Last week, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Committee (LBNC) met at Sanford Lab. The committee consists of leading scientists from around the world who review the scientific, technical and managerial progress of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and associated Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (LBNF/DUNE).
The committee meets three times each year in different locations; the previous meeting was held at CERN in Switzerland. In addition to attending meetings and writing reports, committee members toured Sanford Lab’s facilities, including the underground laboratories.
“This is an independent group of scientists who were selected for their expertise,” said Nigel Lockyer, Fermilab director, who formed the committee. “Through this process, we ensure the project remains technically sound.”
With more than 1,000 scientists from 176 institutions and 31 countries, LBNF/DUNE is the first international mega-science project to be hosted by a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory—Fermilab. The scientific collaboration hopes to revolutionize our understanding of the role neutrinos play in the creation of the universe. Using the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, they'll shoot the world’s highest-intensity beam of neutrinos from Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, 800 miles straight through the earth to huge detectors deep underground at Sanford Lab.
The LBNC is analogous to the LHCC (Large Hadron Collider Committee) and has been in existence for two years. “That committee is a successful model that has been in place for more than 20 years,” Lockyer added.
A sister committee, the Neutrino Cost Group, reviews the management schedule and costs of the project, Lockyer said.
The LBNC writes a report that is delivered to the various funding agencies in countries that are supporting LBNF/DUNE, including the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation in the United States, CERN in Switzerland and the United Kingdom, which recently committed $88 million to the project.
“We’re very pleased with the way the project is going,” Lockyer said.