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Liquid argon

ICARUS experiment

The ICARUS (Imaging Cosmic And Rare Underground Signals) program concerns the usage of Liquid Argon (LAr) TPC detectors for studies of neutrinos from different sources (atmospheric, solar, supernova, accelerator neutrinos) as well as for searches for proton decay. This detection technique offers 3D imaging with a granularity for tracking and calorimetric measurements, which can be compared to the old heavy liquid bubble chambers, but with a fully electronic detector. Due to that fact LAr TPC gives nice results for a wide range of neutrino energies (starting from kinematical threshold for atmospheric electron and muon neutrinos) or background free and high efficiency measurements, e.g. for proton decay into kaon and neutrino. How much could be achieved, depends critically on the detector's total mass. The first large scale detector, exploiting this detection technique, is ICARUS detector.

The first phase of the ICARUS experiment concerns running detector filled with 600 tons (T600) of LAr. The experiment started taking data in April 2010. Originally, it was planned to perform the detector upgrade up to 2-3 ktons, by adding modules similar to the existing ones. In 2005 the decision was taken to change the concept in favor of a monolithic detector of this scale. This concept and the possible further developments towards a detector with a total mass of 50-100 ktons of LAr are discussed.

The Polish group have participated in the detector tests, software development, data analysis, phenomenological description of neutrino cross sections, electronics development and mechanical projects. The main hardware responsibility of the Polish groups is the anode wires production for the detector upgrade. The equipment has been constructed or purchased with a participation of all our groups.

WARP (WIMP Argon Programme) is an experiment set out to discover one of the currently most sought objects in modern astroparticle physics namely the so called WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle). If found, the WIMP would explain the riddle of the missing matter in Standard Cosmological Model, in which baryonic matter (our everyday matter as we know it) is at most 5% of the mass of the Universe. Dark Matter is believed to take another 25%, and the rest is attributed to the so called Dark Energy. WARP uses Liquid Argon as the detector medium as the first experiment in the field. Currently a 2.3 liter prototype is taking data in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory the next step being the 100 liter detector scheduled to be built in 2006.


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