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The OPERA neutrino experiment in the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) was designed to perform the first detection of neutrino oscillations in direct appearance mode in the $\nu_\mu\rightarrow\nu_\tau$ channel, the $\nu_\tau$ signature being the identification of the $\tau$-lepton created in its charged current interaction. The hybrid apparatus consists of a large mass emulsion film/lead target complemented by electronic detectors. It is placed in the high energy long-baseline CERN to LNGS neutrino beam (CNGS) 730 km away from the neutrino source. The observation of a first $\nu_\tau$ candidate event was reported in 2010. In this paper, we present the status of the experiment based on the analysis of the data taken during the first two years of operation (2008-2009). The statistical significance of the one event observed so far ...
The OPERA experiment is based on a hybrid technology combining electronic detectors and nuclear emulsions. OPERA collected muon-neutrino interactions during the 2008 and 2009 physics runs of the CNGS neutrino beam, produced at CERN with an energy range of about 5-35 GeV. A total of $5.3 \times 10^{19}$ protons on target equivalent luminosity has been analysed with the OPERA electronic detectors: scintillator strips target trackers and magnetic muon spectrometers equipped with resistive plate gas chambers and drift tubes, allowing a detailed reconstruction of muon-neutrino interactions. Charged Current (CC) and Neutral Current (NC) interactions are identified, using the measurements in the electronic detectors, and the NC/CC ratio is computed. The momentum distribution and the charge of the muon tracks produced in CC interactions are an...
The OPERA neutrino oscillation experiment is based on the use of the Emulsion Cloud Chamber (ECC). In the OPERA ECC, nuclear emulsion films acting as very high precision tracking detectors are interleaved with lead plates providing a massive target for neutrino interactions. We report on studies related to the effects occurring from the contact between emulsion and lead. A low radioactivity lead is required in order to minimize the number of background tracks in emulsions and to achieve the required performance in the reconstruction of neutrino events. It was observed that adding other chemical elements to the lead, in order to improve the mechanical properties, may significantly increase the level of radioactivity on the emulsions. A detailed study was made in order to choose a lead alloy with good mechanical properties and an appropr...
The OPERA neutrino detector in the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) was designed to perform the first detection of neutrino oscillations in appearance mode through the study of $\nu_\mu\to\nu_\tau$ oscillations. The apparatus consists of an emulsion/lead target complemented by electronic detectors and it is placed in the high energy long-baseline CERN to LNGS beam (CNGS) 730 km away from the neutrino source. Runs with CNGS neutrinos were successfully carried out in 2007 and 2008 with the detector fully operational with its related facilities for the emulsion handling and analysis. After a brief description of the beam and of the experimental setup we report on the collection, reconstruction and analysis procedures of first samples of neutrino interaction events.
The OPERA neutrino detector in the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) has been designed to perform the first detection of neutrino oscillations in direct appearance mode through the study of the $\nu_\mu\rightarrow\nu_\tau$ channel. The hybrid apparatus consists of an emulsion/lead target complemented by electronic detectors and it is placed in the high energy long-baseline CERN to LNGS beam (CNGS) 730 km away from the neutrino source. Runs with CNGS neutrinos were successfully carried out in 2008 and 2009. After a brief description of the beam, the experimental setup and the procedures used for the analysis of the neutrino events, we describe the topology and kinematics of a first candidate $\nu_\tau$ charged-current event satisfying the kinematical selection criteria. The background calculations and their cross-check are explai...
New methods for efficient and unambiguous interconnection between electronic counters and target units based on nuclear photographic emulsion films have been developed. The application to the OPERA experiment, that aims at detecting oscillations between mu neutrino and tau neutrino in the CNGS neutrino beam, is reported in this paper. In order to reduce background due to latent tracks collected before installation in the detector, on-site large-scale treatments of the emulsions ("refreshing") have been applied. Changeable Sheet (CSd) packages, each made of a doublet of emulsion films, have been designed, assembled and coupled to the OPERA target units ("ECC bricks"). A device has been built to print X-ray spots for accurate interconnection both within the CSd and between the CSd and the related ECC brick. Sample emulsion films have bee...
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