Attendees listen in a classroom setting to one of many presentations during the 2023 CETUP* summer workshop at SURF.

Particle physicists from around the world converge on SURF for annual CETUP* workshop

The Institute for Underground Science at SURF is hosting particle physicists from 20 countries this summer at SURF.

The Institute for Underground Science at SURF is hosting particle physicists from 20 countries this summer at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota to collaborate on some of the most pressing questions in physics.

The Center for Theoretical Underground Physics *and Related Areas (CETUP*) workshop, running from June 17 - July 19, 2024, includes more than 70 theorists, experimentalists, and students representing 46 institutions and four major laboratories.

The annual CETUP* workshop is hosted each year at SURF by The Institute. CETUP* participants meet at the Lead-Deadwood Middle School and at other areas in the Northern Black Hills. The Institute aims to foster multidisciplinary collaboration and communication, within the fields of underground science, that can lead to scientific breakthroughs and innovation.

“The five-week workshop enables scientists to share research, collaborate, and spark innovation while building an intellectual community. Its location in the Black Hills is ideal due to the proximity to SURF, the deepest underground laboratory in the U.S., which focuses on multidisciplinary research a mile underground. The workshop also attracts scientists eager to immerse themselves in the local culture and history, inspiring further discovery," says Stacie Granum, Program Manager for The Institute for Underground Science at SURF and one of the organizers of CETUP*.

CETUP* also provides an opportunity for visiting researchers to interact with the local community. Attendees will take part in weekly evening mixers called Global Scientist Social that are open to the public on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s starting June 20 during the conference from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center. Members of the public are welcome to attend, interact, and ideate with visiting physicists from around the world. CETUP* attendees will also take part in Neutrino Day, SURF’s citywide free science festival on July 13. A special CETUP* education session is being organized in July with undergraduate students from Texas, Black Hills State University, and SURF.

“CETUP* is a great example of the work we do at The Institute,” says Granum. “These kind of informal discussions with community members, SURF personnel, educators, students, and scientists of many disciplines helps create connections and collaboration that can spark innovation. We are excited to provide spaces at and around SURF to help foster breakthroughs and new ideas in underground science.” 

CETUP* previously ran from 2011 through 2016 at SURF fostering collaboration that resulted in the publication of 119 scientific papers. In 2013 and 2015, CETUP* hosted the Particle Physics and Cosmology conference. SURF revived the workshop in 2023 to popular acclaim from the physics community and spots filled quickly again in 2024.