New U.S. and CERN agreements open pathways for future projects

Prototype detector for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment under construction at CERN. Photo: Maximilien Brice, CERN

Excerpted from Fermilab’s article of the same title. Also see related article by Chris Mossey.

The U.S. Department of Energy and CERN establish contributions for next-generation experiments and scientific infrastructure located both at CERN and in the United States

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) last week signed three new agreements securing a symbiotic partnership for scientific projects based both in the United States and Europe. These new agreements, which follow from protocols signed by both agencies in 2015, outline the contributions CERN will make to the neutrino program hosted by Fermilab in the United States and the U.S. Department of Energy’s contributions to the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider upgrade program at CERN…

Using intense particle beams and sophisticated detectors, Fermilab currently operates three neutrino experiments (NOvA, MicroBooNE and MINERvA) and has three more in development, including the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) and two short-baseline experiments on the Fermilab site, one of which will make use of the Italian ICARUS detector, currently being prepared for transport from CERN.

The Long Baseline Neutrino Facility will provide the infrastructure needed to support DUNE both on the Fermilab site in Illinois and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. Together, LBNF/DUNE represent the first international megascience project to be built at a DOE national laboratory.

The first agreement, signed last week, describes CERN’s provision of the first cryostat to house the massive DUNE detectors in South Dakota, which represent a major investment by CERN to the U.S.-hosted neutrino program. This critical piece of technology ensures that the particle detectors can operate below a temperature of minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing them to record the traces of neutrinos as they pass through.

The agreement also formalizes CERN’s support for construction and testing of prototype DUNE detectors. Researchers at CERN are currently working in partnership with Fermilab and other DUNE collaborating institutions to build prototypes for the huge subterranean detectors which will eventually sit a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. These detectors will capture and measure neutrinos generated by Fermilab’s neutrino beam located 800 miles away. The prototypes developed at CERN will test and refine new methods for measuring neutrinos, and engineers will later integrate this new technology into the final detector designs for DUNE…

Read entire article.

Also see related article by Chris Mossey.