Nuclear Physics – Geoneutrino Detection


Another technology project is the Earth AntineutRino TomograpHy (EARTH) project. This is an international collaboration between the Stichting EARTH Foundation, University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University and iThemba LABS.

The long term goal of the overarching project is a 3D image of the location and characterization of radiogenic heat sources inside Earth through a global array of direction-sensitive antennas measuring of antineutrinos (known as geoneutrinos) emitted from the naturally radioactive Uranium and Thorium inside Earth.

A shorter term goal is the development of a 3D image of the interior of nuclear reactor cores by such detectors as nuclear power reactors are intense sources of antineutrinos as well. This project is starting out small by first proving that direction sensitive detection of low energy antineutrinos is feasible.  At present preparations are made to test a module of a prototype detector called GiZA (Geoneutrinos in ZA).

A representation of the GiZA (Geoneutrinos in ZA) scintilator detector designed in The Netherlands to be used to detect low energy antineutrinos at a the nuclear power reactor Koeberg