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Hanohano: A Deep Ocean Anti-Neutrino Detector for Unique Neutrino Physics and Geophysics Studies

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The science potential of a 10 kiloton deep-ocean liquid scintillation detector for ~1 MeV energy scale electron anti-neutrinos has been studied. Such an instrument, designed to be portable and function in the deep ocean (3-5 km) can make unique measurements of the anti-neutrinos from radioactive decays in the Earth'.s mantle. Ths information speaks to some of the most fundamental questions in geology about the origin of the Earth, plat e tectonics, the geomagnetic field and even somewhat indirectly to global warming. Measurements in multiple locations will strengthen the potential insights. On the particle physics side, we have identified a unique role in the study of anti-neutrinos from a nuclear power complex, at a range of 55-60 km off shore. Not only can precision measurements be made of most neutrino mixing parameters, including $\theta_{13}$ (depending on magnitude), but the neutrino mass hierarchy can be determined in a method not heretofore discussed, and one which does not rely upon matter effects. This detector is under active study on paper, in the laboratory, and at sea. An interdisciplinary and international collaboration is in formation, and plans are in motion for a major proposal, to be followed by construction over several years.


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