SuperNEMO tracker

SuperNEMO is an experiment to search for neutrinoless double beta decay in order to probe the fundamental nature of the neutrino.

Direct searches for neutrinoless double beta decay (NDBD) are the best way to probe the Majorana versus Dirac nature of the neutrino in a model-independent way; they also yield information on the absolute neutrino mass scale.

The SuperNEMO experiment has been constructed by an international collaboration of scientists and engineers from many countries. The full SuperNEMO experiment is designed to have 20 modules each housing ~7 kg of isotope. The first module is currently being commissioned in the Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane (LSM), France, and data-taking will begin in 2020.

superNEMO module schematic
Diagram of one detector module. A source foil is sandwiched between tracking detectors with a calorimeter surrounding.

SuperNEMO is based on the tracker-calorimeter technique developed by the NEMO series of experiments. This design allows full topological event reconstruction giving excellent background suppression and the possibility of identifying the underlying physics mechanism from the event kinematics.

Schematic of the tracker-calorimeter technique
Schematic of the tracker-calorimeter technique. Charged particle trajectories in the tracker and energy and time-of-flight (TOF) information from the calorimeter allow reconstruction of the event topology and particle identification. A magnetic field gives charge information. The detector allows precise separation of background and signal events.

Imperial contribution

The Imperial group has made major contributions to the development of software and simulations for the experiment, and also in the management of these areas within the collaboration.

People involved


Group members: J Sedgbeer, P Franchini