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  1. Abstract In this paper, we review scientific opportunities and challenges related to detection and reconstruction of low-energy (less than 100 MeV) signatures in liquid argon time-projection chamber (LArTPC) neutrino detectors. LArTPC neutrino detectors designed for performing precise long-baseline oscillation measurements with GeV-scale accelerator neutrino beams also have unique sensitivity to a range of physics and astrophysics signatures via detection of event features at and below the few tens of MeV range. In addition, low-energy signatures are an integral part of GeV-scale accelerator neutrino interaction final-states, and their reconstruction can enhance the oscillation physics sensitivities of LArTPC experiments. New physics signals from accelerator and natural sources also generate diverse signatures in the low-energy range, and reconstruction of these signatures can increase the breadth of Beyond the Standard Model scenarios accessible in LArTPC-based searches. A variety of experimental and theory-related challenges remain to realizing this full range of potential benefits. Neutrino interaction cross-sections and other nuclear physics processes in argon relevant to sub-hundred-MeV LArTPC signatures are poorly understood, and improved theory and experimental measurements are needed; pion decay-at-rest sources and charged particle and neutron test beams are ideal facilities for improving this understanding. There are specific calibration needs in the low-energy range, as well as specific needs for control and understanding of radiological and cosmogenic backgrounds. Low-energy signatures, whether steady-state or part of a supernova burst or larger GeV-scale event topology, have specific triggering, DAQ and reconstruction requirements that must be addressed outside the scope of conventional GeV-scale data collection and analysis pathways. Novel concepts for future LArTPC technology that enhance low-energy capabilities should also be explored to help address these challenges. 
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  2. Abstract In this article, we describe a modified implementation of Mask Region-based Convolutional Neural Networks (Mask-RCNN) for cosmic ray muon clustering in a liquid argon TPC and applied to MicroBooNE neutrino data. Our implementation of this network, called sMask-RCNN, uses sparse submanifold convolutions to increase processing speed on sparse datasets, and is compared to the original dense version in several metrics. The networks are trained to use wire readout images from the MicroBooNE liquid argon time projection chamber as input and produce individually labeled particle interactions within the image. These outputs are identified as either cosmic ray muon or electron neutrino interactions. We find that sMask-RCNN has an average pixel clustering efficiency of 85.9% compared to the dense network's average pixel clustering efficiency of 89.1%. We demonstrate the ability of sMask-RCNN used in conjunction with MicroBooNE's state-of-the-art Wire-Cell cosmic tagger to veto events containing only cosmic ray muons. The addition of sMask-RCNN to the Wire-Cell cosmic tagger removes 70% of the remaining cosmic ray muon background events at the same electron neutrino event signal efficiency. This event veto can provide 99.7% rejection of cosmic ray-only background events while maintaining an electron neutrino event-level signal efficiency of 80.1%. In addition to cosmic ray muon identification, sMask-RCNN could be used to extract features and identify different particle interaction types in other 3D-tracking detectors. 
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  3. A bstract The MicroBooNE liquid argon time projection chamber located at Fermilab is a neutrino experiment dedicated to the study of short-baseline oscillations, the measurements of neutrino cross sections in liquid argon, and to the research and development of this novel detector technology. Accurate and precise measurements of calorimetry are essential to the event reconstruction and are achieved by leveraging the TPC to measure deposited energy per unit length along the particle trajectory, with mm resolution. We describe the non-uniform calorimetric reconstruction performance in the detector, showing dependence on the angle of the particle trajectory. Such non-uniform reconstruction directly affects the performance of the particle identification algorithms which infer particle type from calorimetric measurements. This work presents a new particle identification method which accounts for and effectively addresses such non-uniformity. The newly developed method shows improved performance compared to previous algorithms, illustrated by a 93.7% proton selection efficiency and a 10% muon mis-identification rate, with a fairly loose selection of tracks performed on beam data. The performance is further demonstrated by identifying exclusive final states in ν μ CC interactions. While developed using MicroBooNE data and simulation, this method is easily applicable to future LArTPC experiments, such as SBND, ICARUS, and DUNE. 
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  4. Abstract The Pandora Software Development Kit and algorithm libraries provide pattern-recognition logic essential to the reconstruction of particle interactions in liquid argon time projection chamber detectors. Pandora is the primary event reconstruction software used at ProtoDUNE-SP, a prototype for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment far detector. ProtoDUNE-SP, located at CERN, is exposed to a charged-particle test beam. This paper gives an overview of the Pandora reconstruction algorithms and how they have been tailored for use at ProtoDUNE-SP. In complex events with numerous cosmic-ray and beam background particles, the simulated reconstruction and identification efficiency for triggered test-beam particles is above 80% for the majority of particle type and beam momentum combinations. Specifically, simulated 1 GeV/ c charged pions and protons are correctly reconstructed and identified with efficiencies of 86.1 $$\pm 0.6$$ ± 0.6 % and 84.1 $$\pm 0.6$$ ± 0.6 %, respectively. The efficiencies measured for test-beam data are shown to be within 5% of those predicted by the simulation. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. Abstract Accurate knowledge of electron transport properties is vital to understanding the information provided by liquid argon time projection chambers (LArTPCs). Ionization electron drift-lifetime, local electric field distortions caused by positive ion accumulation, and electron diffusion can all significantly impact the measured signal waveforms. This paper presents a measurement of the effective longitudinal electron diffusion coefficient, D L , in MicroBooNE at the nominal electric field strength of 273.9 V/cm. Historically, this measurement has been made in LArTPC prototype detectors. This represents the first measurement in a large-scale (85 tonne active volume) LArTPC operating in a neutrino beam. This is the largest dataset ever used for this measurement. Using a sample of ∼70,000 through-going cosmic ray muon tracks tagged with MicroBooNE's cosmic ray tagger system, we measure D L = 3.74 +0.28 -0.29 cm 2 /s. 
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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024