Friday, June 14, 2013

1306.3067 (S Cebrian et al.)

Pattern recognition of $^{136}$Xe double beta decay events and
background discrimination in a high pressure Xenon TPC

S Cebrian, T Dafni, H Gomez, D C Herrera, F J Iguaz, I G Irastorza, G Luzon, L Segui, A Tomas
High pressure gas detectors offer advantages for the detection of rare events, where background reduction is crucial. For the neutrinoless double beta decay of 136Xe a high pressure xenon gas Time Projection Chamber (TPC) combines a good energy resolution and a detailed topological information of each event. The ionization topology of the double beta decay event of 136Xe in gaseous xenon has a characteristic shape defined by the two straggling electron tracks ending up in two higher ionization charge density blobs. With a properly pixelized readout, this topological information is invaluable to perform powerful background discrimination. In this study we carry out detailed simulations of the signal topology, as well as the competing topologies from gamma events that typically compose the background at these energies. We define observables based on graph theory concepts and develop automated discrimination algorithms which reduce the background level in around three orders of magnitude while keeping signal efficiency of 40%. This result supports the competitiveness of current or future double beta experiments based on gas TPCs, like the Neutrino Xenon TPC (NEXT) currently under construction in the Laboratorio Subterraneo de Canfranc (LSC).
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