SNOLAB is a Canadian underground physics laboratory at a depth of 2 km in Sudbury, Ontario in Vale's Creighton nickel mine. The original Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment has ended, but the facilities have been expanded into a permanent underground laboratory.
SNOLAB is the world's second-deepest underground lab facility; the deeper Kolar Gold Fields experiments ended with the closing of the mine in 1992, and the planned DUSEL laboratory has been greatly scaled back after the National Science Foundation refused major funding. In 2010, it was surpassed by the China Jinping Underground Laboratory, which achieves a muon flux of less than 0.2 μ/m²/day, compared with SNOLAB's 0.27 μ/m²/day.
Although accessed through a mine, the laboratory proper is maintained as a class-2000 cleanroom, with very low levels of dust and background radiation. The 6800 ft (2070 m) overburden of rock provides 6010 metres of water equivalent (MWE) shielding from cosmic rays, providing a low-background environment for experiments requiring high sensitivities and extremely low counting rates.
A large deep cavity was originally constructed for the SNO experiment, but other groups were interested in conducting experiments in the very deep location. In 2002 funding was approved by the Canada Foundation for Innovation to expand the SNO facilities into a general-purpose laboratory, and more funding was received in 2007 and 2008.
- The PICASSO dark matter search,
- The HALO (Helium and Lead Observatory) supernova neutrino detector.
- The second-generation COUPP 60-kg bubble chamber dark matter search.
- DAMIC (Dark Matter in CCDs) detector
Four more experiments are currently under construction:
- The SNO+ neutrino detector (using the original SNO experiment chamber),
- The second-generation DEAP-3600 dark matter detector,
- MiniCLEAN (Cryogenic Low-Energy Astrophysics with Noble gases) dark matter detector.
- SuperCDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) dark matter detector.
Four experiments have completed and are no longer operating:
- The original heavy water based Sudbury Neutrino Observatory experiment,
- The POLARIS underground project at SNOLAB (PUPS), observing seismic signals at depth in very hard rock,
- The first-generation COUPP 4-kg bubble chamber dark matter search. is no longer in operation.:25
- The DEAP-1 dark matter search.:25
Additional planned experiments have requested laboratory space such as the next-generation nEXO and COBRA experiment searches for neutrinoless double beta decay.:27 There are also plans for a third-generation COUPP-500 detector.
The total size of the SNOLAB underground facilities, including utility spaces and personnel spaces, is:
|Floor space||7,215 m²
- Naba K. Mondal (January 2004). "Status of India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)". Proc Indian Natn Sci Acad 70 (1): 71–77. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
- Pitlick, Wendy (2011-07-15), "DUSEL no more", Black Hills Pioneer, retrieved 2012-11-26,
Lesko said the scaled back plans boil down to just one underground research campus. Originally, lab officials planned to build a major surface campus, a science campus 4,850 feet underground that included two lab modules, and a smaller lab module campus 7,400 feet underground. The Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lesko said, focuses on building just one campus at the 4,850-foot level that will host experiments in dark matter, double beta decay, and long baseline neutrino research.
- WU Yu-Cheng; HAO Xi-Qing; YUE Qian; LI Yuan-Jing; CHENG Jian-Ping; KANG Ke-Jun; CHEN Yun-Hua; LI Jin; LI Jian-Min; LI Yu-Lan; LIU Shu-Kui; MA Hao; REN Jin-Bao; SHEN Man-Bin; WANG Ji-Min; WU Shi-Yong; XUE Tao; YI Nan; ZENG Xiong-Hui; ZENG Zhi; ZHU Zhong-Hua (August 2013), "Measurement of Cosmic Ray Flux in China JinPing underground Laboratory", Chinese Physics C 37 (8), arXiv:1305.0899, Bibcode:2013ChPhC..37h6001W, doi:10.1088/1674-1137/37/8/086001
- SNOLAB User’s Handbook Rev. 2, 2006-06-26, p. 13, retrieved 2013-02-01
- "Canada selects 9 projects to lead in international research" (Press release). Canada Foundation for Innovation. 2002-06-20. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- "Province Supports Expansion of World's Deepest Lab Administered by Carleton University" (Press release). Carleton University. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- "New Funding will Support Underground Lab Operations as SNOLAB nears Completion" (Press release). SNOLAB. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Duncan, Fraser (2009-08-27). "SNOLAB Facility Status".
- SNOLAB: Current experiments
- COUPP-60 Up and Running at SNOLAB, 2013-05-03, retrieved 2013-05-13
- DAMIC now running at SNOLAB, 2012-12-10, retrieved 2013-05-13
- Walding, Joseph (2013-04-10), "The DEAP-3600 Dark Matter Experiment", IOP 2013: High Energy and Astrop Particle Physics, Institute of Physics, p. 3, retrieved 2013-05-19
- "Second generation dark matter experiment coming to SNOLAB" (Press release). SNOLAB. 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
- Saab, Tarek (2012-08-01), "The SuperCDMS Dark Matter Search", SLAC Summer Institute 2012, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, retrieved 2012-11-28
- Science at SNOLAB
- E. Behnke; J. Behnke; S.J. Brice; D. Broemmelsiek; J.I. Collar; A. Conner; P.S. Cooper; M. Crisler; C.E. Dahl; D. Fustin; E. Grace; J. Hall; M. Hu; I. Levine; W. H. Lippincott; T. Moan; T. Nania; E. Ramberg; A.E. Robinson; A. Sonnenschein; M. Szydagis; E. Vázquez-Jáuregui (September 2012), "First dark matter search results from a 4-kg CF3I bubble chamber operated in a deep underground site", Phys. Rev. D 86 (5): 052001–052009, arXiv:1204.3094, Bibcode:2012PhRvD..86e2001B, doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.052001, FERMILAB-PUB-12-098-AD-AE-CD-E-PPD
- Smith, Nigel J.T. (2013-09-08), "Infrastructure Development for underground labs—SNOLAB experience", 13th International Conference on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics, Asilomar, California
- "The old COUPP detector using bubble chamber technology to search for dark matter. It is not running right now because they have a bigger detector to assemble and play with!" (2013-01-18)
- Sinclair, David (12 September 2013). "The SNOLAB Science Programme". 13th International Conference on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics. Asilomar, California. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
- Nigel J.T. Smith (2010-10-04), Letter of Support for COUPP-500 Detector Proposal, retrieved 2013-05-13
- Noble, T. (2009-02-18). "SNOLAB: AstroParticle-Physics Research in Canada". p. 4.
- SNOLAB website
- SNOLAB french presentations
- "Experiment Cave". WIRED Science. Episode 104. 2007-10-24. PBS. http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/story/49-experiment_cave.html.
- Jepsen, Kathryn (2012-11-05), "Voyage to SNOLAB", Symmetry, ISSN 1931-8367, retrieved 2012-11-26
- Semeniuk, Ivan (22 March 2014). "Going deep underground in Canada in search of dark matter". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 22 March 2014.