Northland lab offers glimpse of elusive neutrinos
From Duluth News Tribune, Aug. 16, 2015
The answer to one of the biggest questions in particle physics is taking shape in the wilderness of northern Minnesota.
It's there, along the Ash River, about 30 miles southeast of International Falls, that a colossal new detector is producing data that offers a glimpse at cosmically abundant but elusive and little-understood particles called neutrinos.
The data being mined are accessible to a group of researchers around the world who are studying changes in neutrinos in an effort to better understand them.
The neutrinos are fired by the trillions in a beam through the Earth (and under Lake Superior) from 500 miles away, at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Lab near Chicago.
It's all being done to answer the question: "Why do neutrinos matter?"
"I don't know," University of Minnesota Duluth professor of physics Alec Habig said frankly. "We're trying to learn how they behave and what they do."