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30 May 2022 to 4 June 2022
Virtual Seoul
Asia/Seoul timezone

Background Modeling for the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR

Not scheduled
5m
Virtual Seoul

Virtual Seoul

Poster Neutrinoless double beta decay Poster

Speaker

Ethan Blalock (North Carolina State University, Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory)

Description

The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR is a neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment located at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota. The DEMONSTRATOR contains an array of 44 kg of Ge detectors, of which 30 kg are enriched in the neutrinoless double-beta decay candidate isotope $^{76}$Ge. From the initial 26 kg yrs of exposure, the count rate in the background estimation window was found to be 11.9 $\pm$ 2.0 counts/(FWHM t y), among the smallest background rates for 0υββ experiments, although a factor of 4 above what was projected based on radioassays. This has motivated multiple studies into the background model for the DEMONSTRATOR to understand possible sources for the excess background. In addition to simulations of the standard configuration, simulations of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR configuration post hardware upgrade were performed. Some potential sources of background excess, not previously considered as significant in the original model, were identified; $^{232}$Th and $^{238}$U decay chain contamination in those sources was simulated and assessed. Assay campaigns following the decommissioning of Module 1 have been used to investigate hypotheses for sources of background excess by comparing to simulation results. Additionally, maximum likelihood fits using spectra from simulations of different decay chains in different component groups, including the new sources, have been performed. These fits will inform design considerations for the next generation neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment LEGEND.

Acknowledgements: This material is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, the Particle Astrophysics and Nuclear Physics Programs of the National Science Foundation, and the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Collaboration MAJORANA Collaboration

Primary author

Ethan Blalock (North Carolina State University, Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory)

Co-authors

Christopher Haufe (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory) Anna Reine (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory)

Presentation Materials