Three vertical planes of sense wires stand in the center of this 3D chart that shows on the left how particles flying through the detector create electrons that drift to the sense wires of the detector, and on the right shows electric signals – the waveforms – that these wires will collect as a function of time. To the left, an incoming neutrino travels through the liquid argon of the time projection chamber, and it eventually splits into two charged particles that knock loose electrons in the liquid. To the right of the sense wires, waveforms are shown for the Y plane and the V plane.

How the MicroBooNE detector works: The neutrino interaction creates charged particles and generates a flash of light. The charged particles ionize the argon atoms and create free electrons. The electrons drift toward the three wire planes under an external electric field and induce signals on the wires. The wires effectively record three images of the particle activities from different angles. The light flashes (photons) are detected by photomultiplier tubes behind the wire planes, which tells when the interaction happens. Scientists use the images from the three planes of wires and the timing of the interaction to reconstruct the tracks created by the neutrino interaction and where it occurred in the detector. Illustration: MicroBooNE collaboration