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Cosmogenic neutron production at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
Article number112005
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/12/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review D
Issue number11
Volume100
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Neutrons produced in nuclear interactions initiated by cosmic-ray muons present an irreducible background to many rare-event searches, even in detectors located deep underground. Models for the production of these neutrons have been tested against previous experimental data, but the extrapolation to deeper sites is not well understood. Here we report results from an analysis of cosmogenically produced neutrons at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. A specific set of observables are presented, which can be used to benchmark the validity of geant4 physics models. In addition, the cosmogenic neutron yield, in units of 10-4 cm2/(g·μ), is measured to be 7.28±0.09(stat)-1.12+1.59(syst) in pure heavy water and 7.30±0.07(stat)-1.02+1.40(syst) in NaCl-loaded heavy water. These results provide unique insights into this potential background source for experiments at SNOLAB.