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Physics  2000 

Physics potential at a neutrino factory: can we benefit from more than just detecting muons?

DOI: 10.1016/S0550-3213(00)00539-3

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In order to fully address the oscillation processes at a neutrino factory, a detector should be capable of identifying and measuring all three charged lepton flavors produced in charged current interactions {\it and} of measuring their charges to discriminate the incoming neutrino helicity. This is an experimentally challenging task, given the required detector mass for long-baseline experiments. We address the benefit of a high-granularity, excellent-calorimetry non-magnetized target-detector, which provides a background-free identification of electron neutrino charged current and a kinematical selection of tau neutrino charged current interactions. We assume that charge discrimination is only available for muons reaching an external magnetized-Fe spectrometer. This allows the clean classification of events into electron, right-sign muon, wrong-sign muon and no-lepton categories. In addition, high granularity permits a clean detection of quasi-elastic events, which by detecting the final state proton, provide a selection of the neutrino electron helicity without the need of an electron charge measurement. From quantitative analyses of neutrino oscillation scenarios, we conclude that in many cases the discovery sensitivities and the measurements of the oscillation parameters are dominated by the ability to measure the muon charge. However, we identify cases where identification of electron and tau samples contributes significantly.


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