Muon and Neutrino Detector Arrays
SNO
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
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Photo courtesy of SNO
Artist's concept of the SNO detector
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO)

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) results have provided revolutionary insight into the properties of neutrinos and the core of the sun. The detector, shown in the artist's conception below, was built 6800 feet under ground, in INCO's Creighton mine near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. SNO was a heavy-water Cherenkov detector designed to detect neutrinos produced by fusion reactions in the sun. It used 1000 tonnes of heavy water loaned from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and contained by a 12 meter diameter acrylic vessel. Neutrinos reacted with the heavy water (D2O) to produce flashes of light called Cherenkov radiation. This light was then detected by an array of 9600 photomultiplier tubes mounted on a geodesic support structure surrounding the heavy water vessel. The detector was immersed in light (normal) water within a 30 meter barrel-shaped cavity (the size of a 10 story building!) excavated from Norite rock. Located in the deepest part of the mine, the overburden of rock shielded the detector from cosmic rays. The detector laboratory, still functioning as part of the new SNOLAB facility, is extremely clean to reduce background signals from radioactive elements present in the mine dust which would otherwise hide the very weak signal from neutrinos. Plans are currently underway to upgrade the SNO detector for the new SNO+ experiment.

SOURCE: Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO)

Photo Gallery
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#2 SNO water systems
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#3 SNO detector during construction
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#4 Construction of the top half of the acrylic vessel
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#5 Construction of the acrylic vessel in the SNO cavity
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#6 View of the SNO detector after installation of the bottom PMT panels, but before cabling. Photo courtesy of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#7 Excavation of the SNO cavity
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Photo courtesy of SNO
#8 View from the bottom of the SNO acrylic vessel and PMT array with a fish-eye lens. This photo was taken immediately before the final, bottom-most panel of PMTs was installed. Photo courtesy of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
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Photo courtesy of SNO
# 9 View from the bottom of the SNO acrylic vessel and PMT array with a fish-eye lens. This photo was taken immediately before the final, bottom-most panel of PMTs was installed. Photo courtesy of Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
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