These are just some of the 362,000 highly reflective plastic PVC tubes that will become part of NOvA’s two detectors. Each of the cells will be filled with liquid scintillator. When a neutrino strikes an atom in the liquid scintillator, it will release a burst of photons. Photodetectors will sense the resulting pattern of lighted tubes. Scientists can then determine the kind of neutrino that caused the interaction. Each cell measures 3.9 cm wide, 6.0 cm deep and 15.5 m long.
Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. Neutrinos are notoriously difficult particles to study: For every 50 billion neutrinos that pass through the MINERvA detector at Fermilab, only about one will interact leaving a trace in our detector, producing particles that we can observe directly. In spite of this, we are starting to use neutrinos to learn more about protons and neutrons and how they behave when they’re together inside an atomic… More »
What will soon be the most powerful neutrino detector in the United States has recorded its first three-dimensional images of particles.
Neutrino scientists are currently trying to answer some exciting questions. How much do neutrinos weigh and why are they so light? How much do neutrinos change from one kind to another (called mixing) and why are their transformations so different from quark mixing? Do neutrinos mix differently from anti-neutrinos? To answer these questions, neutrino physicists must study how neutrinos and anti-neutrinos mix over time, which means using neutrino interactions to measure their energies and the distances they travel. If neutrinos… More »