A new TPC for T2K upgrade

5 July 2023
Time projection chamber
Eastward bound Detail of one of the time projection chambers (TPCs) of the ND280 detector, which is a key element of the upgraded T2K experiment in Japan. Credit: CERN-PHOTO-202305-116-30

In the latest milestone for the CERN Neutrino Platform, a key element of the near detector for the T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) neutrino experiment in Japan – a state-of-the-art time projection chamber (TPC) – is now fully operational and taking cosmic data at CERN. T2K detects a neutrino beam at two sites: a near-detector complex close to the neutrino production point and Super-Kamiokande 300 km away. The ND280 detector is one of the near detectors necessary to characterise the beam before the neutrinos oscillate and to measure interaction cross sections, both of which are crucial to reduce systematic uncertainties. 

To improve the latter further, the T2K collaboration decided in 2016 to upgrade ND280 with a novel scintillator tracker, two TPCs and a time-of-flight system. This upgrade, in combination with an increase in neutrino beam power from the current 500 kW to 1.3 MW, will increase the statistics by a factor of about four and reduce the systematic uncertainties from 6% to 4%. The upgraded ND280 is also expected to serve as a near detector of the next generation long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment Hyper-Kamiokande. 

Meanwhile, R&D and testing for the prototype detectors for the DUNE experiment at the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility at Fermilab/SURF in the US is entering its final stages. 

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