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Technician working on Kamiokande neutrino detector

Technician working on Kamiokande neutrino detector

R188/0040

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Credit

PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Technician working on a giant photomultiplier tube which forms part of the Kamiokande neutrino detector. The detector is situated in the Kamioka zinc mine, 3000 feet (900 metres) beneath the peak of Mt. Ikenoyama in central Japan. It consists of a 3,000-tonne tank of water surrounded by a lattice of photomultipliers. High-energy (9 MeV) neutrinos collide with electrons in the water, causing them to give off a characteristic pulse of light (Cerenkov radiation) which is picked up and amplified by the photmultiplier tubes. The detector studies the solar neutrino flux (from the decay of Boron-8) and also detected a pulse of neutrinos from the supernova 1987A. Kamiokande = Kamioka Nucleon Decay Experiment. Was first designed to look for proton decay but was upgraded in 1986 to detect solar neutrinos.

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