The publication of the Technical Design Report is a major milestone for the construction of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, an international mega-science project hosted by Fermilab. It lays out in great detail the scientific goals as well as the technical components of the gigantic particle detectors of the experiment.
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will tackle some of the biggest mysteries in physics — and to do so, it will need the most intense high-energy beam of neutrinos ever created. Engineers are up to the complicated task, which will need extreme versions of some common-sounding ingredients: magnets and pencil lead.
Test beams generally sit to the side of full-on accelerators, sipping beam and passing it to the reconfigurable spaces housing temporary experiments. Scientists bring pieces of their detectors — sensors, chips, electronics or other material — and blast them with the well-understood beam to see if things work how they expect, and if their software performs as expected. Before a detector component can head to its forever home, it has to pass the test.
Scientists are working on a pixelated detector capable of clearly and quickly capturing neutrino interactions — a crucial component for the near detector of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. Using technological solutions developed at University of Bern and Berkeley Lab, a prototype detector called ArgonCube is under construction in Bern and will arrive at Fermilab next year.