Accident ruins major detector

4 December 2001

On 12 November, thousands of photomultipliers imploded in the huge Superkamiokande detector in Japan, which has produced important results on neutrino physics.

The detector uses 50 000 tonnes of pure water, 1000 m below ground, and it is monitored by 11 200 large (50 cm diameter) photomultiplier tubes. Most of these tubes were destroyed, also wreaking havoc with the detector infrastructure.

Superkamiokande director Yoji Totsuka vowed: “We will rebuild the detector.”

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