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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A search for supernova neutrinos with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Heise, Jaret


The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is an underground Cerenkov detector designed to detect neutrinos from astrophysical sources. The fiducial mass of the detector consists of 1000 tonnes of D₂0 , which provides sensitivity to all neutrino flavours. Since much of the energy released in the supernova burst is expected to be carried by the muon and tau neutrinos, the supernova signal recorded by the SNO detector is of particular importance. In addition, SNO is also sensitive to the prompt electron neutrino signal expected from capture processes during core collapse. Various supernova models are investigated and predictions of the SNO supernova signal are studied using simulated Monte Carlo data. A data analysis program to identify neutrinos from a galactic supernova burst has been installed in the online system at SNO. The program automatically analyzes burst data and it is anticipated that a manual alert to the Supernova Early Warning System could be issued within 20-30 minutes with negligible possibility of a false alarm. The burst identification algorithm currently in use both online and offline provides detection sensitivity beyond the far edge of our galaxy. A search for supernova neutrinos was performed using 241.0 days of data collected over the time period between November 2, 1999 and January 4, 2001. No candidate bursts were observed over this period, which places a 90% confidence level upper limit of < 3.5 galactic supernovae per year.

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