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 tons detector located near 700 kilometers away, in the depths of the old iron mine Sudan, northeastern Minnesota. Each year, over one trillion neutrinos pass through the Soudan Underground Laboratory after a journey of just two milliseconds and a half. Most will continue their run without change but some 1500 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)