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The forthcoming Mu2e experiment at Fermilab will kidnap muons and trap them in aluminum atoms. But what exactly happens when you shoot a muon at an aluminum foil? While Mu2e is under construction, its scientists are already getting some valuable answers from a smaller accomplice: AlCap.

Deep in the dense core of a black hole, protons and electrons are squeezed together to form neutrons, sending ghostly particles called neutrinos streaming out. Matter falls inward. In the textbook case, matter rebounds and erupts, leaving a neutron star. But sometimes, the supernova fails, and there’s no explosion; instead, a black hole is born. Scientists hope to use neutrino experiments to watch a black hole form.

Ghostlike subatomic particles called neutrinos could hold clues to some of the greatest scientific questions about our universe: What extragalactic events create ultra-high-energy cosmic rays? What happened in the first seconds following the big bang? What is dark matter made of?