PROSPECT—A Precision Oscillation and Spectrum Experiment
PROSPECT is a reactor neutrino experiment at very short baselines to make a precision measurement of the flux and energy spectrum of antineutrinos emitted from nuclear reactors. PROSPECT will search for the oscillation signature of sterile neutrinos and test our understanding of the emission of antineutrinos from the fission products in a nuclear reactor. The measurements of PROSPECT will test our understanding of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, deepen our understanding of nuclear processes in a reactor, and help develop technology for the remote monitoring of nuclear reactors for safeguard and non-proliferation.
A recent analysis of previous reactor neutrino experiments suggests a deficit in the observed number of reactor antineutrinos compared to expectations. Such a deficit could be due to the existence of a new, yet undetected particle (a sterile neutrino) or point to a lack of understanding in the modeling of neutrino emission from nuclear reactors. Recent experimental results have also shown that the energy distribution of antineutrinos from nuclear reactor may be different than expected. PROSPECT, a precision oscillation and spectrum experiment, located at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at ORNL will measure the antineutrinos from a research reactor at a distance of less than 10m to resolve these questions. A successful measurement of reactor antineutrinos with a detector in or near the reactor building will open new ways for nuclear safeguarding and reactor monitoring.
Learn more about the science behind PROSPECT.