Planning for the next generation of proton-decay experiments in the United States Page: 2 of 16
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totally active calorimeters (typically using liquid scintillator).
Ideas for more advanced detectors were also presented: the liquid-
argon drift calorimeter by the HPW collaboration, and the R&D program
at Berkeley on a very high pressure argon time projection chamber.
In its recommendations , the panel advised that no new
experiments be approved but that the situation be reviewed after a
year, when results might be known from the water Cerenkov detectors
and when R&D work in support of the calorimeter proposals would be
completed. The panel also suggested that a workshop be held soon to
discuss the optimum design and deployment of the next U.S.
experiment. This workshop will be held at Argonne National Laboratory
in June. Finally, the panel suggested that a national underground
laboratory should be considered, to support both proton decay
experiments and other underground physics research. A workshop on
this subject will be held at Los Alamos National Laboratory in
I shall review the two proposals for new experiments which were
presented to the panel and have not already been described at this
meeting (Soudan 2 and the Penn Design Study), and also present the
latest results from the Soudan 1 experiment. A synopsis of the issues
to be resolved for the U.S. program is presented in the last section.
2. Results from Soudan 1
The Soudan nucleon decay program [2-6] is being carried out in
the Soudan iron mine in northeastern Minnesota, at a depth of 2000 m
of water equivalent. A 31-ton prototype experiment, Soudan 1, has
been built and is now being operated by a University of Minnesota -
Argonne National Laboratory collaboration. The Soudan 1 detector
consists of a 3 m x 3 m x 2 m block of taconite(iron ore)-loaded
concrete, which is instrumented with 3456 gas proportional tubes in a
crosser array, and has an average density of 1.85 g/cm3. The detector
began outine data acquisition in August 1981; turnon of the
scintillation-counter active shield in October 1981 made the
experiment fully operational. This shield surrounds the detector on
the top and four sides, and signals the presence of charged particles
from cosmic-ray interactions in the rock around the experiment. Such
events can produce tWeergy neutrals which resemble nucleon decays
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Ayres, D.S. Planning for the next generation of proton-decay experiments in the United States, article, January 1, 1982; Illinois. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1112452/m1/2/: accessed March 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.