In the recently built extension of the North Experimental Area (EHN1) technicians are constructing two 8x8x8-metre cubes with thick, red, steel walls, resembling castle turrets.
They are intended to host the single- and double-phase ProtoDUNE modules. These are engineering prototype detectors for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE).
DUNE is a major international project, part of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), estimated to begin operation by 2026 at Fermilab in the US. DUNE will be made up of four giant neutrino detectors – each one measuring 66x19x18 metres – in the form of liquid argon time projection chambers (LAr-TPC), in both single and dual phase. The ProtoDUNE prototype detectors are therefore a key intermediate step to enable the LAr technology to be scaled up to the level of these next-generation neutrino detectors.
All these activities are part of the CERN Neutrino Platform programme (CENF) – to find out more, see this Courier article and visit the CENF website. You can also read more about neutrinos in this recent Symmetry article.