Date of Award

Summer 7-1-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Whittington, Denver

Second Advisor

Wylie, William

Subject Categories

Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a planned long baseline neutrino experi- ment. The detector will be comprised of four modules with 10kt of active volume each, making it an ideal target to neutrino oscillation physics and searches for proton decay. ProtoDUNE-SP was a single-phase liquid argon time projection chamber - a prototype for the first far detector module of DUNE with an active volume of 700 tons operating until 2020. It was installed at the CERN Neutrino Platform and took particle beam and cosmic ray data over its two year lifespan. Liquid argon scin- tillation light is still an active subject of study with open questions about the impact of scattering and absorption in such a large detector. Here, we combine ProtoDUNE-SP cosmic-ray data with its large photon detector coverage and large drift volume to measure the Rayleigh scattering length of pure liquid argon, nitrogen contaminated argon, and a xenon doped nitrogen – argon mixture. The rayleigh scattering length of the xenon mixture was then implemented in a study of the proton decay sensitivity of a single DUNE module, to see the effects of xenon doping.


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