Detecting those pesky neutrinos with Fermilab’s 14,000 ton NOvA detector

Neutrinos are very small particles, smaller than the electrons and they can travel through led for 2 years before hitting an led atom. Neutrinos have no charge and leave no traces, so they are hard to trap.

Fermilab, IL, USA is generating neutrinos and shooting them 500 miles away, straight through the Earth crust to Ash River where the 200 ton detector is. The neutrinos cannot be detected directly, but, buy knowing when they were generated and where they come from, you can filter out many phenomena in the reactor and keep only those that are generated by the neutrinos as they interact with particles int he detectors.

Ever second Fermilab is firing 100 thousand billion neutrinos directly at Ash River. In there the NOvA detector is big: 60 meters long, 16 m wide and 16 m tall and weights 14 000 tons.

Also, watch the timelapse of the construction of the NOvA detector: it took 2 years to build the 14 000 ton detector.

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