NEWCUT Hungary-Japan Laboratory Opens

Members of the Muographers General Assembly along with selected special guests visited the Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) in Abiko (Chiba, Japan) to take part in the official opening ceremony of the first Hungary-Japan scientific joint lab called NEWCUT.  NEWCUT is named for the institute/industrial partnerships involved:  NEC, Wigner RCP, CRIEPI, and UTokyo.  This unique collaboration has produced the world’s longest (6 meters), vertically rotatable, directional spectrometer that has been specially designed to make the most world’s most accurate, angle-dependent muon energy spectrum measurements.  By investing in this spectrometer to acquire a more accurate muon energy spectrum measurement, the data obtained in muography experiments worldwide can be analysed more accurately and efficiently.

Installing the first detectors in the spectrometer

The NEWCUT spectrometer, like all spectrometers, is composed of several detectors (10 detectors presently which will be upgraded later to 19 detectors). The NEWCUT spectrometer can measure muon energy in zenith directions seamlessly.  This is necessary to measure the angle-dependent muon energy spectrum.  By counting the number of muons collected vs. the energy of each muon, the number of muons is more accurately predicted for fieldwork muography surveys and muography simulations.


The first detector is installed

How does this particular NEWCUT spectrometer operate?  Low energy muons are caught in radiation shields that cover each of the 10 detectors to count the number of arriving muons and measure the number of higher energy muons that can penetrate these shields.  This information can be applied to real-world muography targets since if a muon can penetrate 20 cm of lead that muon would also have enough energy to penetrate the same amount of rock.  Muons that can penetrate 20 cm of lead will subsequently penetrate the next detector and be counted.  The amount of lead layers this particular muon will then be able to travel through is carefully tracked via the detectors and will determine its energy.  Lower muons are measured by the position at which they cease to move and higher energy muons are measured by the amount of scattering.  Since the flux of the muon energies varies depending on the angle they arrive at, uniformly rotating the detectors is essential.

Hungarian Ambassador, Dr. Norbert Palanovics, Dezső Varga (Wigner RCP), and László Oláh (Muographix/ERI, UTokyo) 

The Hungarian Ambassador, Dr. Norbert Palanovics, gave a speech that emphasized the close ties that have existed between the Hungarian and Japanese muography research communities.  This has included academic agreements between UTokyo and Wigner RCP in 2015 and 2016 and an agreement between NEC, UTokyo and Wigner RCP in 2017.  Next, representatives from the collaborators gave presentations.  Dezső Varga (Wigner RCP) described how this new spectrometer is going to be applied to the scientific goals that have been set.  Hiroyuki Tanaka (Muographix/ERI, UTokyo) included a demonstration of the rotation of the spectrometer and an opportunity for the audience to see the installed detectors. 

Hiroyuki Tanaka (Muographix/ERI, UTokyo) during the demonstration of the spectrometer rotation at the official opening ceremony.

This lecture was followed by an official ribbon cutting ceremony with Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Norbert Palanovics, the scientists, Dezső Varga and László Oláh (Muographix/ERI, UTokyo), responsible for installing the detectors, also including members of CRIEPI, NEC, UTokyo and Muographers 2018 General Assembly participants.

Ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the NEWCUT Lab

In the near future, the spectrometer at NEWCUT Lab will be upgraded.  The empty slots of the spectrometer will be filled with 9 new detectors.