Prototype cryostat for neutrino experiment exceeds purity goals

Feb 04, 2014 by Kurt Riesselmann
Prototype cryostat for neutrino experiment exceeds purity goals
This cryostat system has exceeded the stringent liquid-argon purity requirements for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment.

Scientists and engineers working on the design of the particle detector for the proposed Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment celebrated a major success in January. They operated for the first time a 35-ton prototype cryostat filled with liquid argon and met the stringent, less-than-200-parts-per-trillion purity requirement on oxygen contamination in the liquid.

The purity of is crucial for the proposed LBNE neutrino detector. Oxygen and other electronegative impurities in the liquid can absorb ionization electrons created by neutrino interactions and prevent them from reaching the signal wires of the detector.

The test results were the outcome of the first phase of operating the LBNE prototype cryostat at DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. On Dec. 20, during a marathon 36-hour session, engineers cooled the cryostat—slowly and smoothly—to minus 262 degrees Fahrenheit and started to fill it with liquid argon from Fermilab's Liquid-Argon Purity Demonstrator. The membrane cryostat, based on industrial-type design and components, holds about 6,500 gallons of liquid argon. In January, the LBNE team announced that the systems for purifying, recirculating and recondensing the argon worked properly and consistently achieved purity levels of about 100 ppt, significantly better than the minimum requirement of 200 ppt.

More than 450 scientists from 80 institutions collaborate on the design and planning of the proposed LBNE experiment, which would look for the violation of the matter-antimatter symmetry in neutrino interactions.

Explore further: Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment

Sep 17, 2013

DOE's Fermilab has switched on its newly upgraded neutrino beam, soon to be the most intense in the world. The laboratory spent the past 15 months upgrading its accelerator complex in preparation for the ...

Test paves way for 15,000-ton neutrino detector

Dec 13, 2011

Last month, the preparations for the assembly of the NOvA neutrino detector passed a pivotal test in an assembly building at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

New results from Daya Bay neutrino experiment announced

Aug 21, 2013

The international Daya Bay Collaboration has announced new results about the transformations of neutrinos - elusive, ghostlike particles that carry invaluable clues about the makeup of the early universe. ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
not rated yet Feb 06, 2014
can you make it blue? Heisenberg