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T2K (Tokai-to-Kamioka) – an international experiment led by Japan and part funded by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) - will probe the strange properties of the enigmatic neutrino to unprecedented precision, by firing the most intense neutrino beam ever designed from the east coast of Japan, all the way under the country, to a detector near Japan’s west coast. 

The T2K project, began data-taking in 2009, and has the primary goal of measuring for the first time a third type of neutrino mixing (related to the parameter theta13), which would result in the appearance of electron-type neutrinos from a beam of muon-type neutrinos after they have travelled 295 km across Japan.

T2K is the first of the “next generation” of oscillation experiment designed with very high intensity neutrino beams. The T2K “far detector” is the tried-and-tested Super-Kamiokande 50kt water Cherenkov detector, and the beam is optimised to enhance the oscillation signal and to suit the energies at which Super-Kamiokande can best measure the incoming neutrino type and energy.

Both the beam and the way its neutrinos interact with water must be very well understood for an oscillation discovery to be made, and a “near detector” will be positioned a few hundred metres from the beam origin to make measurements on the beam before it starts oscillating.

The T2K collaboration consists of 508 physicists from 62 institutes in 12 countries.

UK Involvement

Imperial College London

Lancaster University

Queen Mary, University of London

STFC Daresbury Laboratory

STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

University of Liverpool

University of Oxford

University of Sheffield

University of Warwick

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000