T2K, also known as the Tokai-to-Kamioka long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment, has taken the first step into a realm of research and discovery. Experimenters have confirmed the first production of neutrino beams by observing the muons produced by the proton beam in the neutrino facility at Japan Proton Accelerator Complex (J-PARC). "I am extremely happy to announce the commencement of T2K" said KEK Professor Takashi Kobayashi, acting spokesperson of the experiment. He explained that the T2K experiment has come a long way, dating back to 2001 when the first Letter of Intent was published.
Among the international team of 400 physicists from 12 countries, Canadian scientists have made a significant impact to the T2K experiment. They've created the off -axis beam design concept to obtain higher beam intensities at the correct energies, the proton beam transport scheme from the accelerator to the target and the beam monitoring device. TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics has also provided the technology to provide remote handling systems for the maintenance of the final focus beam monitors, the target and the horn system. Currently, the T2K-Canada collaboration includes about 25 scientists, 25 technical staff, and 10 students from the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Regina, University of Toronto, York University, University of Victoria, and TRIUMF who are funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the National Research Council.
Sampa Bhadra professor at York University expressed her excitement "We were very happy to see the first image of the proton beam at the target with the Optical Transition Radiation detector built in Canada." TRIUMF's director, Nigel S. Lockyer, also commented on the significance of this experiment "The neutrino is perhaps the most elusive particle in the universe. This project moves us one step closer to understanding the role of the neutrino in the early universe. This is a great success for the international community and for Canada and it builds upon the tremendous achievements of SNO in the study of neutrinos." The TRIUMF team includes Jaap Dornboos, Jean-Michel Poutissou, Akira Konaka, Ewart Blackmore, Kentaro Mizouchi, Clive Mark and his team, Dave Morris, and many others. Congratulations!
By: Maria Jose Crousillat
Based on TRIUMF's Press Release "Neutrino Experiment in Japan Starts Operation - Canada a Key Contributor"