect solar Boron-8 neutrinos via their elastic scattering interactions on electrons, or charged current and neutral current (NC) interactions on deuterium. In the third phase of SNO, an array of Helium-3 proportional counters was deployed to detect neutrons produced in NC interactions. A simulation of the current pulses and energy spectra of the main kinds of ionization events inside these Neutral Current Detectors (NCDs) was developed. To achieve this, electron drift times in NCDs were evaluated with a Monte Carlo method, and constrained by using wire alpha activity inside the counters. The pulse calculation algorithm applies to any ionization event, and takes into account processes such as straggling, electron diffusion, and propagation through the NCD hardware. A space charge model was developed to fully explain the energy spectra of neutron and alpha events. Comparisons with data allowed the various classes of alpha backgrounds to be identified, and gave evidence for the spatial non-uniformity of Uranium-238 and Thorium-232 chain nuclei in the counter walls. The simulation was applied to determine the fractional contents of the main types of alpha backgrounds in each NCD string. The number of neutron capture events in the array was extracted via a statistical separation, using Monte Carlo generated alpha background pulse shape parameter distributions and minimal energy information. The inferred total Boron-8 solar neutrino flux is: φNC< = 5.74 ± 0.77 (stat) ± 0.39 (sys) x 106 cm-2s-1 in agreement with Standard Solar predictions and previous SNO results.
Supervisor: Biller, Steven Douglas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Particle physics ; Physics ; proportional counter ; Monte Carlo ; neutrino