The United States and the United Kingdom have entered into the first-ever umbrella science agreement between the two countries, a move that will see the UK contribute $88 million to the LBNF/DUNE project hosted at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab, CSA CSM). The funding makes the UK the largest country investing in the project outside of the US.
The LBNF/DUNE project aims to answer some of the most important questions in science and advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the universe. One aspect of study is the behavior of neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos. The project could provide insight as to why we live in a matter-dominated universe and inform the debate on why the universe survived the Big Bang.
More than a thousand scientists from institutions in more than 30 countries around the world will contribute to the LBNF/DUNE project. The UK is a major scientific contributor to the collaboration, with 14 UK-based universities and two Science and Technology Facilities Council laboratories providing essential expertise and components to the experiment and facility. UK involvement in the project will also provide opportunities for UK industry to build capability in new and developing technologies; for example, in precision engineering, cryogenics and accelerator-based applications. “The United Kingdom has long been a leader in this area of science, starting with Ernest Rutherford in the early 20th century,” says Nigel Lockyer, Fermilab director. “This agreement ensures that LBNF/DUNE will have great scientific and technical strength on the team as we chart the bright future for neutrino research.”