The PICO 60 experiment is currently the largest bubble chamber under operation. It was filled with CF3I and taking data at in the ladder lab area of SNOLAB  from 2013 to May 2014 (to take a closer look at the experiment follow this link and choose image 25 on the virtual reality tour of SNOLAB). View from the top of the water shield. The experiment is located in the pressure vessel at the centre. 

In summer of 2014 the data taking with the detector was suspended to allow the detector to be upgraded and refurbished. This started in 2015 and PICO 60 was cleaned and reassembled so that a new run started in summer 2016. For this run II of the experiement it was filled with C3F8 to increase the sensitivity to spin dependent dark matter interactions. The new run also allowed the detector to be filled with the full 53 litres of active mass. In the first run only two high speed, high resolution cameras were installed which only allowed the active volume to be about 25 litres. The experiment was assembled and cleaned so that particulate contamination was reduced significantly. The first results from the second run were published in PRL in 2017.
Inner vessel of PICO 60 during the installation for run 2 in June 2016.


Dark matter experiments are located in laboratories deep underground so that natural radiation can not create false signals. In addition the PICO 60 experiment was surrounded by a water shield that absorbes neutrons that are created in the rock surrounding the lab. It is therefore often very anticlimactic to visit a dark matter experiment in its underground location: no active part of the experiment is visible and instead all you see is a large water tank. The images on this page show images from the construction phase when the inside of the experiment was accessible.
Image of the outer shielding during installation

PICO 60 was decommissioned after the end of the data taking in the summer of 2017. The water tank and location of the experiment are now used for the new "right-side-up" chamber, PICO 40L.


last update: 29.07.2019
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