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An illustration of the KamLAND hall and access tunnels

An illustration of the KamLAND detector.
A drawing of the KamLAND detector components. The balloon is filled with 1000tons of liquid scintillator and is surrounded by 1879 PMTs mounted on a steel sphere. The liquid scintillator acts as both the target and detection volume. The volume between the balloon and the steel sphere is filled with non-scintillating mineral oil - this acts as a shield from low radioactivity coming from the surrounding rocks and the PMTs themselves. Finally, the volume between the steel sphere and the rock has a third layer, it's filled with water with PMTs mounted on the cylindrical surface on the outside KamLAND. This final layer uses Cherenkov radiation to detect muons passing through the detector. The muons can interact with the material in the central detector producing background radiation. By knowing exactly when a muon passes through KamLAND, the detector volume can be vetoed, to avoid detecting the background.