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Catching neutrinos with Fermilab's massive next-generation detector

Catching neutrinos with Fermilab's massive next-generation detector

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Neutrinos are subatomic, electrically neutral particles that many scientists believe can help us better understand what our universe is made of. To study the behavior and travel of neutrinos, which are capable of passing right through the earth, the Department of Energy's Fermilab is building a two piece neutrino cannon and detector under its NOvA experiment. The cannon, located in Batavia, Illinois, will shoot particles six miles below the earth's surface to a new detector in Ash River, Minnesota, over 500 miles away. The whole trip takes about three milliseconds.

"It is a giant piece of plastic."

The Fermilab has released a video detailing the massive undertaking that is constructing the detector in Minnesota. The detector is as wide as a basketball court and about twice as long, making it quite a large contraption and the largest free-standing plastic structure in the world. Needless to say, a lot of hands were involved in making the detector, and many agencies had to come together to see it to completion. Much of it was completed by University of Minnesota students. You can see all of the details involved in making it in the video below.