Fermilab Small Particles Big Science The International LBNF DUNE Project
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[Fermilab Small Particles Big Science The International LBNF DUNE Project]
This is Fermilab, a Department of Energy national laboratory near Chicago.
It’s the starting place for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, DUNE, powered by the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, LBNF.
The experiment begins with Fermilab’s accelerator complex, which moves protons close to the speed of light.
It’s all part of an effort by more than a thousand scientists from around the world to figure out how tiny particles called neutrinos work, and what role they play in the evolution of our universe.
Neutrinos are the most abundant matter particles in the cosmos, but very hard to catch.
Trillions stream through you every second without leaving a trace.
At LBNF, the beam of protons will smash into a target, creating the most intense beam of neutrinos in the world.
Scientists will collect data to measure properties of neutrinos close to the source and again far away.
Neutrinos change as they travel, so scientists are sending them straight through 1300 kilometers of rock toward the DUNE detectors at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.
The detectors can also look for the birth of neutron stars and black holes by catching neutrinos from exploding stars.
The 1.5 kilometer deep detectors will be filled with 70,000 tons of liquid argon, making them the largest neutrino detectors in the world.
As neutrinos interact with the cold liquid, they create a shower of other particles and light.
Those particle tracks are then picked up by electronics and transmitted as data to the surface.
The information will be analyzed by scientists at collaborating institutions in countries around the world.
They’ll use this data to solve unanswered questions about neutrinos and maybe even figure out why matter exists – things like planets, stars, and even you.
More than 800 scientists from 150 institutions in 27 countries are working on the LBNF/DUNE project, including Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA.
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