Abstract

A long-path-length transmission cell has been used to measure the attenuation coefficients of purified H2O and D2O at various wavelengths between 250 and 580 nm. The principles governing the procedures and corrections for various sources of light attenuation in the transmission cell components are discussed. Detailed chemical histories of the H2O and D2O samples are given. The measured attenuation coefficients of H2O are lower than those of many previous determinations and, where comparable, are close to the record low values of Quickenden and Irvin [ J. Chem. Phys. 72, 4416 ( 1980)]. The measured attenuation coefficients of D2O are the lowest yet achieved and range from 32 × 10−4 cm−1 at 254 nm down to 1.1 × 10−4 cm−1 at 578 nm, attesting to the low level of impurities in our D2O. These results on light transmission in D2O indicate that a large 1000-Mg heavy water Cherenkov detector constructed for the purpose of neutrino detection is not limited by the attenuation length of radiation in the D2O.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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