MINOS in the starting blocks

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After ten years of preparation, the MINOS experiment (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) is about to start. By the end of the month, the particle accelerator Main Injector the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Illinois) will begin producing a neutrino beam for illuminating the science of the secrets of these particles with no electric charge and a mass least a million times lighter than the lightest charged particles.

The generated beam, called NuMI, will be directed to a 6000 ton detector located nearly 700 kilometers away, in the depths of the former Sudan Iron Mine in northeastern Minnesota. Each year, more than a thousand billion neutrinos will pass through the Sudan Underground Laboratory after a trip of just two milliseconds and a half. Most will continue their course without change but a few 1500 per year will collide with
atoms inside the detector, allowing researchers to better study their characteristics, suggested link with the mysterious dark matter and how these particles - which exist in three states called electronic flavor, muon and tau - go to a variety into another.

Scheduled for a period of five years, the MINOS experiment involves 32 institutions across Brazil, France, Greece, Russia, the UK and the US. The US Department of Energy (DOE), to which the Fermilab, funded a large part of 181 million project.

USAT 11 / 02 / 05 (Minnesota neutrino project to get under way this month)


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