Approval for the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Project in Theni, Tamil Nadu, is likely to be announced soon, highly placed.
|Neutrino Observatory project|
The INO is a Rs 1,600-crore science project conceived nearly 15 years ago and can put India on the world map in the field of neutrino physics. It will house a massive iron detector which will be placed more than a kilometre below the surface of the earth. With a weight of nearly 50,000 tonnes, it will be the largest particle detector in the world, by present standards.
Scientists from nearly 25 institutions across India are involved in this project, and it promises to engage engineers and the industry as the massive detector and tunnel would be built up indigenously, the source said.
In fact, setting up this observatory would mean a revival of a lost opportunity for India because in 1965 pioneering Indian scientists at the Kolar Gold Field (KGF) observatory were among the first in the world to discover traces of the atmospheric neutrinos.
With the closure of KGF mines in the mid-1990s, experimental research on neutrinos came to an end in India.
Now the field has grown and diversified. Initially thought to be a massless particle, the neutrino is now believed to come in three types and have a small mass as well. In this context, fundamental questions such as the mass ordering of different types of neutrino could be answered by experiments planned at the INO.
Subsequently, in 2002, R. Davis (USA) and M. Koshiba (Japan) were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in this field.
source : THE HINDU