Science is a wonderful thing and sometimes science is happening right under our feet. Like the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) that is happening at Fermilab and the Sanford Underground Research Facility. DUNE is sending neutrinos from Fermilab to Sanford in an effort to collect data that could lead to answers about the origins of matter and black holes.
DUNE will consist of two neutrino detectors placed in the world’s most intense neutrino beam. One detector will record particle interactions near the source of the beam, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. A second, much larger, detector will be installed more than a kilometer underground at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota — 1,300 kilometers downstream of the source. These detectors will enable scientists to search for new subatomic phenomena and potentially transform our understanding of neutrinos and their role in the universe. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility will provide the neutrino beamline and the infrastructure that will support the DUNE detectors.
The experiment aims to help us better understand how neutrinos work and what larger role they play in the universe. Having the experiment deep in the earth helps scientists better study proton decay safely which could lead to even more scientific discovery. Fermilab was once known for having the largest particle accelerator on earth but has since lost that title to CERN. While the accelerator has lost its title, the lab is still working on important experiments like DUNE and they also collaborate with CERN and share resources.
It’s pretty amazing to know that experiments like this are happening right under us while we go about our day to day lives. It will be interesting to see what DUNE finds through these experiments and if we get any closer to answering questions.
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