Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Learn about DUNE International Mega-Science Project at May 18 Talk

Illustration of the planned 800-mile long DUNE beam between Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago and Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, S.D.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (May 3, 2016) – The public is invited to the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus on Wednesday, May 18, to learn more about the international mega-science neutrino project planned between the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago.

The educational outreach event is designed to engage and educate members of the public about the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which will be the world’s flagship neutrino project involving scientists from 27 countries, including physicists from South Dakota Mines. A 40-kiloton cryogenic argon detector will be built underground at the Sanford Lab to image the rare collisions of neutrinos beamed from Fermilab, 800 miles away.

The evening will begin with a 5:30 p.m. social hour featuring a hands-on activity and show-and-tell items from the Sanford Lab, followed by a 6:30 p.m. presentation and question-and-answer session lead by Kate Scholberg, Ph.D., a physicist from Duke University who is collaborating on the DUNE experiment. The event will be held in the Surbeck Center ballroom. The public is invited to attend free of charge and learn more about the project by engaging with the scientists involved.

The public outreach event precedes the May 19-22 DUNE collaboration meeting hosted on the South Dakota Mines campus to be attended by 150 international scientists involved in the experiment.

Scholberg’s presentation, “Neutrinos Through the Earth and From the Sky,” will describe DUNE scientists’ quest to coax neutrinos, described as “ghostly” messengers of nature, into telling their story of the universe.

Though the universe teems with neutrinos, they slide invisibly and silently through matter, barely interacting at all. The 2015 Nobel prize was awarded for the discovery that neutrinos shift flavors as they travel, which can only happen if they have tiny masses. These flavor oscillations may be connected to some of the biggest questions about the universe, such as how everything around us came to be made of matter rather than antimatter.

Scholberg is a physics professor and Bass Fellow at Duke University. She previously researched and taught at Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a recipient of the Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator and National Science Foundation CAREER awards, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2013.

Scholberg is currently a member of the Super-Kamiokande, T2K and DUNE collaborations and is spokesperson of the neutrino physics COHERENT experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Additionally, she coordinates the SuperNova Early Warning System, an international network of supernova neutrino detectors. 


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $62,929. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on Facebook and Twitter.


Contact: Fran LeFort, (605) 394-6082, Fran.LeFort@sdsmt.edu