An international mega-science project
The international neutrino physics community has come together to develop the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a leading-edge experiment for neutrino science and proton decay studies. This experiment, together with the facility that will support it, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), will be an internationally designed, coordinated and funded program, hosted at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois.
Aiming for transformative discoveries about the universe
The DUNE experiment is designed to achieve discoveries that could transform our understanding of the origins and evolution of the universe:
- Do neutrinos exhibit matter-antimatter asymmetries? Answering this question will help unravel the mystery of why matter generation dominated that of antimatter in the early universe.
- DUNE’s observation of thousands of neutrinos from a core-collapse supernova in the Milky Way would allow us to peer inside a newly-formed neutron star and potentially witness the birth of a black hole.
- With the world’s largest cryogenic particle detector deep underground, DUNE will be able to observe proton decay, if it should occur, and seek a relation between the stability of matter and the Grand Unification of forces.
A dual-site long-baseline facility
Sending neutrinos on a 800 mile (1,300 km) journey
Neutrinos created by the LBNF beamline will travel 800 miles (1,300 km) to intercept DUNE’s massive, cutting-edge neutrino detector at the Sanford Lab. The neutrino beam’s path will lead straight through the earth’s mantle. Low-energy neutrinos can pass easily through soil and rock — about a billion miles (or km) of rock, on average — rarely interacting with the matter. No tunnel is needed for these ghostly particles.
How do we know this is safe?
Neutrinos are among the most abundant particles in the universe, a billion times more abundant than the particles that make up stars, planets and people. Each second, a trillion neutrinos from the sun and other celestial objects pass harmlessly and unnoticed through your body — and everything else. Although neutrinos are all around us, they interact so rarely with other matter that they are very difficult to observe, and consequently, they are completely harmless.
Read about the NEPA environmental assessment for LBNF/DUNE.