The Super-K detector

Super-Kamiokande is a 50~kiloton water Cherenkov detector located at the Kamioka Observatory of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo. It was designed to study neutrino oscillations and carry out searches for the decay of the nucleon. The Super-K experiment began in 1996 and in the ensuing years of running has produced extremely important results in the fields of atmospheric and solar neutrino oscillations, along with setting stringent limits on the decay of the nucleon and the existence of dark matter and astrophysical sources of neutrinos. Perhaps most crucially, Super-K for the first time definitively showed that neutrinos have mass and undergo flavor oscillations.

This facility is in the Mozumi mine of the Kamioka Mining Company in Gifu prefecture, in the Japanese alps. Super-K consists of two concentric, optically separated water Cherenkov detectors contained in a stainless steel tank 42 meters high and 39.3 meters in diameter, holding a total mass of 50,000 tons of water. The inner detector is comprised of 11,146 Hamamatsu~R3600 50~cm diameter photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), viewing a cylindrical volume of pure water 16.9~m in radius and 36.2~m high.

The Super-KAVE created by Ben Izatt

Summer student Ben Izatt created the Super-KAVE, a 3D immersive visualization in the DiVE of the Super-Kamiokande detector.  You can fly around the detector, look at photomultiplier tube hits in time or charge mode, see the Cherenkov cone, and turn different particles on and off. Here’s a video, by Dave Zielinski, and here’s a supernova simulation.

The Super-KAVE event display

Duke at Super-K

Super-K is located near Toyama city in Japan.  In fact, Toyama is a sister city of Durham . Home to Toyama bay, firefly squid and excellent Buri, you can be there in a short 20 hours from Durham!

Members of the group make frequent trips to the experiment and some are based there.  We have been and are involved in both the physical construction and maintenance of the experiment, and data analysis from both Super-K and T2K.