The international effort to understand the role of neutrinos in the universe has three main parts: the experiment itself (DUNE), the facility that produces the neutrino beam and houses the experiment (LBNF) and the upgrade to the Fermilab accelerator complex, which will power the beam (PIP-II).
DUNE consists of enormous particle detectors that capture and measure neutrinos, a massive global computing infrastructure to analyze the data and the scientific expertise of more than 1,000 people who will translate fleeting electronic signals into world-changing discoveries.
LBNF provides the infrastructure that powers and houses DUNE. This includes caverns to hold the detectors, cryogenics that keep the detectors cold, a new beamline to aim particles toward the detectors and the target hall where neutrinos are produced.
PIP-II is an essential upgrade to Fermilab’s accelerator complex, including a new linear accelerator that starts the experiment. It will provide the stream of powerful and high-intensity protons that produce neutrinos for DUNE scientists to study.
At Fermilab, scientists will accelerate protons and smash them into a target. This generates a beam of neutrinos that travel through the DUNE near detector on the Fermilab site, then through 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) of earth (no tunnel required) and finally through the DUNE far detector at Sanford Lab in South Dakota. Data from neutrino interactions collected by the detectors will be analyzed by DUNE collaborators around the world as they unlock the mysteries of neutrinos and the role they play in our universe.
More detailed information is provided in the DUNE Technical Design Report. The report is the ultimate blueprint for building the experiment.