Queen's Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Group
Queen's SNO group, January 2003. Picture by Doug Morren.
Contribution to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
- The leaders of the SNO collaboration at its inception in 1984 were George Ewan,
Queen's and Herb Chen, UC Irvine.
- Art McDonald of Queen's has been the SNO Institute director since 1990 during the
construction and data-taking phase.
- Queen's has taken the responsibility
for the administration of the project through the SNO Institute.
Backgrounds in the detector
- A variety of optical and source calibrations have been developed and used in
the detector. Queen's has the major responsibility in this area.
- The calibration source manipulator system was designed and constructed at Queen's.
- Measurement of low and high energy backgrounds in the detector, and analysis and simulation of
backgrounds affecting neutrino measurements
Detector performance simulations
- Selection of photomultiplier system.
- Assembly, testing and installation of the 10,000 photomultiplier tubes, and cabling to the
- Selection of special low background glass for use with photomultipliers.
- In the design phase, many Monte Carlo simulations were made to optimise the design of the detector.
- In the
data taking phase, calculations have continued to model the response of the detector and the performance of
the calibration sources.
- Data analysis is done at several institutions. This is a major area of the current work at Queen's.
- Responsible for the SNO event display software.
- Involved in the design, implementation, and maintenance of the SNO data
aquisition software in cooperation with the University of Washington.
Other Contributions involving Queen's personnel
- Water systems and radon emanation testing
- Electronics with Canadian Microelectronics Corporation
- Acrylic vessel construction
More Information about the Queen's Group
The Queen's University SNO group is analyzing solar neutrino data
to understand the help us understand the nature of neutrinos, a tiny
fundamental particle which has no electrical charge and very
little mass. Details of neutrinos and the solar
neutrino problem are available at the SNO collaboration's
The SNO detector will be taking data for several more years and the
Queen's group will continue to take a leading role in understanding
the solar-neutrino data.
This is a time-elapsed photo (credit: Lorne Erhardt) taken of a
blue LED as it was moved by the SNO calibration-source control
system. The manipulator, as it is called, is a rope-and-pulley system
that can move calibration sources throughout the 12-meter-diameter
detector with approximately 5 cm accuracy. This was taken during
testing of a full-scale mock-up which was hung over the edge of
Stirling Hall, the physics building at Queen's.
Interested in Graduate School with SNO?
Queen's students are intimately involved in the data-taking and
analysis efforts and have made major contributions to the
collaboration as a whole. The efforts of students has been directed at
fundamental issues to SNO: solar neutrino analysis, optical and energy
calibration, and water systems development. The key role played by
Queen's students has served their education well and they have gone
onto prestigious institutions such as Princeton University, Los
Alamos National Labs and UCLA. Students who have chosen industrial careers have
gone on to JDS Uniphase, TeleSat Canada, Defence Research
Establishment Ottawa, and other excellent companies.
The Queen's group is always interested to hear from undergraduates
interested in neutrino physics. Please contact Professor Aksel Hallin
Specialized SNO Groups at Queen's
a list of Queen's people working in SNO. A full collaboration list is
there as well.