There was a nice article about the Double Chooz experiment in Symmetry Breaking recently. It was also featured in today’s Fermilab Today news letter. Since I don’t think I have posted an explanation of the experiment I thought I would just share this link to the article.
Last week the Double Chooz collaboration met in Heidelberg, Germany at the Max-Plank-Institute for Nuclear Physics. This was a very exciting meeting because the first detector has been up and running for a few months now, and people have had a chance to look at the data.
This was my first meeting in Europe, and my first time ever in Germany. The flight from California was arduousness, 11 hours, but we did fly non-stop which at least allowed for the possibility of sleep. I dozed in and out a little, and then had to give a talk to the collaboration exactly 24 hours after I woke up that day! It was a long day, but to my surprise I had plenty of energy to give a good talk. The coffee helped too!
Unfortunately, our trip did not allow for any sightseeing. There is a really neat castle in Heidelberg that we saw while walking to dinner, I would have liked to take a look inside. We did have a nice dinner at an old German beer house. Long wooden tables, family style meal, and large beer steins, what more could you ask for?
Although our detector is pumping out it’s first data, installation is not entirely complete. UC Davis is responsible for the fabrication and installation of a glove box (yep, a big box that you stick your hands into) which will allow us to deploy radioactive sources into our detector for calibration. Basically, we need to introduce a known signal and compare it with what our detector sees. This allows us to better understand how well we can reconstruct the position and energy of neutrino interactions inside our detector. Late next month I will go to Chooz to install the glove box and stay for a few months to deploy the sources. Perhaps my next post will be from France. Au Revoir.