Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China
; Iowa State Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, Ames, IA 50011 USA
For high-energy long baseline neutrino oscillation experiments, we propose a figure of merit criterion to compare the statistical quality of experiments at various baseline lengths under the condition of identical detectors and a given neutrino beam. We take into account all possible experimental errors under general consideration. In this way, the figure of merit is closely related to the usual statistical criterion of number of sigmas. We use a realistic neutrino beam for an entry-level neutrino factory and a possible superbeam from a meson source and a 100 kt detector for the calculation. We consider in detail four baseline lengths-300 km, 700 km, 2100 km, and 3000 km in the neutrino energy range of 0.5-20 GeV for a 20 GeV entry-level neutrino factory and a 50 GeV superbeam. We find that the very long baselines of 2100 km and 3000 km are preferred for the neutrino factory according to the figure of merit criterion. Our results also show that, for a neutrino factory, lower primary muon energies such as 20 GeV are preferred rather than higher ones such as 30 or 50 GeV. For the superbeam, the combination of a long baseline such as 300 km and a very long baseline such as 2100 km will form a complete measurement of the oscillation parameters in addition to the CP phase. To measure the CP phase in a superbeam, a larger detector (a factor 3 beyond what is considered in this paper) and/or a higher intensity beam will be needed to put some significant constraints on the size of the CP angle.