Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre

SNOLAB Experiment: HALO

Experiment Website

HALO (Helium and Lead Observatory) is a dedicated supernova neutrino detector comprised of 76 tonnes of lead and instrumented with 3He neutron detectors.

In the HALO experiment, an intense burst of neutrinos from a potential core-collapse supernova will produce neutrons from neutrino interactions in lead. The neutrons will be a clear signature for the detection of a supernova.

Unlike the light which arrives later, neutrinos carry information about the inner mechanism of the core collapse which is important in understanding stellar evolution. As part of the Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS), HALO will help detect a galactic supernovae by its neutrino burst, allowing time to notify astronomers in advance of the light signal, enabling the observation of the first visible phases of the process.

The Canadian institutions active on the HALO experiment include Laurentian, SNOLAB and TRIUMF.