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News Story of the Year: New experiment launched as Fermilab turns 50

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and just helped launch a major neutrino experiment.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and just helped launch a major neutrino experiment.

BATAVIA – A year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 founding of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory coincided with entering a new era of physics in the United States at a July groundbreaking.

Built during the next decade will be the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, home to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, also known as DUNE. It will send particles 800 miles through the Earth from Fermilab in Batavia to a mile-deep detector in South Dakota. The goal is to better understand the neutrino, a mysterious particle.

Anniversary festivities culminated in September with an open house that drew more than 10,000 visitors for a chance to go deep behind the scenes. A continuous stream of buses ferried guests across the 6,800-acre campus to varied experiment sites at the particle physics and accelerator laboratory, and its natural attractions, such as the bison herd.

The open house was a year in the planning and many activities were designed to inspire a new generation of scientists. Fermilab regularly welcomes visitors to take self-guided tours, offers an Arts and Lecture Series, art exhibits, interpretive hiking trails, folk and barn dancing and science programs.

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