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Beijing Hamamatsu provide detection device for Cubic Kilometre Neutrino Telescope

Published:2014-06-25 Last:Beijing Hamamatsu


According to foreign media reports, Cubic Kilometre Neutrino Telescope (KM3NeT) will be the second largest building in human history which will be higher than Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world, the height of which is 2723 feet. Beijing Hamamatsu Photon Techniques INC., as professional photo-detection device’s provider, will manufacture core detection device - Photomultiplier Tube (PMT) for KM3NeT project. And 400k pieces of PMT will be required in all. “Exploration for not known and not achieved” is important concept of Hamamatsu Group. From “Super-Kamiokande” to “KM3NeT”, Hamamatsu Group always contributes to the exploration for mysteries of universe.


Fig.1 Photomultiplier tube for KM3NeT project


Because the action between neutrino and other substances is weak, European scientists plan to build a huge detector in the Mediterranean Sea to capture neutrinos using a large amount of water. This is a cooperative project with 40 scientific institutions in 10 countries .The new detector called KM3NeT will hold 3 cubic kilometers in the sea and it consists of PMT installed on the tower.


Fig.2 A possible network configuration of KM3NeT detector


When a neutrino-atomic nucleus collision happens, it may cause a muon which emits Cherenkov radiation when it moves in water, PMT can detect this flash. Before, scientists have built a similarly large neutrino detector - Ice Cube on the Antarctic ice sheet. In the first year of operation, even though Ice Cube detected many atmospheric neutrinos, it didn’t detect the neutrino from universe. Because the direction of neutrino detected by KM3NeT is opposite to that detected by Ice Cube, and KM3NeT is larger than the Ice Cube, the scientists hope to detect the neutrino from universe which Ice Cube didn’t detect. Furthermore, PMT are installed separately in optical module, not on one line in Ice Cube, so it can detect the direction of neutrino more easily.


Fig.3 Optical module sphere with cables

Fig.4 The internal figure of spherical optical module


As shown is figure 4, the things like film are PMT, which can detect a photon. The signal can be received by optical modules through a one-way cable between seaside and junction box. There is a wired network at the bottom of the sea which connects with the separate detecting unit via the level II junction box. Inside of the detecting unit, the current distributes to the optical module through the wired network and main cable.

Physicists have worked with marine biologists. The luminous organisms in the oceans can be monitored by PMT used in KM3NeT and this research helps to eliminate their interference to the detecting results. Besides, the underwater listening device can also be used to monitor the activities of cetaceans.

In addition, the KM3NeT could detect the mysterious magnetic monopole and dark matter particles if the designed energy range can be achieved.

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