Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO)

SNO Lab Sudbury

This huge Queen's-led project is a highly sophisticated underground laboratory for observing neutrinos, elusive sub-atomic particles from space. It is located two kilometres underground in INCO's Creighton Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, a region remarkably free of the background radiation that normally masks the presence of neutrinos.

By observing neutrinos, scientists hope to unravel mysteries about the sun and even more fundamental aspects of nature. The lab houses giant acrylic vessels filled with 1,000 tonnes of heavy water and surrounded by sensitive light detectors, designed to observe small flashes of light generated by neutrinos passing through the water.

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Institute, the nerve centre for the lab, is located at Queen's, and Queen's scientists have played a major role in the development of the project since its inception in 1984.

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