Union Cabinet approved to set up India-based Neutrino Observatory in TN

Jan 6, 2015 13:36 IST

Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 January 2015 approved to set up the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) in Tamil Nadu.

The INO laboratory will host experiments such as the neutrino-less double beta decay and the search for dark matter.
The INO project will be set up near Pottipuram village in the Bodi West Hills of Theni district in Tamil Nadu. The project is at an estimated cost of 1500 crore rupees.

INO is an underground laboratory with a rock cover of approximate 1200 metre for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India. The project also includes Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) and Iron Calorimeter Detector (ICAL).

The project will be jointly supported by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology. The infrastructural support will be given by the State Government of Tamil Nadu since the project is located in Tamil Nadu.

IICHEP will be established in Madurai that is about 110 km from the proposed site of the neutrino observatory. The construction of 50000 tonne magnetised ICAL is to study the properties of the neutrino especially the mass hierarchy among different types of neutrino.

The goals of INO are:
• To Study neutrinos which are fundamental particles belonging to the lepton family. Neutrinos come in three flavours, one associated with electrons and the others with their heavier cousins the muon and the Tau.
• Development of detector technology and its varied applications.

The INO Project Director is Naba Mondal who is a Senior Professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and was earlier associated with the pioneering experiments at the underground laboratory at Kolar Gold Fields.

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