As of August 2014, more than 525 scientists and engineers from 90 institutions participate in the LBNE Science Collaboration. The collaborators come from universities and national laboratories, including collaborators from the United States, India, Italy, Japan, Brazil and the UK.
Professor Robert Wilson (left) from Colorado State University and Dr. Milind Diwan (right) from Brookhaven National Laboratory are serving as the scientific co-spokespersons for the collaboration. Members of the collaboration are working closely with the LBNE Project team to design the experimental facilities. The collaboration has developed a vision statement to help guide its efforts through the design phase of the projects.
The primary goal of this collaboration is to perform a world-leading long-baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that will reach unprecedented sensitivity and precision for addressing the neutrino mass hierarchy, CP violation in neutrino mixing, and the value of the mixing parameter θ13. This experiment will require the development and construction of new facilities which could also provide new capabilities to search for nucleon decay, observe neutrinos emitted by supernovae in our galaxy and beyond, and other important topics in physics and astrophysics.
The experiment concept includes a high-intensity neutrino beam generated at Fermilab and a large underground detector facility at the Homestake mine in Lead, South Dakota. The neutrino beam will be generated by a high-power proton beam that exceeds present capabilities, and the neutrino beam configuration must be optimized for the baseline and neutrino oscillation parameters. We have identified two detector technologies with the potential to achieve our science goals: a water Cerenkov detector (WCD) and a liquid argon (LAr) time projection chamber. The collaboration envisions a detector with a mass on the order of 100 kilotons for WCD and several kilotons for LAr. An ideal experiment might be a mixture of WCD and LAr detectors due to their complementary capabilities.
Achieving these goals will require an extension of present-day technologies on a challenging time-scale to maintain a competitive advantage. Vigorous R&D and engineering efforts toward development of the beamline and both WCD and LAr detector technologies have resulted in a successful DOE Critical Decision 1 achieved in December 2012. Subsequently the LBNE collaboration has produced a Science Book with a plan for a program of scientific measurements of great importance recognized by the high energy physics community.
The LBNE collaboration welcomes the recommendations of the recent P5 report and recognizes the need to form a new international collaboration to turn our vision into reality. We are engaging with all interested parties and in particular with the international neutrino physics community through the process initiated by Fermilab and the US DOE. We expect it to culminate in a broader international collaboration.