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Underside of the front of the MINERνA neutrino detector in 2011. The names of experiment contributors are handwritten on the front of the detector.

Main Injector Experiment for ν-A, or MINERνA, is a neutrino scattering experiment which uses the NuMI beamline at Fermilab. MINERνA seeks to measure low energy neutrino interactions both in support of neutrino oscillation experiments and also to study the strong dynamics of the nucleon and nucleus that affect these interactions.[1]


The first detector module was completed in early 2006,[1] and the first events were observed by the partially assembled detector in April 2009.[2][3] Construction was completed in January, and the detector was installed in March 2010.[4][5]


The detector used for the MINERνA experiment weighs 5 tons[6] and is made of many layers of parallel scintillator strips. Each strip is connected to a photomultiplier tube which is used to detect the amount of energy deposited into the strip. The orientation of the strips varies from layer to layer so that three-dimensional information about where incoming particles interacted with the strip can be determined.

Neutrino communication[edit]

On March 14, 2012, MINERνA submitted a preprint demonstrating communication using neutrinos. Though not a part of the experiment's physics program, this is the first reported instance of a message being transmitted by neutrinos. Scientists used ASCII code to represent the word "neutrino" as a series of 1s and 0s. Over a period of 6 minutes, this sequence was delivered by either the presence (1) or absence (0) of a neutrino pulse, over a distance of about a kilometer.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b MINERνA home page, retrieved 5 Oct 2007
  2. ^ Wisniewski, Rhianna (2009-04-03). "MINERvA opens eyes to neutrino data". Fermilab Today. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  3. ^ "MINERvA Sees!". MINERvA at Fermilab. 2009-04-01. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Intensity Frontier". Fermilab. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  5. ^ "Status of the MINERvA detector construction". Fermilab. Retrieved 2016-11-22. 
  6. ^ http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/archive_2006/today06-02-15.html
  7. ^ "Message Encoded in Neutrino Beam Transmitted through Solid Rock". Scientific American. 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  8. ^ Stancil, D. D.; Adamson, P.; Alania, M.; Aliaga, L.; Andrews, M.; Araujo Del Castillo, C.; Bagby, L.; Bazo Alba, J. L.; Bodek, A.; Boehnlein, D.; Bradford, R.; Brooks, W. K.; Budd, H.; Butkevich, A.; Caicedo, D. A. M.; Capista, D. P.; Castromonte, C. M.; Chamorro, A.; Charlton, E.; Christy, M. E.; Chvojka, J.; Conrow, P. D.; Danko, I.; Day, M.; Devan, J.; Downey, J. M.; Dytman, S. A.; Eberly, B.; Fein, J. R.; Felix, J.; et al. (2012-03-14). "Demonstration of Communication Using Neutrinos". Modern Physics Letters A. 27 (12): 1250077. arXiv:1203.2847Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012MPLA...2750077S. doi:10.1142/S0217732312500770.