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Published February 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Production of radioactive isotopes through cosmic muon spallation in KamLAND


Radioactive isotopes produced through cosmic muon spallation are a background for rare-event detection in ν detectors, double-β-decay experiments, and dark-matter searches. Understanding the nature of cosmogenic backgrounds is particularly important for future experiments aiming to determine the pep and CNO solar neutrino fluxes, for which the background is dominated by the spallation production of ^(11)C. Data from the Kamioka liquid-scintillator antineutrino detector (KamLAND) provides valuable information for better understanding these backgrounds, especially in liquid scintillators, and for checking estimates from current simulations based upon MUSIC, FLUKA, and GEANT4. Using the time correlation between detected muons and neutron captures, the neutron production yield in the KamLAND liquid scintillator is measured to be Y_n=(2.8±0.3)×10^(-4) μ^(-1) g^(-1) cm^2. For other isotopes, the production yield is determined from the observed time correlation related to known isotope lifetimes. We find some yields are inconsistent with extrapolations based on an accelerator muon beam experiment.

Additional Information

© 2010 The American Physical Society. Received 1 July 2009; published 23 February 2010. The KamLAND experiment is supported by the COE program under Grant 09CE2003 of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Grants DEFG03-00ER41138 and DE-AC02-05CH11231, as well as other DOE grants to individual institutions. We are grateful to the Kamioka Mining and Smelting Company for supporting the activities in the mine. We would also like to thank V. A. Kudryavtsev and M. Spurio for helpful comments.

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Published - Abe2010p10428Phys_Rev_C.pdf


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