Photomultiplier used at IMB experiment

Photomultiplier used at IMB experiment

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Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Proton decay. A photomultiplier tube used in the search for proton decay. Hundreds of such tubes line a tank containing 9000 tonnes of water some 600 metres underground in a salt mine in Ohio. The IMB experiment (named after its sponsors: the University of California at Irvine, the University of Michigan and the Brookhaven National Laboratory) was designed to look for decaying protons. If a proton decays, the charged particles it generates move through the water faster than light, and so generate blue 'Cerenkov' radiation. It is this that the photomultipliers detect. Computers then decide whether the event was a decay, or a collision with a solar neutrino.

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Keywords: cerenkov radiation, detector, detector tube, particle physics research, photomultiplier tube, proton decay

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