12 July 2024
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Understanding ProtoDUNE’s Argon Filling Process

ProtoDUNE, a prototype of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) housed at CERN’s Neutrino Platform, is a significant step towards the next era of neutrino research. Recently, ProtoDUNE reached a pivotal stage by initiating the filling of one of its two particle detectors with liquid argon. This process is crucial as it allows for testing and validating the technologies that will be utilized in the construction of the DUNE experiment in the United States.

The filling of the detector with liquid argon is a time-consuming endeavor, taking almost two months to complete. The sheer size of the chamber, nearly equivalent to that of a three-story building, adds to the complexity of the process. The second detector of ProtoDUNE is scheduled to undergo filling in the autumn. The proton beam from the Super Proton Synchrotron will be employed by ProtoDUNE to examine the detection of charged particles, marking a significant advancement in neutrino research.

The Significance of Liquid Argon in Neutrino Experiments

Liquid argon plays a critical role in DUNE experiments due to its inert properties, providing a pristine environment for precise measurements. When a neutrino interacts with argon, it generates charged particles that ionize the atoms, enabling scientists to detect and analyze neutrino interactions. Liquid argon’s density and high scintillation light yield enhance the detection of these interactions, making it an ideal medium for neutrino experiments.

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Published on: April 12, 2024 Description: CERN's Neutrino Platform houses the prototype of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment #DUNE, known as ProtoDUNE.
ProtoDUNE begins liquid argon filling | Time-lapse video

Furthermore, the interior of the partially filled detector exhibits a green hue instead of the usual golden color. This phenomenon occurs when regular LED light is reflected within the metal cryostat, causing the light to pass through the liquid argon and altering the wavelength of the photons, resulting in a visible green effect. This unique visual transformation highlights the intriguing properties of liquid argon as a medium for neutrino research.

Future Prospects of DUNE Experiment

The DUNE far detector, anticipated to be approximately 20 times larger than ProtoDUNE, is currently under construction in the United States. DUNE aims to propel neutrino research forward by sending a beam of neutrinos from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, Illinois, across a distance exceeding 1,300 kilometers through the Earth to neutrino detectors situated 1.5 km underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Sanford, South Dakota. This ambitious project holds immense potential for advancing our understanding of neutrinos and their role in the universe.

Implications for Neutrino Research

The successful filling of ProtoDUNE’s detector with liquid argon marks a significant milestone in the field of neutrino research. This crucial step not only paves the way for the construction of the DUNE experiment but also signifies a leap forward in our capabilities to study neutrinos. The use of liquid argon as a detection medium showcases its importance in facilitating precise measurements and enhancing the detection of neutrino interactions. As researchers delve deeper into the mysteries of neutrinos, the advancements made through projects like ProtoDUNE and DUNE promise to unlock new insights into the fundamental properties of these elusive particles.

Links to additional Resources:

1. home.cern 2. dune.fnal.gov 3. indico.cern.ch

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), Liquid Argon (element), Neutrino Detection (physics)

Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) is a neutrino experiment under construction, with a near detector at Fermilab and a far detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility that will observe neutrinos produced at Fermilab. An intense beam of trillions of neutrinos from the production facility at Fermilab (in Illinois)...
Read more: Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

Argon is a chemical element; it has symbol Ar and atomic number 18. It is in group 18 of the periodic table and is a noble gas. Argon is the third most abundant gas in Earth's atmosphere, at 0.934% (9340 ppmv). It is more than twice as abundant as water...
Read more: Argon

Neutrino detector
A neutrino detector is a physics apparatus which is designed to study neutrinos. Because neutrinos only weakly interact with other particles of matter, neutrino detectors must be very large to detect a significant number of neutrinos. Neutrino detectors are often built underground, to isolate the detector from cosmic rays and...
Read more: Neutrino detector

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