Image from a neutrino detection experiment.
January 8, 2010
About 40 scientists involved in construction of the nation's largest "neutrino" detector will meet January 8-10 at Southern Methodist University to discuss the design of the $278 million science experiment .
SMU is one of the collaborators on the federally funded project, which physicists hope will shed more light on the characteristics of neutrinos, minute particles that pass through ordinary matter almost undisturbed and are thus extremely difficult to detect.
The 220-ton detector, being built in northern Minnesota, is the "integration prototype" for a much larger 14,000-ton detector. Both are part of NOvA, a cooperative project of the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and the University of Minnesota's school of physics and astronomy. The project may ultimately aid understanding of matter and dark matter, how the universe formed and evolved, and current astrophysical events.
The SMU meeting is the first for the collaborators since DOE approved the full-construction start on the project in October. Collaboration scientists will hear technical presentations, including the technical details of software, hardware and calibration, said Thomas Coan, associate professor in SMU's Department of Physics and a scientist on the collaboration team.
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