Nuclear physics: installation of CUORE detector array completed
The CUORE - Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events project carried out by the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) takes a step forward. This project aims at developing a cryogenic system for the observation of rare physical events. The 19-tower detector array, designed to investigate the properties of neutrinos, was at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories. This complex operation brings the start of scientific operations nearer.
The very complex and delicate installation of the 19 towers composing the CUORE detector array, was successfully completed. CUORE is an experiment of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) located at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories. “All the 19 towers composing the detector array, housing 988 tellurium dioxide crystals of almost 750 kg of weight, are now suspended at the coldest point of the experiment cryostat”, said Oliviero Cremonesi, spokesperson for the experiment.
Therefore, the start of the scientific operations of this complex experiment is approaching. “Now the collaboration is getting ready for the finishing touches to the system in order to proceed, in the next few months, with the closing of the cryostat, its cooling and the start of the scientific operations”, continued Cremonesi.
Designed to work under ultra-cold conditions, CUORE is the largest cryogenic detector which operates at temperatures near to absolute zero. Made of hundreds of tellurium dioxide crystals, the experiment aims at investigating neutrino properties – which are elusive elementary particles building up the Universe, and in particular a rare phenomenon called double beta decay without the emission of any neutrinos. Detection of this process would help define the mass and specific nature of neutrinos as well as provide a possible interpretation of the asymmetry between the matter and the antimatter in the Universe.
The experiment aims at chasing the so-called Majorana neutrinos: a special type of particles hypothesized by the Italian physicist in the ’30s. With this purpose, a large international collaboration is involved in the experiment, including 130 scientists from thirty institutions from Italy, USA, China, Spain and France. The INFN is involved in the experiment with its sections of Milano-Bicocca, Bologna, Genoa, Padua, Rome La Sapienza, and INFN National Laboratories of Gran Sasso, Frascati and Legnaro.