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The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) is being developed to provide a unique and world-leading program for the exploration of key questions at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics. This document describes the principal scientific opportunities LBNE is designed to pursue and the exceptional combination of technical capabilities and geographical layout that will allow it to make the measurements that will lead to discoveries.
In a single experiment, LBNE will enable a broad exploration of the three-flavor neutrino paradigm including observation of the charge-parity (CP) matter/antimatter symmetry violation in neutrino flavor mixing, resolution of the neutrino mass hierarchy and determination of maximal or near-maximal mixing in neutrinos.
LBNE will also pursue searches for proton decay as predicted by Grand Unified Theories, and explore the dynamics of core-collapse supernovae, likely dominated in critical phases by unimaginable densities of neutrinos, through observation of their neutrino bursts, should any occur in our galaxy during LBNE's operating lifetime.
To achieve its goals, LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, intense wide-band neutrino source at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a fine-grained near neutrino detector installed just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, located $\sim$1,300~km from the neutrino source, a distance (baseline) that presents the optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass hierarchy effects.
Excellent resolution on the direction of atmospheric neutrinos will allow a determination of the mass hierarchy independent of the beam measurements. In addition, the high interaction rate available in the near detector will enable the study of neutrino interactions in detail.
The LBNE concept has matured over more than a decade into a well-developed design made even more relevant by recent mixing parameter measurements. Its realization through international partnerships will produce exciting discoveries about the most abundant known matter particle and fundamental forces that shaped our Universe from its first moments of creation.