Indian neutrino lab to have world’s biggest magnet

October 23rd, 2010 - 12:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 23 (ANI): India is set to start work on a 250-million-dollar underground laboratory, called the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO), which will be built in the Bodi West Hills Reserved Forest in the state of Tamil Nadu.

INO will be made of 50,000 tonnes of magnetised iron, dwarfing the 12,500-tonne magnet in the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

“It’ll be the most massive magnet [ever built],” New Scientist quoted team member M. V. N. Murthy of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, as saying.

The iron sheets will interact with the neutrinos and spew out charged particles, whose paths will be bent by the iron’s magnetic field. About 30,000 detectors sandwiched between the sheets of iron will track these charged particles, providing information about the incident neutrinos.

INO will initially study atmospheric neutrinos, which are produced when cosmic rays smash into the upper atmosphere. It will be sensitive to both neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, which interact with matter in different ways.

Neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts oscillate between three types: electron, tau and muon. INO should help physicists understand which of the three types is the lightest and which is the heaviest. (ANI)

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