Tuesday, November 16, 2010

National Museum of Nature and Science

The National Museum was ... huge! You would need weeks to explore everything in it. I thought it great that they had a lot of Prehistory in it, too.
Starting with methods like Dendrochronology:

over many replica artefacts (including the Lionman from Hohlenstein-Stadel!) to some real goodies like these figurines from Malta, Siberia:

And this is how Japanese people imagine the "barbaric" and "primitive" Neanderthal man:

Looks like my neighbour in the bus ;)

But of course there was also 'real' science, like the Neutrino trap, the Super-Kamiokande-Detektor.

It is basically a huge water tank with many photo-multipliers (the bubbles you can see there). Since neutrinos do not have an electric charge like an electron they are difficult to detect. When they bump into matter, however, they create a charged particle which can be observed. The 50,000 tons of water is a bigger target and thus increases the number of collisions between neutrinos and nucleons or electrons.

One of the purposes of the Super-Kamiokande experiment is to reveal the neutrino properties through the observation of solar neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos and man-made neutrinos.  In 2001 for example, solar neutrino oscillations were discovered by the observation of solar neutrinos. This is to better understand how matter was created in the early universe. Or, through the observation of solar neutrinos, we can predict the activities inside of the sun.
Fascinating, is it not?


  1. nice to know that SK-D is in National Museum of Nature and Science..

  2. Well, the real one is underground...
    However, it is as close as you can get to a piece of the Kamiokande as a non-physicist :)