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NEUTRINOS AND BEYOND New Windows on Nature Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by Grant No. PHY-0223181 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08716-3 (book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-50634-4 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624– 6242 or (202) 334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet <http://www.nap.edu>; and Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, NA-922, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; Internet <http://www.national-academies.org/bpa>. Cover: The Super-Kamiokande Detector. Courtesy of the Kamioka Observatory, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR), University of Tokyo. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm.A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm.A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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NEUTRINO FACILITIES ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE BARRY C.BARISH, California Institute of Technology, Chair DANIEL S.AKERIB, Case Western Reserve University STEVEN R.ELLIOTT, Los Alamos National Laboratory PATRICK D.GALLAGHER, National Institute of Standards and Technology ROBERT E.LANOU, JR., Brown University PETER MÉSZÁROS, Pennsylvania State University HITOSHI MURAYAMA, University of California at Berkeley ANGELA V.OLINTO, University of Chicago RENE A.ONG, University of California at Los Angeles R.G.HAMISH ROBERTSON, University of Washington NICHOLAS P.SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory JOHN P.SCHIFFER, Argonne National Laboratory FRANK J.SCIULLI, Columbia University MICHAEL S.TURNER, University of Chicago Staff DONALD C.SHAPERO, Director TIMOTHY I.MEYER, Study Director (from October 2002) JOEL R.PARRIOTT, Study Director (April 2002–October 2002) PAMELA A.LEWIS, Project Associate NELSON QUIÑONES, Project Assistant
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BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY JOHN P.HUCHRA, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Chair JONATHAN BAGGER, Johns Hopkins University GORDON A.BAYM, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign CLAUDE R.CANIZARES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology WILLIAM EATON, National Institutes of Health WENDY L.FREEDMAN, Carnegie Observatories FRANCES HELLMAN, University of California at San Diego KATHRYN LEVIN, University of Chicago CHUAN SHENG LIU, University of Maryland LINDA J. (LEE) MAGID, University of Tennessee at Knoxville THOMAS M.O’NEIL, University of California at San Diego JULIA M.PHILLIPS, Sandia National Laboratories ROBERT C.RICHARDSON, Cornell University BURTON RICHTER, Stanford University ANNEILA I.SARGENT, California Institute of Technology JOSEPH H.TAYLOR, JR., Princeton University THOMAS N.THEIS, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center CARL E.WIEMAN, University of Colorado/JILA Staff DONALD C.SHAPERO, Director ROBERT L.RIEMER, Senior Program Officer MICHAEL H.MOLONEY, Program Officer TIMOTHY I.MEYER, Program Associate BRIAN DEWHURST, Research Associate PAMELA A.LEWIS, Project Associate NELSON QUIÑONES, Project Assistant VAN AN, Financial Associate
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Preface The President’s FY 2003 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction Account called for a National Research Council (NRC) review of the scientific merits of IceCube and other proposed U.S. neutrino projects in the context of current and proposed capabilities throughout the world. The NRC study request was formalized in a March 29, 2002, memorandum from John Marburger (director, Office of Science and Technology Policy) to Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences (see Appendix A). On April 8, 2002, Dr. Alberts agreed to form an assessment committee to conduct this review. The NRC committee—the Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee (NFAC)—was charged with providing scientific assessments of two possible future science initiatives: (1) IceCube, a very large volume detector of high-energy neutrinos proposed for the South Pole and (2) a possible deep underground science facility to be developed in the United States to pursue a broad range of fundamental questions in physics and astronomy. Fourteen persons were appointed to the committee, and the first meeting was held in June 2002, with delivery of the final report expected within 6 months.1 1 The complete charge to the committee is given in Appendix B. See Appendix C for the committee membership and Appendix D for agendas of the three full committee meetings.
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The committee interpreted its charge to be to Identify the major science problems that could be addressed by cubic-kilometer-class neutrino observatories; Identify the major science problems that could be addressed with a deep underground science laboratory; and Assess the scientific importance of the identified science and whether it could be addressed by other existing, soon to be completed, or planned facilities. The committee’s assessment was to be performed in the context of current and planned neutrino capabilities throughout the world. Specifically, the study was to address the unique capabilities of each class of new experiment and any possible redundancy between the two types of facility. The fast-track timeline required a very aggressive schedule and limited the breadth and depth of the committee’s analyses. The committee itself assessed the primary science potential of both projects but relied heavily on community input in addressing some of the broader issues in the charge. Although it learned of other interesting potential applications of a deep underground laboratory (e.g., geology, national security, and geobiology), the committee had neither the expertise nor the time to study them in depth. Likewise, evaluation of project issues such as technical readiness, costs, management, and so on was outside its charge, so the committee limited its study to what was needed for a realistic assessment of the science. Comparing IceCube and a U.S. deep underground facility to other facilities where similar science might be addressed proved a complicated issue. The three possible projects in the Mediterranean Sea with which IceCube can be compared are well behind IceCube in technical development, making a direct comparison difficult. For these potentially competing water detectors, sites have not been selected, and neither the detailed technology nor the configuration of detectors has been determined, pending completion of prototype phases that are now under way. Therefore, the committee was able to compare these projects with IceCube only in a general way, considering, for example, the advantages of ice versus water as a high-energy neutrino detector. For a deep underground facility, the report discusses a broad array of potential experiments (some to be done in the very long term). Some of these can and certainly will be undertaken elsewhere in the world. However, at this time, the experiments themselves, as well as the programs in the major facilities elsewhere in the world, are yet to be defined. Therefore, the committee focused on determining the requirements for such experiments (e.g., size, depth, distance from accelerator facilities) and what the advantages of a deep underground laboratory in the United States might be for some of the science planned. It could draw only limited
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conclusions about what will be done elsewhere in the world, activity that will in fact depend to no small extent on what is undertaken in the United States. Considering a deep underground science facility, the committee did not focus on any particular site but, rather, discussed some of the science that would be possible at a generic deep underground laboratory, assuming that it would be operated as a shared-user facility and that proposals for experiments at such a laboratory would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Given the limitations described, the committee sought to identify the major classes of science problems that could be addressed with the general features of the two proposed facilities; to consider the worldwide status of existing, planned, or proposed experiments in these major areas of research; and to critically assess their scientific importance. The committee focused principally on physics experiments and did not assess proposed experiments in other scientific fields, nor did it conduct any cost-benefit analyses or attempt any finite budget prioritization. This decision was influenced by the makeup of the committee, the fact that the physics experiments would be the primary factor in motivating these types of laboratories, and the extreme urgency with which the study was requested. Finally, since both IceCube and deep underground science emphasize physics involving neutrinos, the committee addressed the possible redundancy and complementarity between IceCube and a deep underground laboratory. The committee held two open meetings and one closed meeting, and it solicited a wide variety of inputs from the science community in the form of letters and presentations to the committee. A Web site was created with information about the committee, its meetings, and the inputs that it received. The NSF-sponsored International Workshop on Neutrinos and Subterranean Science (NeSS2002),2 held during the study period and attended by more than 300 scientists, produced much valuable information that the committee used in its assessments. Finally, completing this report in a timely fashion depended on the dedicated work of the committee; numerous members of the scientific community who provided input, advice, and formal briefings; and the commitment of the staff of the Board on Physics and Astronomy, especially Joel Parriott and Timothy Meyer. The overall guidance of Don Shapero was invaluable, and the committee is also indebted to the reviewers, who suggested a number of substantial improvements to the report. Barry Barish, Chair Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee 2 The NeSS2002 workshop was graciously and expertly organized by the University of Maryland at College Park on behalf of the NSF and held in Washington, D.C., September 19–21, 2002.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: David Arnett, University of Arizona, Steve Barwick, University of California at Irvine, Alessandro Bettini, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare at Gran Sasso, Roger Blandford, California Institute of Technology, Norine Noonan, College of Charleston, William Press, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Burton Richter, Stanford University, Bernard Sadoulet, University of California at Berkeley, Norman Sleep, Stanford University, Lawrence Sulak, Boston University, and George Trilling, University of California at Berkeley.
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Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Ahearne (Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society) and Jonathan Katz (Washington University in St. Louis). Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 7 2 SCIENCE OVERVIEW: NEUTRINOS AND BEYOND 9 The Neutrino: From Backstage to Center Stage, 9 Beyond Neutrinos, 15 Special Opportunities, 18 3 SCIENCE POTENTIAL OF ICECUBE 22 Introduction, 22 The Sources of High-Energy Neutrinos, 25 IceCube in an International Context, 31 4 SCIENCE POTENTIAL OF A DEEP UNDERGROUND LABORATORY 32 Neutrino Properties, 33 Dark Matter, 44 Proton Decay, 47 Neutrinos, Solar Energy, and the Formation of the Elements, 49
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Other Science at an Underground Laboratory, 52 Underground Science in an International Context, 52 5 CONCLUSIONS 58 IceCube, 59 A New Deep Underground Laboratory, 61 Redundancy and Complementarity, 63 APPENDIXES A Formation of the Committee 67 B Charge to the Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee 70 C Biographies of Committee Members and Key NRC Staff 71 D Meeting Agendas 79 E Glossary and Acronyms 85