P. Kunkle: Short-Baseline Absolute Reactor Antineutrino Flux Measurement with the PROSPECT Experiment at HFIR

  • Starts: 4:00 pm on Wednesday, February 28, 2024
  • Ends: 6:00 pm on Wednesday, February 28, 2024
The Precision Reactor Oscillation and Spectrum Experiment (PROSPECT) is a short-baseline reactor antineutrino experiment designed to perform a sterile neutrino oscillation search and make a precise measurement of the neutrino energy spectrum from a compact reactor core, located at the highly enriched High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In its first phase, PROSPECT demonstrated a superior signal-to-background while operating with minimal overburden, motivating an absolute reactor antineutrino flux measurement at the few percent level that has potential impacts on understanding the reactor antineutrino anomaly and the global flux picture, as well as reactor monitoring with neutrino detectors. This talk breaks down the components of a new measurement of the absolute reactor antineutrino rate from the fission of 235U by the PROSPECT experiment using 95.65 days of reactor turned on. The antineutrinos were generated by HFIR’s 85 MW high-enriched uranium core and detected by the PROSPECT detector deployed 7.93 m away in an aboveground experiment hall. More than 50,500 inverse beta decay (IBD) candidates were detected and a precise energy spectrum was measured. The seminar explores existing reactor neutrino anomalies and explains what is reported in a flux measurement, how each component is calculated, and analytical procedures for minimizing associated uncertainties. Comparisons are then made to neutrino flux prediction models and previous flux measurements.
SCI 328
Paige Kunkle
Boston University
David Campbell