Super-Kamiokande

  • Kamioka

Super-Kamiokande

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The Super-Kamiokande is the world's largest Cherenkov (neutrino) detector. It has been in operation since 1996 and is operated by an international collaboration involving about 150 people and about 40 institutes based in Japan, the United States, South Korea, China, Poland, Spain, Canada, the UK, Italy and France. 

The detector consists of a stainless-steel, cylindrical tank of 39.3 m diameter and 41.4 m height. The tank is filled with 50'000 m3 ultra pure water. About 13'000 photo-multipliers are installed on the inside of the tank's walls. The Super-Kamiokande is located at a depth of 1'000 m below ground. 

The experiments feasible thanks to the Super-Kamiokande are used to study the neutrino properties through the observation of solar, atmospheric and man-made neutrinos. This lead to interesting discovieres in neutrino oscillation behaviour and brought the scientists closer to understand the creation of matter in the early universe, the activities occuring inside the sun and the mechanisms involved in the explosion of a star. 

Further, the Super-Kamiokande is used to investigate the "Grand Unified Theory", which unifies the fundamental forces of nature by predicting that protons can decay into lighter, energetically charged particles. This theory could so far not be proven. However, the Super-Kamiokande is searching for such proton decays, and, if observed, might lead to ground-breaking discoveries. 

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