Scientists at Fermilab Are About to Start Shooting Neutrinos Through the Earth

By Bryan Menegus on at

Fermilab outside Chicago will soon begin its Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), and what it hopes to accomplish is as brilliant and confusing as the book of its namesake.

The experiment starts with accelerating protons close to the speed of light. That beam of super-fast particles is measured and then shot out through 800 miles of rock, where it will pop back up in South Dakota to be measured at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, home of the largest neutrino detectors on Earth.

All the data gathered by both facilities will be analysed by a team of 800 scientists across 150 institutions. Hopefully some conclusions can be reached about not just the elusive nature of neutrinos, but about how stars function and even why matter exists. Regardless, the experiment itself sounds cool as hell.