York U expert, only Canadian on massive new international neutrino experiment, available for comment

TORONTO, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – York University physics Professor Scott Menary is the only Canadian on an experiment, involving 30 countries and the excavation of 800,000 tons of rocks, to find out what role neutrinos played in the evolution of the Universe. The groundbreaking to build the particle detectors for the experiment will take place Friday in the United States.

Neutrinos are tiny, abundant particles of matter that seemingly pass through everything on Earth, but their role in the development of the Universe is still a mystery. A team of 1,000 scientists and engineers from more than 160 institutions, including York University, will be part of the new international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). The plan is to build two particle detectors placed in the world’s most intense neutrino beam. One detector at Fermilab in Illinois will record particles interactions near the source of the beam, the other will do so about a mile underground at Sanford Lab in Lead, South Dakota.

The detectors are expected to take a decade to construct. Neutrinos will then be sent 1,300 kilometres through the Earth from Chicago to the South Dakota detector to shed light on what these mysterious particles do.

The groundbreaking for the initiative will take place simultaneously at both facilities on Friday, July 21.

Faculty of Science expert in antimatter and experimental particle physics, Scott Menary, as the only Canadian on the team, is available to answer questions about the experiment and what scientists are hoping to find.

DUNE and LBNF image gallery for media: http://bit.ly/2vfXZVi

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Media Contact:

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097, sandramc@yorku.ca