Effect of atmospheric flux uncertainties on the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy
1 Institute of Physics, University of Mainz, Staudinger Weg 7, 55099 Mainz, Germany
2 Dept. of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Published online: 11 April 2016
The next generation of large-volume neutrino telescopes will include low-energy subarrays which will be able to measure neutrinos with energies of a few GeV. In this energy range the primary signal below the horizon is neutrinos created by cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere. The measured event rate will depend on the neutrino mass hierarchy, allowing determination of this quantity to a significance level of about 3.5 sigma within a 5-year period, mostly limited by systematic uncertainties. We present here the impact of the uncertainties on the atmospheric neutrino flux normalization on the determination of the neutrino mass hierarchy. We suggest constraining the systematic uncertainties by including the downgoing neutrino sample, which will increase the significance. This work was performed using simulation data from the low-energy extension to the IceCube detector located at the geographic south pole, PINGU, and is relevant to a wide range of other experiments.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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