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The Magazine Of Queen's University

2017 Issue 4: How we learn

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How to clean a neutrino detector

How to clean a neutrino detector

A Kingston company run by mechanical engineering grad Richard Ward, Sc’83, has played a part in keeping one of the cleanest labs on Earth spotless.

Pure Ingenuity’s engineers and fabricators designed and built a rotating aluminum access platform for SNOLAB.

Even though the laboratory is operated as a clean room, it is still necessary to periodically clean minute amounts of radioactive material from the detector vessel.

The platform allows technicians access to clean the inside surface of the neutrino detector vessel.

[neutrino detector]
Peter Skensved is the only person ever to access the top of the acrylic vessel of the SNO+ neutrino detector.

Here, he is seen polishing the surface after making a small modification to the vessel.

To reach this location, he was lowered onto the back of the structure (not visible) that supports the thousands of light sensors seen behind him in the photo. Then he had to squeeze through a narrow opening to be lowered further onto the transparent 12-metre diameter acrylic sphere on which he is perched.

thumbnail: Alumni Review coverOther Feature Stories in the Queen's Alumni Review Physics Issue:

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[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 1-2016]