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Steve Herschbach

From Mining Gold To Mining Neutrinos

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"The universe as we know it shouldn’t exist. Unlocking the reasons why may depend on once again striking gold in a mine buried a mile underground in rural South Dakota.The largest U.S.-based particle physics experiment ever is now under construction in the old mine in Lead, S.D., breathing new life into the small town more than 140 years after the Black Hills gold rush drove its founding.

Over the next 10 years, workers will remove more than 870,000 tons of rock and install a four-story high, 70,000-ton neutrino detector, while the lab's Illinois counterpart also undergoes significant renovations. The project will cost more than $1 billion, but scientists hope the payoff from about 12 million neutrinos per second passing through the detector will be far larger, tantamount to striking gold on a universal scale."

Read the rest at USA Today

Construction Details Here


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Thanks for posting that article, Steve. I've been fascinated with particle physics ever since being shown a film about the atom in my 6th grade class.

It would be interesting to know how much gold will be in all that rock that is going to be removed. 

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I'm going the other direction.  :biggrin:  I used to work in that field and would have been on this project if I had stayed.  Now I'm after gold.  (I enjoyed that, too, but I'm happy with my choice.)

I worked on a neutrino experiment (MINOS) in the Soudan Iron Mine in Minnesota.  Not as exciting as the Homestake Mine (and not even close to being as deep) but there is quite a bit in common.  Northeastern Minnesota is a pretty cool place (and in winter it's literaly a lot more extreme than 'cool').


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Getting an ounce of gold is bad enough, imagine trying to collect an ounce of neutrinos........

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that project is not to far away from where i live,it has been interesting keeping up on it,s progress and all the other projects at the mine site

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My wife, sister, brother-in-law and I went to the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center and took the tour last September when we were vacationing in the area. Anyone in the area would find interesting to take the tour and go through the visitor center.

Her's a link to the visitor center: http://www.sanfordlabhomestake.com/


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