The experiment of Reines and Cowan

The target is made of about 400 liters of water mixed with cadmium chloride (cadmium water in gray on the picture).

The anti-neutrino coming from the nuclear reactor interacts with a proton of the target, giving a positron and a neutron. The positron annihilates with an electron of target and gives two simultaneous photons. The neutron slows down before being eventually captured by a cadmium nucleus, that gives the emission of photons about one 15 microseconds after those of the positron. All those photons are detected and the 15 microseconds identify the "neutrino" interaction.

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Last update: 26/06/1999 :
Didier Verkindt