CSU professor of physics Robert J. Wilson was recently selected to co-lead the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) science collaboration for a 2-year term. He will join Dr. Milind Diwan of Brookhaven National Laboratory as co-spokesperson of the international collaboration of 340 scientists and engineers from 62 institutions (including five US national laboratories) in five countries. The collaboration has proposed a facility that would consist of a powerful neutrino beam originating at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (“Fermilab”) near Chicago, Illinois, along with the world’s largest cryogenic neutrino detector located over 800 miles away at the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota. The neutrino beam would pass through the Earth’s crust en route to the detector where measurements of subtle changes in the beam (some neutrinos actually change their identity!) will shed light on their role in the universe; possibly even resolving the puzzle of how universe exists in a way that allowed stars and galaxies to form from the primordial energy of the Big Bang. The immense detector could also be sensitive to neutrinos produced in distance supernovae (exploding stars) and may even allow us the study details of the last seconds before black-hole formation.
The $850 million phase 1 of the LBNE project is awaiting approval to move to the final design stage from the director of the US Department of Energy Office of Science. It will take almost 10 years to complete the design and construction of the project, which will be managed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Once completed it will operate for at least 10 years and be the centerpiece of High Energy Physics research in the US. During the coming year, Professor Wilson will be engaged in an effort to expand international participation in the project with travel to Brazil, India, Europe and Russia.
More information on LBNE can be found at:
CSU has the largest university group in the LBNE collaboration. Roughly ten faculty, research scientists, technical staff and students from the High Energy Physics and Particle Astrophysics Program (recently recognized as a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence) are involved in developing the science goals for the experiment and the design of the neutrino detectors. Members of the group are developing a cryogenic detector development facility at CSU that will enable scientists to test small-scale prototypes of immense detectors that will be needed for the full experiment. This effort is being led by Assistant Professor Norman Buchanan.
For further information, please contact:
Professor of Physics
Director, High Energy Physics and Particle Astrophysics
Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence