Top international scientists, who met at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) last week, are hoping to finalise the preliminary design report for a proposed neutrino factory by April 2010.
The neutrino factory, whose location remains undecided, once functional in 2017, is expected to answer some basic questions on the structure of matter. The factory will shoot neutrinos, which are fundamental particles and hold the key to understanding the evolution of the universe as well as energy production in stars.
With the three-day meet at TIFR concluding on October 14, physicists and engineers from the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Italy and India will now discuss and finalise the technical details of the neutrino complex over phone, videoconferencing and meetings in the next six months.
“Scientists will look for various options and put together technical details and design on paper. The purpose of the April meeting will be to fill missing links,” said TIFR Professor Naba Mondal. The first design report will be presented at the fifth plenary meeting of the International Design Study for the neutrino factory to be held at US-based Fermilab. The proposal for the design, schedule and cost will be submitted to funding agencies in 2012.
The neutrino factory is similar to the Large Hadron Collider at the Geneva-based European Organisation for Nuclear Research or CERN attempting to reproduce the Big Bang that created the universe.
The experiment will benefit India’s biggest basic science project, India-based Neutrino Obser-vatory (INO), which will house the neutrino detector since it falls under the required precise distance of 7,000 km if the beam is shot from Europe or Japan.
The INO project, 7 km from the ecologically sensitive Mudumalai Wildlife and Tiger Sanctuary in Niligiri mountains, is waiting for clearance.