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Neutrino detector block

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A close look at the assembly of the NOvA near detector reveals a massive yet meticulous process.

Photo by Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Photo by Reidar Hahn, Fermilab

Sarah Witman
When the sun rises over Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory each morning, it beams down on a relatively unchanging landscape: 10 square miles of prairie dotted with various lab buildings. On most days, not much stirs that early in the morning. Some days, though, the sunrise coincides with a big event at Fermilab: NOvA block moving day.
NOvA is Fermilab’s largest neutrino experiment. It features two large detectors, one of which is located at Fermilab and is made up of eight 23,411-pound plastic blocks each measuring about 15 feet high, 15 feet wide and 6 feet thick.
Those involved in a NOvA block moving day wake up very early so they can complete the move before the end of the day. They try to avoid what would be a race against the sun since their work is meticulous and there is no room for error.
“These blocks are not redundant,” says Fermilab scientist Ting Miao, the project’s manager. “If one gets damaged in the move, there’s no way to replace it—by design. It’s really a one-shot business.”…
… Read more at http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/december-2013/neutrino-detector-block

Video: NOvA,Building a Next Generation Neutrino Experiment

Written by physicsgg

December 14, 2013 at 6:15 am

Posted in High Energy Physics

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