Proposal to Search for Heavy Neutral Leptons at the SPS

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Title: Proposal to Search for Heavy Neutral Leptons at the SPS
Authors: Bonivento, W
Boyarsky, A
Dijkstra, H
Egede, U
Ferro-Luzzi, M
Goddard, B
Golutvin, A
Gorbunov, D
Jacobsson, R
Panman, J
Patel, M
Ruchayskiy, O
Ruf, T
Serra, N
Shaposhnikov, M
Treille, D
Item Type: Working paper
Abstract: A new fixed-target experiment at the CERN SPS accelerator is proposed that will use decays of charm mesons to search for Heavy Neutral Leptons (HNLs), which are right-handed partners of the Standard Model neutrinos. The existence of such particles is strongly motivated by theory, as they can simultaneously explain the baryon asymmetry of the Universe, account for the pattern of neutrino masses and oscillations and provide a Dark Matter candidate. Cosmological constraints on the properties of HNLs now indicate that the majority of the interesting parameter space for such particles was beyond the reach of the previous searches at the PS191, BEBC, CHARM, CCFR and NuTeV experiments. For HNLs with mass below 2 GeV, the proposed experiment will improve on the sensitivity of previous searches by four orders of magnitude and will cover a major fraction of the parameter space favoured by theoretical models. The experiment requires a 400 GeV proton beam from the SPS with a total of 2x10^20 protons on target, achievable within five years of data taking. The proposed detector will reconstruct exclusive HNL decays and measure the HNL mass. The apparatus is based on existing technologies and consists of a target, a hadron absorber, a muon shield, a decay volume and two magnetic spectrometers, each of which has a 0.5 Tm magnet, a calorimeter and a muon detector. The detector has a total length of about 100 m with a 5 m diameter. The complete experimental set-up could be accommodated in CERNs North Area. The discovery of a HNL would have a great impact on our understanding of nature and open a new area for future research.
Issue Date: 7-Oct-2013
Copyright Statement: © 2013 The Authors
Keywords: hep-ex
Appears in Collections:Physics
High Energy Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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