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The World's Largest Magnet Power Supply India Neutrino Hunters

India physicists to underground. Their government gives the green light and $235000000 to the construction of India Neutrino Observatory (INO), the country's first underground laboratory study of weak interaction, nearly massless subatomic particles.

The experiment will place a 50,000-tonne magnetic detector in a cave 1300 metres beneath Ino Peak in southern India. This will be the world's most massive magnet, outweighing the largest magnet at the Large Hadron Collider by a factor of four.

The idea is to detect neutrinos produced by interactions between cosmic rays and Earth's atmosphere. Placing INO in a cave protects it from being swamped with noise from other particles, because these can't pass through rock as easily as neutrinos.

INO's position near the equator will also allow it to see neutrinos that originate in the sun and pass through Earth's core. This may help physicists learn why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

This article appeared in print under the headline "Indian neutrinos"

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