How to detect neutrinos?
This is possible because it happens (very, very seldom) that a neutrino particle collides with a proton.When this happens, a muon type neutrino is formed. This muon particle should get a speed about 25% higher than the speed of light, but here the nature “takes over“. For not exceeding the light speed(300 000 km/s) the muon must get rid of excessive energy, and gives away some light, the so called
, as a thin, bluish streak (4,5).A neutrino-detector is therefore quite differentfrom an astronomic observatory. It has anenormous tank filled up with pure water, androws of sensors, named photomultipliers.When the surrounding medium is pure and clear water, and it is complete darkness, the photomultiplier will be able to detect the lightstreaks in a range of some tenth meters. Theywill also be able to indicate the direction with anaccuracy of 3.5 degrees, and therefore tell theaccurate point on the sky where the neutrino particle came from.All we know today about the universe has come to us by observations of light, included all types of photons as visible light, infrared and ultraviolet, and besides spectrum of electromagnetic radiation,like radio waves and x-rays. All these kinds of radiation have on their way been influenced fromelectromagnetic and gravimetric fields, causing uncertainty about their origin place.This is not the case for the neutrinos. They have gone in a straight line from their origin, and this startcan be billions of light years away.
Different types of detectors
Detectors have been built on different places around the earth. To avoidinfluence from cosmic radiation and neutrinos from our own sun, manydetectors are placed in great, blasted rooms in deep rock-ground, but alsoin very deep and clear water.The first project for detecting neutrino-induced muons in natural water was the Russian installation in the deep Baikal.sea, with depths down to1523 meters. (1)Another type has been placed on the South Pole, on US Amundsen-ScottStation, called Amanda. It was primarily aiming to detect high energeticneutrinos from black holes, gamma outburst and supernovas in far galaxies.The next detector, called Amanda II, followed this. After drilling 1900 meters down in the ice, theyinstalled 680 detectors (photomultipliers) in the size of basketballs, hanging down in 19 cables. Thedetection system is surrounded by pure ice, and in complete darkness in a depth from 1500 to 1900meters. Amanda did their first detection in summer 2001, and two years later the results was published in Sidney. These have given astronomers very surprising and new visions about cosmos. (1)