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High Energy Physics



Melissa Uchida

Group Members

Steve Dennis, Alexandra Moor, JingYuan Shi, Natsumi Taniuchi, Mark Thomson, Melissa Uchida, Leigh Whitehead, Karolina Wresilo


The international neutrino physics community has come together to develop the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a cutting-edge experiment for neutrino science, including neutrino oscillation and CP violation, as well as proton decay studies. This experiment, together with the facility that will support it (called the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility), is an internationally designed, coordinated and funded program which will be hosted at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois.

A schematic representation of the DUNE experiment and the neutrino beam from Fermilab.

Experimental Approach

The facility required for this experiment, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) comprises the world's highest-intensity neutrino beam generated at the Fermilab Accelerator Complex and the infrastructure necessary to support massive, cryogenic far detectors installed deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), 800 miles (1,300 km) downstream, in Lead, South Dakota. LBNF is also responsible for the facilities to house the experiment's near detectors on the Fermilab site.

The Detector: LArTPC Technology

Most of the neutrinos sent from Fermilab will begin as muon neutrinos, and DUNE will measure these particles as they pass through the far detector in South Dakota. The detector will be filled with super-cold liquid argon and will be built in stages in collaboration with international partners. As the neutrinos interact with the argon atoms, they create charged particles that traverse the liquid argon detector. These charged particles ionise argon atoms, creating ionisation electrons which are then drifted through the detector using an electric field. The electrons are then collected by wires and detected using the induction pulse they generate. Combining information from multiple wire planes, a 3-dimensional picture of each neutrino interaction can then be reconstructed. This detector technology is called a liquid argon time projection chamber, or LArTPC.

DUNE Physics

The main physics goals for DUNE will be to study long baseline neutrino oscillations. After measuring with precision the different oscillation parameters (θ13, θ23), the θ23 octant will be resolved to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy. The ultimate objective is to search for CP violation in the neutrino sector and to measure the CP-violation phase. Discovering CP violation in the neutrino sector could help explain the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe today. In addition to the oscillation physics programme, DUNE will study atmospheric neutrinos, supernova bursts and nucleon decays.