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The Dune Project

Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

Fermilab researchers are planning to shoot mysterious subatomic particles through the Earth. Neutrinos are one of the fundamental particles that make up our universe. They were discovered in 1956, but we still don't understand much about them. We do know they're neutral and nearly massless, with the ability to oscillate. We also know they almost never interact with other kinds of matter that means they can travel through the universe for billions of years uninterrupted. It also means they can carry information about their origins that is uncorrupted.

Scientists believe neutrinos could be the key to a deeper understanding of the universe. The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment hopes to accelerate the learning curve. It begins in Chicago, where protons will be accelerated close to the speed of light. Next, they will be smashed into a target, generating intense beams of neutrinos. Those neutrinos will then travel 1,300 km through the earth before they resurface. Scientists will analyze the data generated to determine how the neutrinos changed behaviour. The DUNE project is supported by more than 150 institutions in 27 different countries.