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The Detectors

This is where the particle detectors sit at 20 milliKelvin, the coldest part of the cryostat. When being used inside the Berkeley cryostat, usually only one or two detector assemblies are in the Stack (all of the cold hardware assembled together). However, inside the mine in Soudan (click here for pictures of the construction of the experiment in the mine), Minnesota, the stack will contain six detector assemblies.

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Particle detector

six particle detectorsThe superconducting detectors, made of either silicon or germanium, are fabricated at Stanford. CDMS II will be using both ZIP (shown in the photo) and FLIP detectors. Every detector has two sides:

  • 1) one with Tungsten phonon detectors (you should be able to see the waffle-like cross-hatching in the photo to the left) and
  • 2) the other with ionization detectors (look for the two concentric circles).

Click on the photo to the left to see an enlarged version of it and get a closer look.

For a write-up on how the detectors operate, check out this page.

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Detector housing

two copper detector housingsThe detector housings, with particle detectors inside them, are called the "detector assemblies." The hexagonal housings are made of pure copper to prevent contamination and protect the detectors from unwanted radiation. Superconducting wires run from the detectors, out the sides of the housing and through the Basement to the Tower and then outside the cryostat to computers and other monitoring systems. Inside a housing are six clamps; three hold each side of a detector in place.

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Updated: (JDR) 05/24/02