Cosmogenic neutron production at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

Aharmim, B. and Anthony, A. E. and Barros, N. and Beier, E. W. and Bellerive, A. and Beltran, B. and Bergevin, M. and Biller, S. D. and Bonventre, R. and Boudjemline, K. and Boulay, M. G. and Cai, B. and Callaghan, E. J. and Caravaca, J. and Chauhan, D. and Cleveland, B. T. and Curley, R. and Dai, X. and Descamps, F. B. and Detwiler, J. A. and Doe, P. J. and Doucas, G. and Drouin, P. L. and Dunford, M. and Evans, H. C. and Ewan, G. T. and Farine, J. and Fergani, H. and Fleurot, F. and Ford, R. J. and Formaggio, J. A. and Gagnon, N. and Gilje, K. and Goon, J. T.M. and Graham, K. and Guillian, E. and Habib, S. and Hahn, R. L. and Hallin, A. L. and Hallman, E. D. and Harvey, P. J. and Hazama, R. and Heintzelman, W. J. and Heise, J. and Helmer, R. L. and Hime, A. and Howard, C. and Kormos, L. L. and O'Keeffe, H. M. and Peeters, S. J.M. (2019) Cosmogenic neutron production at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Physical Review D, 100 (11). ISSN 1550-7998

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Neutrons produced in nuclear interactions initiated by cosmic-ray muons present an irreducible background to many rare-event searches, even in detectors located deep underground. Models for the production of these neutrons have been tested against previous experimental data, but the extrapolation to deeper sites is not well understood. Here we report results from an analysis of cosmogenically produced neutrons at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. A specific set of observables are presented, which can be used to benchmark the validity of geant4 physics models. In addition, the cosmogenic neutron yield, in units of 10-4 cm2/(g·μ), is measured to be 7.28±0.09(stat)-1.12+1.59(syst) in pure heavy water and 7.30±0.07(stat)-1.02+1.40(syst) in NaCl-loaded heavy water. These results provide unique insights into this potential background source for experiments at SNOLAB.

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Journal Article
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Physical Review D
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07 Jan 2020 10:10
Last Modified:
28 Mar 2020 06:30