The outer (warm) vessel for the single-phase protoDUNE at CERN. The red steel frame provides support for the cold-membrane cryostat, the detector, and approximately 800 tonnes of liquid argon. Image credit: M Brice/CERN.
This 11 m-high structure with thick steel walls will soon contain a prototype detector for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a major international project based in the US for studying neutrinos and proton decay. It is being assembled in conjunction with CERN’s Neutrino Platform, which was established in 2014 to support neutrino experiments hosted in Japan and the US (CERN Courier July/August 2016 p21), and is pictured here in December as the roof of the structure was lowered into place. Another almost identical structure is under construction nearby and will house a second prototype detector for DUNE. Both are being built at CERN’s new “EHN1” test facility, which was completed last year at the north area of the laboratory’s Prévessin site.
DUNE, which is due to start operations in the next decade, will address key outstanding questions about neutrinos. In addition to determining the ordering of the neutrino masses, it will search for leptonic CP violation by precisely measuring differences between the oscillations of muon-type neutrinos and antineutrinos into electron-type neutrinos and antineutrinos, respectively (CERN Courier December 2015 p19). To do so, DUNE will consist of two advanced detectors placed in an intense neutrino beam produced at Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF). One will record particle interactions near the source of the beam before the neutrinos have had time to oscillate, while a second, much larger detector will be installed deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota, 1300 km away.
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