Monday, March 17, 2008

House-Sized Particle Device Circles Europe

The KATRIN spectrometer is part of an experiment to try to measure the tiny mass of the electron neutrino.  I'll discuss what that means in three subsequent posts, Electrons and Their Siblings, Neutrinos and Their Siblings, and How to Measure Electron Neutrino Mass.  
In this post, let's just consider the trip the KATRIN spectrometer took in January 2007.  

They had to get it from where it was made, near Munich, Germany, to Karlsruhe, Germany, a distance of 400 km.  But there was no way to do this directly, so they had to take the 9000 km route depicted on the map!  
Along the way, it had to navigate some tight quarters!
Here's a video of the trip through that town, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, just north of the destination of Karlsruhe.  The best part is from about 1:00 to 4:00.

Be sure to tune in for future physics posts which will explain what this thing does. 

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