Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Calibration of MINOS Detector

For those of you not familiar with MINOS, you may read about it at their homepage. This is an experiment that not only detects, but measure the neutrino oscillation. The neutrinos are created from the Main Injector at Fermilab and shoots out to two detectors: the near detector a few meters away at Fermilab, and the far detector in a mine near Soudan, Minnesota. The neutrinos actually pass through the earth on its way to Soudan.

Anyway, the seminar that I attended this afternoon was on the calibration of both the near and far detector. It was extremely fascinating, because the exercise in calibration isn't trivial, not by any stretch of the imagination. It is amazing how much effort is put in just on characterizing the behavior of the detectors and how to calibrate such a thing. There are even Ph.D thesis on nothing but such detector calibration.

It isn't surprising that such efforts are being put in, considering that for one to trust the experimental data, the detector must be fully understood.


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