KATRIN is a German acronym for an undertaking to measure the mass of the electron antineutrino with sub-eV precision by examining the spectrum of electrons emitted from the beta decay of tritium. The core of the apparatus is a 200-ton spectrometer. In 2015, the commissioning measurements on this spectrometer were completed, successfully verifying its basic vacuum, transmission and background properties. The experiment began running tests in October 2016, with measurements scheduled in 2017.
The spectrometer was built by MAN DWE GmbH in Deggendorf. Although only 350 km from Karlsruhe, the tank's size made land transport impossible. Instead, it was shipped by water, down the Danube to the Black Sea, through the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean to Antwerp, then up the Rhine to Karlsruhe. This 8600 km long detour limited land travel to only the final 7 km from the Leopoldshafen docks to the laboratory.
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