Inside The Detector
We thought this picture looked like part of some sci-fi alien spacecraft. In fact, it’s the inside of one of eight neutrino detectors at the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. The project is being run in China as part of an international collaboration with the U.S., Russia, the Czech Republic and Taiwan.
The aim of the research is to get highly accurate data on the masses of neutrinos, subatomic particles that are so small and electrically neutral that they pass right through matter. This information will help physicists answer questions about basic physics and the universe.
Lining the detector, which is buried deep underground, are photomultiplier tubes that can pick up the rare flashes of blue light created when neutrinos interact. In August, project scientists announced the data from those interactions has yielded precise measurements of mass.
The agency leading the U.S.’s part in the project is the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Photo courtesy Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab.