- Number 286 |
- May 11, 2009
Officials break ground for the world’s most advanced neutrino experiment
Some members of the NOvA
collaboration, which comprises
180 scientists and engineers from
28 institutions. Photo: George Joch,
Argonne National Laboratory.
Ash River, Minn. – Construction begins this month on a cutting-edge physics laboratory in northern Minnesota, supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
On May 1, Congressmen James Oberstar, Minn., and Bill Foster, Ill., joined Dennis Kovar, DOE Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics, and officials from DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Minnesota to break ground for NOvA, the world’s most advanced neutrino experiment.
"This project is part of a bold, visionary initiative which will have profound implications for our understanding of the structure and evolution of the universe," Congressman Oberstar said.
The DOE Office of Science has provided $40.1 million in Recovery Act funding for the construction project. It will provide an additional $9.9 million in Recovery Act funding to Fermilab, which manages the project, for purchasing key high-tech components for the project.
The NOvA project will construct the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance, NOvA, detector facility. The lab will house a 15,000-ton particle detector that will investigate the role of subatomic particles called neutrinos in the origin of the universe.
“This project represents the kind of investment that simultaneously supports basic scientific research, our national labs and our economy," Congressman Foster said.
When the detector is completed, physicists will explore the mysterious behavior of neutrinos by examining pulses of neutrinos sent straight through the earth from Fermilab in Illinois to the NOvA detector facility in Minnesota. The neutrinos travel the 500 miles in less than three milliseconds. “The planning for the NOvA Facility has been years in the making, and we’re very excited that it is becoming a reality,” said University of Minnesota physics professor Marvin Marshak, a lead faculty member on the project. “This project will provide tremendous opportunities for University of Minnesota faculty and students to work with experts from around the world on important research.”
The NOvA collaboration includes 180 scientists and engineers from 28 institutions, including personnel from DOE's Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory.
Submitted by DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory