Kuraray Co., Ltd. announces that, following the receipt of major orders for plastic scintillation fiber ("PSF") from two U.S.-based elementary particle research laboratories, it is starting product deliveries to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, where PSF will be used as a detector material for studying neutrinos and quarks.
PSF is a type of plastic optical fiber that was developed by Kuraray in the 1980s as a material that can be used to detect radiation, utilizing manufacturing methods found nowhere else in the world. Following this development, Kuraray took steps to improve the quality of this material in light of its steady efforts to maintain a continual supply of PSF to a wide array of research institutions and accumulate expertise in related technologies. Such research institutes include the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Japan and the Swiss-based European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which possesses one of the largest high-energy accelerator facilities in the world. As a result of these efforts, PSF has become the de-facto standard for radiation-detecting materials, leading to this major order, which is nearly equivalent to the total amount of shipments Kuraray has made over approximately the past 20 years.
Research into neutrinos and quarks-for which PSF will be used-builds upon that conducted by Masatoshi Koshiba, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002, and the team of Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008. The results of this research are highly anticipated.
In addition, PSF is expected to be used as a material for detecting dark matter, an activity that has become more widespread of late in the field of astrophysics.
Taking great pride in the contributions being made to leading academic research activities through materials developed using the Company's proprietary technology, Kuraray will continue to promote the development of PSF technology as it focuses on pioneering new areas in which this material can be applied.
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