USD To Celebrate Groundbreaking of Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

Photo of Yates Sanford Lab - credit Sanford Lab. The Yates surface facility at the Sanford Lab in Lead, South Dakota. Credit Sanford Lab.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will celebrate the groundbreaking of the Sanford Underground Research Facility’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, an international collaboration including scientists from USD, that will house the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

“The discovery of neutrinos mass has created a potential tantalizing connection between the observed asymmetry of matter over antimatter in our universe and postulated neutrino properties,” said Dongming Mei, associate physics professor and director of the Center for Ultra-Low Background Experiments (CUBED). “The USD group has been focusing on studying the nature of neutrinos, supernova neutrinos, cosmic ray neutrinos, and theoretical aspects of neutrino properties.”

Today’s groundbreaking will occur at 3:20 p.m. CDT at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. A livestream will be available.

The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) will house the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which will be built and operated by a group of roughly 1,000 scientists and engineers from 30 countries.

When complete, LBNF/DUNE will be the largest experiment ever built in the United States to study the properties of mysterious particles called neutrinos. Unlocking the mysteries of these particles could help explain more about how the universe works, and why matter exists at all.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located outside Chicago, will generate a beam of neutrinos and send them 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) through the earth to Sanford Lab, where a four-story-high, 70,000-ton detector will be built beneath the surface to catch those neutrinos.

At its peak, construction of LBNF is expected to create almost 2,000 jobs throughout South Dakota, and a similar number of jobs in Illinois.

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