Time for a choose your own adventure poll. Boost to share the story~

You find yourself outside an office building. Today is your big interview day and this office building contains one unfilled job unit. You are so excited your nail beds are sweating. Your interview is in an hour. How shall you prepare?

Follow

You duck into a cafe and order 27% of a coffee and/or tea. After sitting down you take out your interview cheatsheet. Some of the answers haven't been completed yet. You take a look at the first uncompleted answer.

43. Was the liquid scintillation detector in the Mont Blanc laboratory affected by the 1999 tunnel fire, and if so, how?

You tried looking this up on wikipedia an hour ago but with no luck. Maybe mastodon will know...

Was the detector:

You jot down the answer and move onto the next question.

69. How many members of the Nelson and District Power Loom Weavers Trade Union were women in 1908?

You write that down and go to the last one

420. What is blackle?

Oh this is a tough one

Ah yes, of course. That's the answer.

With all the answers completed, and your 27 100ths of a coffeeandortea slurped into oblivion, you leave the cafe establishment and head to the interview zone.

As you walk into the building, the secretary greets you. "Hello." he says, "This is a building. I'm in the building. Are you in this building?"

What do you say?

He nods knowingly. "We are both in the building." he says sagely.

You nod too. "The building is where we are." you echo, with wisdom beyond your years.

...Now what?

"I have an appointment..?" you say, with 40% certainty.

"Oh, worch jorb?" he drawls

"Tunnel Physics Historian!" you say confidently.

"Oh golly!" exclaims the receptionist, "a real life tunnel physics historian! Oh would you please answer a question that has been bothering me? What ever happened to the 90 ton liquid scintillation detector under Mont Blanc in the 1990s? Was it destroyed in the fire?"

You check your cheatsheet with no speed of light delay.

"Not at all. It was removed years before." you say.

(continued)

The ground begins to rumble.

"THAT IS INCORRECT" a voice booms.

Behind you is an 8 foot tall figure, glowing blue. On their chest in Helvetica is written "HISTORY."

"THE 90 TON LIQUID SCINTILLATION DETECTOR WAS PRESENT IN THE TUNNEL GARAGE BUT FAR AWAY FROM THE FIRE. THE DETECTOR'S FIRE SYSTEM DIDN'T EVEN ACTIVATE. THE FIRE HOWEVER MARKED THE END, AS THE EXPERIMENT CONCLUDED AT LEAST WITHIN THE MONTH." the figure exposits forcefully

(continued)

"FOR YOUR CRIME OF COMMUNICATING INCORRECT INFORMATION," it continues, "YOU WILL BE ENROLLED IN A COMPULSORY TUNNEL PHYSICS HISTORY COURSE SPANNING THE REST OF YOUR NATURAL LIFE. HOW DO YOU PLEAD YOUR CASE?"

@blackle oh come on, the correct answer is obviously to bellow back, "INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER"

@blackle the detector is described as surrounded by 200 tons of solid iron slabs. ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/cas

Perusal of Google Scholar shows no new results from Mont Blanc in the 1990s, so it was likely discontinued years before the fire. If it was still present in the tunnel, I doubt that it would have been affected except at most by a loss of electrical power.

@ontploffing Even if there are iron slabs protecting it, maybe it could still be damaged by smoke if the slabs are not airtight around the detector.

@blackle
The individual scintillation detectors are at least watertight, so we're looking for smoke damage to the outside of the equipment.

@blackle One of us is going to end up digging up contact info on the primary investigators and emailing them, huh?

@ontploffing it's quite the mystery, isn't it? it seems like the kind of thing that should be easily found in a final experiment report, but it's not. or, at least, the final report isn't online

@blackle Ooh, this paper says that it persisted until March, 1999, which is the month that the fire was: epj-conferences.org/articles/e

Gonna email some of the authors.

@ontploffing let me know what happens! try emailing from an edu domain if you have one...

@blackle From Dr. Stanley Yen:

> Hello,
I actually have no personal knowledge of the history of the Mont Blanc detector
and its history. One of the Russian co-authors of this paper said it ended in 1999
and I accepted that. I did not know that there was a fire.
For more details of the history, you could ask someone
who was personally involved, like Dr. Walter Fulgione <email redacted>

So I'll email Dr. Fulgione.

copy-pasted email, part 1 

copy-pasted email, part 2 

@blackle I sent pretty much the same thing to Dr. Fulgione, but since he's probably in Italy we might not get a response until tomorrow.

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