Brief Introduction to LBNE


The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) Project team has prepared a Conceptual Design for a world-class facility that will enable the scientific community to carry out a compelling research program in neutrino physics. The ultimate goal in the operation of the facility and experimental program is to measure fundamental physical parameters, explore physics beyond the Standard Model and better elucidate the nature of matter and antimatter.

Although the Standard Model of particle physics presents a remarkably accurate description of the elementary particles and their interactions, scientists know that the current model is incomplete and that a more fundamental underlying theory must exist. Results from the last decade, revealing that the three known types of neutrinos have nonzero mass, mix with one another and oscillate between generations, point to physics beyond the Standard Model. Measuring the mass and other properties of neutrinos is fundamental to understanding the deeper, underlying theory and will profoundly shape our understanding of the evolution of the universe.

In its 2008 report, the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) recommended a world-class neutrino-physics program as a core component of the U.S. particle physics program. Included in the report is the long-term vision of a large detector in the Sanford Underground Laboratory in Lead, S.D., formerly the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), and a high-intensity neutrino source at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

On January 8, 2010, the Department of Energy approved the Mission Need for a new long-baseline neutrino experiment that would enable this world-class program and firmly establish the U.S. as the leader in neutrino science. The LBNE Project is being designed to meet this Mission Need.

With the facilities provided by the LBNE Project, the LBNE Science Collaboration proposes to make unprecedentedly precise measurements of neutrino-oscillation parameters, including the value of the third mixing angle and the sign of the neutrino mass hierarchy. The ultimate goal of the program will be to search for CP-violation in the neutrino sector. A configuration of the LBNE facility in which a large neutrino detector is located deep underground could also provide opportunities for research in other areas of physics, such as nucleon decay and neutrino astrophysics, including studies of neutrino bursts from locally occurring supernovae.


The DOE Mission Need for the LBNE Project proposes four major elements:

  • A proton beam and target used to create a neutrino beam
  • The resulting neutrino beam aimed at the far detector site
  • A near detector complex located near the neutrino source
  • Massive neutrino detectors located at the far detector site

The LBNE Project scope includes construction of facilities at both the near and far sites, selected to be Fermilab and the Sanford Underground Laboratory in Lead, S.D., respectively.

Project Organization

The Fermilab Project office is headed by the Project manager, Jim Strait, and assisted by the Project engineer, Elaine McCluskey, and Project scientist. Project office support staff include a chief financial officer, a lead project controls specialist, a documentation team and administrative support. The Neutrino Beamline, Liquid Argon and Conventional Facilities sub-projects are managed out of the Fermilab Project office, while the Near Detectors and Water Cherenkov sub-projects are managed out of Project offices at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory, respectively.

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Last modified: 06/28/2019 |