In an old hematite mine far below the ragged landscape of Minnesota’s Iron Range, workers have installed about one-quarter of the 486 octagonal steel “planes” that will make up the 5500-ton “far detector” for Fermilab’s Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search experiment. The $40 million detector, located in a newly excavated chamber in the Soudan Mine, will be the target for a neutrino beam line being constructed 730 kilometers away at Fermilab.

The MINOS experiment is part of the Fermilab’s “neutrinos at the main injector” project. The $167 million project includes the construction of a “near detector” and the new Fermilab beam line, as well as the far detector at Soudan. By firing the neutrinos through the near detector to the far detector, physicists hope to measure neutrino oscillations that will provide evidence about the mass of the elusive particles. Physicists hope the far detector, made of alternating planes of steel...

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