Welcome, DUNE

Nigel Lockyer

Significant progress has been made on the new international neutrino collaboration. Last week, scientists from 148 institutions around the world chose DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) as the name of the experiment that will use the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) neutrino beam. And, the group elected André Rubbia, ETH Zurich, and Mark Thomson, University of Cambridge, as the collaboration’s spokespeople. Congratulations to both André and Mark.

The DUNE collaboration, which includes participation from Asia, Europe, and North and South America, represents a significant milestone in the implementation of P5 report recommendations. More than 700 scientists from 23 countries currently belong to the collaboration, and the group seeks further international partners to participate in this world-class experiment.

From April 16 to 18, the first DUNE collaboration meeting will be held at Fermilab, when funding agencies and research institutions come together for the first time. In the meantime, much work is already in progress.

The collaboration is assembling work groups that will tackle different tasks, with the goal of defining the final design for the first 10-kiloton underground detector in South Dakota. CERN will build two large prototype detectors to advance the engineering aspects of liquid-argon technology. Here at Fermilab, DUNE scientists will soon be able to take data with a smaller, 35-ton liquid-argon prototype detector. In July, funding agencies will review the updated project plans for LBNF/DUNE.

At the same time, we are working with the Department of Energy to advance cavern excavation plans for the detector in South Dakota. This spring, DOE will release its draft environmental assessment of LBNF and hold public meetings at Fermilab and in South Dakota. In addition, discussions are happening with other funding agencies about how they can benefit from the neutrino program at Fermilab and contribute to the construction of the DUNE detectors.

Thank you to the all the individuals and organizations who have helped us get to this point. There is still much work to be done, but we have made excellent progress on the world’s most ambitious neutrino experiment.