AMANDA detects very high energy neutrinos (50+ GeV) which pass through the Earth from the northern hemisphere and then react just as they are leaving upwards through the Antarctic ice. The neutrino collides with nuclei of oxygen or hydrogen atoms contained in the surrounding water ice, producing a muon and a hadronic shower. The optical modules detect the Cherenkov radiation from these particles, and by analysis of the timing of photon hits can approximately determine the direction of the original neutrino with a spatial resolution of approximately 2 degrees.
AMANDA's goal is an attempt at neutrino astronomy, identifying and characterizing extra-solar sources of neutrinos. Compared to underground detectors like Super-Kamiokande in Japan, AMANDA is capable of looking at higher energy neutrinos because it is not limited in volume to a manmade tank; however, it has much less accuracy because of the less controlled conditions and wider spacing of photomultipliers. Super-Kamiokande can look at much greater detail at neutrinos from the Sun and those generated in the Earth's atmosphere; however, at higher energies, the spectrum should include neutrinos dominated by those from sources outside the solar system. Such a new view into the cosmos could give important clues in the search for Dark Matter and other astrophysical phenomena.
Thieves target 60-ton neutrino detector. (Soviet-American Gallium Experiment near town of Baksan, Russia)(Brief Article)
Nov 14, 1997; MOSCOW--For much of the past year, government officials have been trying to confiscate 60 tons of ultrapure gallium that forms...