From 4th to 14th November 2009 , Join a motley band of scientists, friends and followers hiding out in the depths of London Bridge’s atmospheric SHUNT Lounge for an extraordinary voyage through the strange seas of particle physics.
With 50,000 tonnes of super pure water and a crew of expert navigators from Imperial College London and Queen Mary University of London, Super K Sonic Booooum is an installation demonstrating the visual equivalent of a massive sonic boom.
Super K Sonic BOOOOum consists of a fifteen meter long ‘river’ of water running through a tunnel lined with thousands of silver balloons(photomultiplier tubes). A boat is pulled through the tunnel on a submerged track using a pulley system, with sound and lighting effects.
Members of the public can ride in the boat accompanied by the physicists working on the Super Kamiokande in Japan.
This installation is designed to deliver physically thrilling experiences; it aims to bring the audiences on a journey through the physics of the impossible.
The Super-Kamiokande (Super K) is a neutrino observatory in Japan, a massive subterranean scientific instrument used – amongst other things – to discover traces of exploding stars out there in the universe.
Professor Dave Wark , Dr Yoshi Uchida, Dr Matthew Malek, Dr Francesca Di Lodovico, Dr Ben Still, Dr Ryan Terri and Melissa George appeared in the installation, guiding curious visitors through the world of particle physics in a rubber dinghy. They are all working on the T2K neutrino oscillation experiment, which uses Super K.
One of the most abundant building blocks of nature, the neutrino is also one of the least understood. They interact very rarely with normal matter – you, me, the Earth, or any other bit of the visible universe – and as such, when observed, can give us insight into the basic nature of matter, the universe, and the laws of physics.
Invisible to high-energy detectors like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, scientists search for neutrinos using highly specialized low-energy detectors like the Super K neutrino observatory. As neutrino particles interact in the Super K detector, they produce electrons, muons and other tiny particles travelling faster than the local speed of light; it is these particles that produce the ‘sonic boom’, and it is this science which inspires Super K Sonic Booooum.