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Title: Characterising the optical response of the SNO+ detector
Author: Stainforth, R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 308X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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SNO+ is a liquid scintillator based neutrino experiment located 2039 m underground in VALE's Creighton mine, Lively, Ontario, CA. It is a re-purposing of the original Cherenkov detector used in the SNO experiment to study neutrino oscillations. The advent of neutrino oscillations has revealed that neutrinos have a small yet non-zero mass. However, the nature of this mass has yet to be determined. It is possible that the neutrino is its own anti-particle, a Majorana fermion. If so, such particles necessitate lepton number violating processes such as neutrinoless double beta decay. SNO+ intends to search for the neutrinoless double beta decay of Te-130. Other physics objectives include the study of low-energy solar neutrinos, reactor anti-neutrinos, geo-neutrinos and sensitivity to nucleon decay and supernova neutrinos. To fulfil these objectives, SNO+ will operate over three detector phases; water, scintillator and tellurium (loading of the scintillator with tellurium). Prior to each phase, the experiment will undergo a full detector calibration. This includes an optical calibration that seeks to characterise the optical response of the detector using two types of in-situ light sources; one of these is called the laserball. The laserball provides a pulsed, near-isotropic light distribution throughout the detector. Laserball data is used in conjunction with a parameterised model that characterises the optical response; the parameters are determined using a statistical fit. This thesis presents an implementation of said model to all three phases of the SNO+ experiment. A characterisation of the optical response in water is presented using a combination of original laserball data from SNO and MC data of the SNO+ detector. Thereafter, the two scintillator based phases are considered, wherein the increased attenuation of light due to absorption and reemission introduced by the scintillator is addressed alongside a model of the scintillation time profile.
Supervisor: McCauley, N. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral