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Fibre laser hydrophones for cosmic ray particle detection

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Author: Buis, E.J. · Doppenberg, E.J.J. · Nieuwland, R.A. · Toet, P.M.
Publisher: Institute of Physics IOP
Source:Journal of Instrumentation, March
Identifier: 492793
Keywords: Electronics · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Physics & Electronics · OPT - Optics · TS - Technical Sciences


The detection of ultra high energetic cosmic neutrinos provides a unique means to search for extragalactic sources that accelerate particles to extreme energies. It allows to study the neutrino component of the GZK cut-off in the cosmic ray energy spectrum and the search for neutrinos beyond this limit. Due to low expected flux and small interaction cross-section of neutrinos with matter large experimental set-ups are needed to conduct this type of research. Acoustic detection of cosmic rays may provide a means for the detection of ultra-high energetic neutrinos. Using relative low absorption of sound in water, large experimental set-ups in the deep sea are possible that are able to detect these most rare events, but it requires highly sensitive hydrophones as the thermo-acoustic pulse originating from a particle shower in water has a typical amplitude as low as a mPa. It has been shown in characterisation measurements that the fibre optic hydrophone technology as designed and realised at TNO provides the required sensitivity. Noise measurements and pulse reconstruction have been conducted that show that the hydrophone is suited as a particle detector.