Letter of Intent to build an Off-axis Detector to study numu to nue oscillations with the NuMI Neutrino Beam
The NuMI neutrino beam line and the MINOS experiment represent a major investment of US High Energy Physics in the area of neutrino physics. The forthcoming results could decisively establish neutrino oscillations as the underlying physics mechanism for the atmospheric $\numu$ deficit and provide a precise measurement of the corresponding oscillation parameters, $\dmsq23$ and $\sinsq2t23$.neutrino sector may well be within our reach. The full potential of the NuMI neutrino beam can be exploited by complementing the MINOS detector, under construction, with a new detector(s) placed at some off-axis position and collecting data in parallel with MINOS. The first phase of the proposed program includes a new detector, optimized for $\nue$ detection, with a fiducial mass of the order of 20 kton and exposed to neutrino and antineutrino beams. In a five year run its sensitivity to the $\numutonue$ oscillations will be at least a factor of ten beyond the current limit. The future direction of the program will depend on the results of this first phase, but it is very likely that it will be a combination of a significant increase of the neutrino beam intensity via an upgraded proton source and an increase of the detector mass by a factor of five or so. Depending on the circumstances, the goals of Phase II may be a further increase of the sensitivity of a search for $\numutonue$ oscillations, or, perhaps, a measurement of the CP violating phase $\delta$ in the lepton sector.