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Title:The SNO Homepage
Description:SNO Home Page
Keywords:sudbury, neutrino, observatory
The SNO Homepage
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) results have provided
revolutionary insight into the properties of neutrinos and the core of the
sun. The detector, shown in the artist's conception below, was built 6800
feet under ground, in INCO's Creighton mine
near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. SNO was a heavy-water Cherenkov detector
designed to detect neutrinos produced by fusion reactions in the sun. It
used 1000 tonnes of heavy water loaned from
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), and contained by a 12 meter diameter
acrylic vessel. Neutrinos reacted with the
heavy water (D2O) to produce flashes of light called Cherenkov radiation.
This light was then detected by an array of 9600 photomultiplier tubes
mounted on a geodesic support structure
surrounding the heavy water vessel. The detector was immersed in light
(normal) water within a 30 meter barrel-shaped
cavity (the size of a 10 story building!)
excavated from Norite rock. Located in the deepest part of the mine, the
overburden of rock shielded the detector from cosmic rays. The detector
laboratory, still functioning as part of the new
SNOLAB facility, is extremely clean to
reduce background signals from radioactive elements present in the mine dust
which would otherwise hide the very weak signal from neutrinos. Plans are
currently underway to upgrade the SNO detector for the new
SNO+ experiment.
The first co-spokesmen for the SNO collaboration when it was established in 1984 were Professor Herb Chen from U California, Irvine and Professor George Ewan, Queen鈥檚 University. For interesting accounts of the early development work for the SNO experiment, please see:
"Early Development of the Underground SNO Laboratory in Canada" and
"The Funding Campaign for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory", G.T. Ewan and W.F. Davidson, Physics in Canada, Vol. 61, No. 6 (2005), p. 339-346 and 347-350. (download in PDF format)
For a review article summarizing the three phases of the SNO experiment, please see:
"The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory", Nick Jelley, Arthur B. McDonald, and R.G. Hamish Robertson, Annu. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 2009.59:431-465. (download in PDF format)
Recent News
July 2013: Cocconi Prize of the European Physical Society awarded to the SNO and SuperKamiokande Experiments
Apr. 14, 2011: David Sinclar awarded the 2011 CAP-TRIUMF Vogt Medal.
Apr. 13, 2010: Art McDonald awarded the
2010 Killam Prize.
Nov. 12, 2009: SNO Technical Reports now available for download.
May 15, 2009: Art
McDonald elected to UK Royal Society.
June 5, 2008: NCD-phase results released. (paper in PDF format)
Apr. 26, 2007: Art McDonald awarded the
Franklin Medal in Physics.
Feb. 20, 2007:
Art McDonald is appointed to the
Order of Canada.
Nov. 18, 2006: Listen to
mp3 version
of interview with Art McDonald on
CBC Radio Quirks amp; Quarks.
Nov. 15, 2006: SNO celebrates the receipt
of the John C. Polanyi Prize from NSERC
and the completion of very successful operations with heavy water. Read the press release
DOC) and backgrounder
DOC) for details.
In Memoriam: Andre Hamer 1968-2003
Andre Hamer Postgraduate Prizes (Dec. 2, 2004)
Physics Documents
NCD-phase SNO-only chi-squared map for the neutrino
mixing-parameter analysis [Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 111301 (2008)]
Salt-phase SNO-only chi-squared map for the neutrino
mixing-parameter analysis [Phys. Rev. C72, 055502 (2005)]
SNO Web Pages on This Site
SNO Technical Reports (November 12, 2009)
SNO Periodicity Analyses (August 15, 2005)
Salt Phase Results (September 7, 2003)
Neutral Current and Day/Night Results (April 20, 2002)
First Scientific Results from SNO (June 18, 2001)
About Neutrinos and the Solar Neutrino Problem
Description of SNO Detector
SNO Image Catalog
Computer-Generated Images of SNO Events
The SNO Collaboration
Participating Institutions
SNO Contact People
SNO Conference Talks (2003 and earlier)
SNO at the Neutrino 2000 Conference
Publicity: TV, Newspapers...
Employment in SNO
Links to Particle Physics Sites
Other Links of Interest
Internal SNO Documents (Access Restricted)
SNO Web Sites at Participating Institutions
SNOLAB Home Page
Queen's University
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
University of Pennsylvania
University of Washington
Oxford University
Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of British Columbia
Carleton University
University of Guelph
Laurentian University
Brookhaven National Laboratory
University of Texas at Austin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Present Status
June 5, 2008: SNO publishes NCD-phase results (download
May 28, 2007: Heavy water completely drained from acrylic vessel.
November 28, 2006: End of data aquisition with NCD's and heavy water.
February 28, 2005: SNO publishes 391-day salt-phase results (download
PDF, Postscript or
January 2005: Production data taking with NCD array installed.
April 21, 2004: NCD testing and repairing is complete and the ROV is removed from the detector.
February 12, 2004: The NCD's are all installed and we begin the third phase of detector operation.
September 2003: Salt is removed from the heavy water
September 7, 2003: SNO releases Salt Phase Results.
May 2003: NCD pre-deployment welding has just been completed. NCD deployment is scheduled for August.
June 20, 2002: The International Facility for Underground Science receives funding
April 20, 2002: New scientific results released.
June 2001: SNO releases its First Scientific Results on Monday, Jun 18 at 12:15 EDT.
May 2001: Salt has been added to the heavy water to enhance the neutral current efficiency.
This marks the beginning of the second phase of detector operation.
June 2000: SNO presentations at Neutrino 2000
give the current detector status.
November 1999: Detector parameters frozen. Start of production data taking.
Also see SNO Milestones for a history
of SNO milestones
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute (SNOI):
SNO Project Director:
Dr. A.B. McDonald (Queen's University)
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute
Department of Physics, Stirling Hall,
Queen's University at Kingston,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
K7L 3N6
Tel: (613) 533-2702
Fax: (613) 533-6813
SNO Institute Director:
Dr. Tony Noble (Queen's University)
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute
Department of Physics, Stirling Hall,
Queen's University at Kingston,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
K7L 3N6
Tel: (613) 533-2679
Fax: (613) 533-6813
The SNO Site Project Office:
SNO Operations Control Building
INCO Creighton #9 Mine
P.O. Box 159
Lively, Ontario, Canada
P3Y 1M3
Tel: (705) 692-7000
Fax: (705) 692-7001
For general information email:
URL: (Last revised Apr 23, 2014)
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