Scientists are hoping to discover some of the mysteries of the origins of our universe and it all begins deep underground in Lead, South Dakota. The "tunnel" is not a physical one but more of an underground pathway for neutrinos, or "ghost particles" to travel.

I spoke with Mike from the Sanford Underground Research Facility and a few corrections are needed from the original story which appeared on Friday, March 1.

First, as I mentioned above, the "tunnel" is not a physical tunnel but rather a pathway for these mysterious neutrinos. They will they will pass right through the curvature of the earth to hit the targets being built underground in Lead, about 800 miles away from a particle accelerator outside Chicago.

This video explains the science behind the project:

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Delving Into The Realm Of Ghost Particles: The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

According to minds much sharper than mine in such "matter" (see what I did there...) they are hoping to harness more knowledge about these "ghost particles" - scientifically known as neutrinos. They believe some of the secrets of the "Big Bang" could be answered in the process.

The project began in Lead, South Dakota, where seven years ago, workers began digging into the old gold mine.

Engineering, construction and excavation teams have been working 4,850 feet below the surface since 2021 and have moved and cleared nearly 800,000 tons of rock in the process. The completion will see four large neutrino detectors - each one about the size of a seven-story building! The detectors will be filled with liquid argon and record the rare interaction of neutrinos with the transparent liquid.

Later this year, the project team plans to begin the installation of the insulated steel structure that will hold the first neutrino detector. The goal is to have the first detector operational before the end of 2028.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF)  is “America’s Underground Lab” and is working hard to keep our country competitive against cutting edge underground research taking place in other nations including Russia, Japan, China and Italy and others.

According to Business Insider, the US Department of Energy's Fermilab is overseeing the project, and will cost a staggering $3 billion to complete.

The Quest For Origins: Groundbreaking Science Behind The 800-Mile Tunnel

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The project carries the name DUNE, which stands for Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. What complex mysteries scientists hope to find studying these neutrinos remain to be seen.

Scientists from 36 countries are involved and the target date for completion could fall between 2028 and 2031.

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South Dakota Is Home to Two of the World’s Biggest Caves

When you're looking for some of the biggest ones of these on the planet, look no further than South Dakota.

You'll find them right under your nose.
Statista has compiled a list of the longest caves in the world and two of the top six are just 30 miles apart in the Black Hills.

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What Was It like to Vacation in South Dakota’s Black Hills 60 Years Ago?

This time of year our thoughts often turn to planning that perfect getaway to enjoy the warmer weather and extended daylight.

For a lot of us in South Dakota, that means a trek to the Black Hills and all of the things they have to offer.

But vacationing in western South Dakota is hardly a new concept. People from all over the globe have been coming to the area for decades.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Harkness/


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