DUNE among most sophisticated projects ever

Excerpted from the Rapid City Journal article DUNE project in Lead would be among most sophisticated projects ever, published 19 March 2017.

Carve a few massive caverns nearly a mile below the surface of the Black Hills, haul off hundreds of thousands of tons of crushed rock, add the largest refrigeration system ever, then install the most sensitive particle detectors known to man, and you’d be ready to host what is arguably the most sophisticated science experiment ever staged on the planet…

The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, commonly referred to as DUNE, represents a scene straight out of a science fiction movie. As envisioned, scientists at the Fermilab near Chicago will fire a beam of tiny neutrinos at near-light speed that will carry the subatomic particles through solid rock 808 miles away to the Black Hills of South Dakota, where scientists deep underground at the Sanford Lab hope to “catch” the particles using sophisticated detectors…

“In its space race with the Soviet Union, NASA discovered new technologies and gained incredible knowledge, which eventually landed American astronauts on the moon,” (SURF Communications Director Constance) Walter added. “With the development of new and the enhancement of existing technologies for DUNE and the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, we could see much the same thing in physics research…”

Underground, the logistics of the project are daunting. Willhite said 54,000 cubic yards of concrete would be poured, the experiment’s cryostats alone would require 14,000 tons of steel, and its four detectors would use 70,000 tons of liquid argon.

“I think we’re probably going to install the world’s largest refrigeration system,” he said. “These are unconventional facilities.”

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