Thursday, June 21, 2007

Underground Science

No, not secret science; just science below ground. The National Science Foundation is evaluating proposals for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), a subterranean lab that would, according to the official literature, study essentially everything: particle physics, astrophysics, biology, geoscience, and engineering.

One of the candidate lab sites is Colorado's Henderson Mine. Henderson had been in a heads-up competition with South Dakota's Homestake Mine for the project but, in 2006, the NSF reopened the selection process to include sites in Washington state and Minnesota.

Site visits are underway, so all the competitors are waiting to see whether this $300 million federal investment will be coming their way. Arguments in Henderson's favor: It's close to Denver and, because it is an active mine, it is supported by modern infrastructure. Getting the operations of a working mine to mesh with those of a research lab might be a challenge, but Henderson has the aesthetic edge: in a 2006 Newsday interview, one of the project's leaders, Chang Kee Jung, (Stony Brook) described visiting Henderson as jaw dropping, like "the first time you meet Angelina Jolie."

Hey, how'd he get to meet Angelina Jolie?

Read more here.

No comments: