UWinnipeg collaborates with Super-Kamiokande

Dr. Blair Jamieson

Dr. Blair Jamieson. Photo supplied.

Observing supernova relic neutrinos from the ‘big bang’ is on the mind of University of Winnipeg physicist Dr. Blair Jamieson. The refurbished Japanese Super-Kamiokande*(Super-K), the world’s largest water Cherenkov detector, can make these observations — and it is back in business. Several UWinnipeg students are working with Jamieson as part of the international collaboration, contributing to the calibration of Super-K in this new phase by making measurements of the locations of the light-sensitive detectors using photogrammetry. 

refurbished Super-Kamiokande

refurbished Super-Kamiokande

The refurbished Super-K begins a new phase. The detector now has improved neutron detection in neutrino events, allowing more sensitive searches for diffuse supernova neutrino background (DSNB, also called supernova relic neutrinos).

If there is a core-collapse supernova in our galaxy, the added sensitivity using Gd neutron tagging will give more accurate measurements of the dynamics of the core-collapes, and the direction to the supernova.

The Gd phase of Super-K will set better limits on proton decay by improving the identification of the background neutrino events and the reactor neutrinos will be detected, allowing new analyses and the ability cut these events from other analyses.

“I am inspired by the Japanese group’s efforts to get Gd loaded into the detector, despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions,” said Jamieson.  “It will be exciting to be a part of the new discoveries in physics that this new phase of the operation is enabling.”
 
Jamieson notes that this is the first time in the more than 30-year history of this experiment that most of the shifts moved online, rather than in person. The international group of collaborators was able to support the Japanese groups by taking a more than usual number of shifts, including Jamieson. He completed three weeks of shifts monitoring the detector remotely this summer to ensure the continued operation of Super-K during the Gd-loading. 

MEDIA CONTACT
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca

 

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