Building a Better Neutrino Trap

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770-ton particle detector pictured above, called ProtoDUNE
The 770-ton particle detector pictured above, called ProtoDUNE, sits at the border of Switzerland and France to test the design and technologies for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, which will be built a mile below ground in South Dakota to better understand neutrinos, a particle that's pervasive in the universe (credit: CERN).

June 18, 2024 | Originally published by Los Alamos National Laboratory on May 20, 2024

First detected by Los Alamos researchers Frederick Reines and Clyde Cowan in a nuclear reactor in 1956, tiny particles dubbed neutrinos are so abundant they constantly pass through human bodies by the trillions. But despite decades of study, the neutrino’s bizarre nature is still little understood.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are trying to rectify that.

As data streams in from two particle detectors at a prototype experiment in Switzerland, Los Alamos physicists are refining their instruments, which sit atop the detectors. Their laser calibration system will help researchers better understand signals coming from the elusive neutrino, aiding the quest to unlock the neutrino’s secrets about the universe.

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