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NA48: From Russia with Krypton

The CERN experiment NA48 studies the matter-antimatter imbalance by measuring the decay of particles called neutral kaons and antikaons, their antimatter counterparts. These particles decay in several ways, and careful study gives an accurate handle on nature's apparent preference for matter over antimatter.

A key component of the NA48 detector is a very low temperature cooling vessel, or cryostat, built under an ISTC programme. The cryostat was manufactured by Moscow-based company Krunichev Enterprises, better known for the "Proton" space rocket and the "Mir" space station, in collaboration with ENTEK, a large institute of the Russian Federation's Atomic Energy Ministry.

Representatives of Krunichev Enterprises and the NA48 collaboration welcome the arrival of the experiment's new cryostat from Dubna in July 1995.

Here, the cryostat containing the liquid krypton calorimeter is seen installed in the NA48 detector.

Through links with the JINR laboratory, NA48 has forged several initiatives designed to involve Russian physicists and industry. The 22 tons of krypton which form the active medium of the experiment's energy-measuring calorimeter were manufactured at a specially-built factory in Russia.

Under extremely clean conditions, the liquid krypton calorimeter is prepared for installation in the cryostat.

No other supplier could offer the same delivery schedule or price, and the krypton was delivered on-time, fully satisfying the exacting quality criteria specified in the contract. In addition to the cryostat built by Krunichev, some 14 000 electrical feed-though contacts were supplied by the Budker Institute in Novosibirsk, whilst vacuum equipment and stiffening frames have also been supplied by Russian organizations.

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