Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers in the studies of rare events (phenomena) in particle physics and astrophysics
Over the past few decades, the worldwide neutrino scientific community has demonstrated a tremendous amount of interest in the use of Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers (LAr-TPCs) as detectors for rare events (phenomena e.g. neutrinos or WIMPs interaction). LAr-TPCs operating principle is based on the measure of the ionization energy loss of any charged particle (dE/dx), in order to reconstruct the particle’s trajectory, momentum, range and consequently type of the particle. In the following pages I present the liquid argon technology, advantages and disadvantages of the various LAr-TPC concepts, constructions and principle of the operation of various types of LAr-TPC detectors and what can be achieved with the use of this technology. The achievements are shown on the example of the largest ever built LAr-TPC detector: ICARUS T600. The ICARUS T600 detector, with its 760 tons of LAr (476 t of active mass) had been successfully in operation in the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy (LNGS) since 2010, concluding its long operation run in 2013. During this period, the data from the the CERN to Gran Sasso neutrino beam (CNGS) and cosmic rays had been collected. Its excellent calorimetric resolution and topology reconstruction capabilities permit the performance of a wide physics program, which goes from nucleon decay to the study of the oscillation of the neutrinos from the CNGS beam. Among the studies carried out on the beam events, a sensitive search for anomalous electron-neutrino appearance and muon-neutrino disapearance was performed. The electron-neutrino appearance study aimed at experimental verification or exclusion of the neutrino anomalies suggested by the LSND signal. The problem of superluminal propagation of the CNGS neutrinos from CERN to LNGS, suggested by the experiment OPERA, was also verified. This monograph also covers various aspects related to the work of the ICARUS T600 detector, starting with the use of the liquid argon, as a medium in which the particles interact, through physical achievements to the future of the ICARUS T600 detector at the Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) in the frame of Short-Baseline Neutrino Program (SBN).
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