Fermilab turns 50 with DUNE on the horizon

Angela Fava. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Fermilab held a symposium June 7th on its 50th anniversary that led into its annual Users Meeting on the 8th. Employees and users, old and new, celebrated Fermilab’s past accomplishments, its dynamic current program and ambitious plans for the future. DUNE collaborator Angela Fava presented “Current and future neutrino experiments” at the symposium, and the following day Ed Blucher gave a presentation on DUNE.

“Speaking at the symposium dedicated to Fermilab’s 50th anniversary was definitely different than the usual Users Meeting,” said Fava. “It was a nice experience collecting information about the detectors that have made the lab’s history – from the main actors of those experiments.”

In 40 minutes she covered all the Fermilab neutrino beamlines and experiments, noting that along with anticipated and hoped-for results, the unexpected was also “behind the corner in the long life of each experiment.”

The LArTPC technique featured large in the talk, with slides the Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) program detectors MicroBooNE, SBND, and ICARUS, the unexpected measurement of back-to-back proton pairs by ArgoNeuT — the first time ever on argon — and, of course, DUNE.

“Let me conclude with a personal opinion,” she said to her large and distinguished audience. “We have to prepare for a huge effort, but the best is yet to come!”

Ed Blucher. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Ed Blucher began by noting that the DUNE experiment is close to having 1000 collaborators from 162 institutions — of which 60% are non U.S. — in 31 nations.

He described the detector technologies, the prototypes and development work, the beamline, and the physics program. He also reported expected impressive sensitivities to CP violation and the mass ordering after seven years of data divided between neutrinos and antineutrinos.

“It’s an exciting time for LBNF and DUNE. With the budget approved in May and groundbreaking at SURF scheduled for July, we’ve now happily made the transition to a real construction project,” he said. “At the Fermilab 60-year anniversary, we hope to have some beam results to discuss!”

At the Fermilab 50th anniversary party, June 15, 2107. (Click image for high resolution image.) Photo: R.Hahn

Fermilab has received video congratulations on its 50th anniversary from the Secretary of Energy (Secretary Perry’s video begins at 1:35), Congressman Bill Foster (begins at 1:38) and Congressman Randy Hultgren (begins at 11:29). Follow Fermilab on Twitter  to see congratulations from many other people and organizations around the world.