Officials break ground for the world's most advanced neutrino experiment
A rendering of the future NOvA detector facility on the Ash River site. Rendering by Holabird & Root.
Ash River, Minn. - Construction begins this month on a cutting-edge physics laboratory in northern Minnesota, supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Congressman James Oberstar of Minnesota and Congressman Bill Foster of Illinois today (May 1) are joining officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Minnesota to break ground for NOvA, the world's most advanced neutrino experiment.
"This project is part of a bold, visionary initiative which will have profound implications for our understanding of the structure and evolution of the universe," Congressman Oberstar said. "The billion-year-old rock formations in Northeast Minnesota are helping researchers unlock mysteries of the origins of the universe."
The DOE Office of Science has provided $40.1 million in Recovery Act funding for the construction project. It will provide an additional $9.9 million in Recovery Act funding to Fermilab, which manages the project, for purchasing key high-tech components for the project from U.S. companies, enabling those firms to retain and hire workers.
Community members also are gathering in nearby Orr, Minn., for a public presentation about the project and its impact on the local community.
The NOvA project will construct the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance (NOvA) detector facility, a laboratory of the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy, near the Ash River, about 40 miles southeast of International Falls. The lab will house a 15,000-ton particle detector that will investigate the role of subatomic particles called neutrinos in the origin of the universe.