Bioluminescence studies Return to ANTARES homepage


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Sea water is salty and contains radioactive 40K (potassium-40). in this salt one can found The nucleus of the atoms of this Potassium decay into Calcium and an electron. This electron emits Cerenkov light when travelling through water and may fake a muon cerenkov hit.
Some marine animals, with size ranging from the bacteria up to the fish (not forgetting the shrimp !), are capable of emitting light in a way similar to fireflies.
A measurement and a survey of the amount of light coming from natural radioactivity and bioluminescence is absolutely necessary.
Several kind of instrumented spheres were and are deployed in order to perform these measurements.

The string of Test 1 was first deployed on October 6, 1996 and retrieved on October 8, 1996. From that time many others lines where immersed to get detailed results on this potential background.