Sanford Underground Research Facility

Sanford Underground Lab Named Historic Physics Site

Sep 18, 2020
sanford lab
Amy Varland

A nonprofit physics organizations called the American Physical Society is designating the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead as a historic physics site. 

The former gold mine at the site was converted into a research lab when chemist Ray Davis built a solar neutrino project deep in the mine. 

Mike Headley is the Lab Director for the Sanford Lab. He says Davis’ legacy lives on as the lab receives this designation. 

SDPB

In The Moment ... July 7, 2020 Show 853 Hour 2

Gina Gibson took her first trip underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility one year ago. We check in with Gibson, the SURF Artist in Residence, to see what she has created.

Gibson is a professor of graphic design at Black Hills State University.

SDPB

Eric Morrison is a graduate student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology – he’s part of a team that has built an air purifier that has reduced the radon in the air to about 50 times lower than typical outdoor air. The team is helping to ensure success for one of the world’s most sensitive dark matter experiments at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. The Lux Zeplin or LZ experiment is currently under construction and is planned to be 30 times larger and 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor, the Large Underground Xenon experiment.

SDPB

December 13, 2019, from 5 pm until 7 pm MT, Mike Witherell will present on Nobel Laureate Ernest Orlando Lawrence and the invention of big science at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center. Witherell is the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Lawrence founded this lab in the early 1920's and has roots in South Dakota. SDPB's Chris Laughery caught up with Mike Witherell prior to coming to South Dakota to learn more.

Sanford Lab Signs Cooperative Agreement With DOE

Dec 4, 2019
Matthew Kapust/SURF

The South Dakota Science and Technology Authority has signed a cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Now, federal money will flow into the Sanford Underground Research Facility’s operations in Lead. 

Mike Headley is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. 

 

“This is a really big deal for South Dakota. These cooperative agreements like this are fairly rare at this scale.”  

 

Amy Varland

The Sanford Underground Research Facility has approved a five million dollar line of credit. The money would keep operations at the lab running during a government shutdown. 

Mike Headley is the Executive Director with the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority- that’s the group that manages the Sanford Underground Research Facility, or SURF. 

Matt Kapust, courtesy of Sanford Underground Research Facility

Researchers at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead say they’ve taken a huge step forward in the quest to confirm the existence of dark matter. Late last month, they finished assembling the key piece of the LUX-ZEPLIN experiment’s xenon detector. 

Proving the existence of dark matter requires enough precision to catch two flashes of light that would be undetectable to human eyes. Scientists believe those flashes happen if a dark matter particle collides with a xenon atom.  

SURF and Adam Gomez

In The Moment ... July 16, 2018 Show 379 Hour 1

ws anCabot-Ann Christofferson is the Liaison and Deputy Director of the Majorana Project at the Sanford Underground Research Facility as well as an Instructor in the South Dakota School of Mines Chemistry and Applied Biological Sciences Department.

The Majorana Demostrator Collaboration Project began in 2010 with growing clean copper to build the experiment.

Cabot-Ann Christofferson is the featured speaker at this month's STEAM Cafe at Hay Camp Brewing Company tomorrow evening.

SDPB's Cara Hetland is underground at the 4850 foot level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. This year marks 10 years of Neutrino Day. Connie Walter is the Communications Director for the facility.

downtownsiouxfallsrotary.org

SDPB's Cara Hetland is underground at the 4850 foot level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. This year marks 10 years of Neutrino Day. Mike Headley is SDSTA Executive Director and Laboratory Director.

His personal Facebook page

Mike Headley, Executive Director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority and the Lab Director at Sanford Underground Research Facility reflects on the accomplishments in 2017 and gives us a preview of what’s to come. 

We discuss the construction, the experiments, and what it takes to continue to do deep underground science when people don’t really understand what it is they’re doing.

Fermilab

Innovation ... July 7,2017 Hour 2

Neutrino Day is held in Lead, South Dakota because solar neutrinos were discovered there. Bonnie Fleming, a Yale University physics professor and neutrino oscillation researcher, tells Cara how a man named Ray Davis first identified solar neutrinos. She shares why neutrinos will soon be shot from Fermilab in Illinois to the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota, and addresses the question: Are neutrinos the reason we exist?

Victoria Wicks

The School of Mines and Technology is hosting a conference to discuss research at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The event started Friday, May 12, and continues to Tuesday, May 16.

This is the second conference of this sort. The first was held in 2015. Associate physics professor Richard Schnee chairs this year's conference organizing committee. He says holding the conference every two years seems to be the right timing.

Amy Varland

Officials say an upgrade to the dark matter detector  at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead passed critical steps to be up and running by 2020.

Dark matter may account for a sizable chunk of the mass of the universe, but scientists still have little understanding of it.

Innovation: From The SURF

Jul 8, 2016
Constance Walter

SDPB's Cara Hetland hosts Innovation from the 4850 level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. 

Connie Walter, Communications Director, Sanford Underground Research Facility discusses the annual Neutrino Day festivities in Lead. She talks about the Science Festival, featured speakers and tours of the hoist room at the underground lab.  

Dr. Luke Corwin and Dr. Juergen Reichenbacher – both are School of Mines physicists who are leaders on the DUNE project.  DUNE stands for Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. Next week more than 150 scientists from around the world will meet in the Black Hills to collaborate on the project. The DUNE international megascience neutrino experiment is between the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago. DUNE is considered the world’s flagship neutrino project, driven by scientists from 27 countries.

Underground Geology With Tom Campbell

Aug 14, 2015
www.sanfordlab.org

As a young student, Tom Campbell discovered three minerals while exploring the Tip Top Mine near Custer.  Campbell is now a science education specialist at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.  He visited about his love for underground geology and how he shares that with students.  Campbell joined SDPB's Cara Hetland Friday on Innovation.

Innovation: Dr. Ray Jayawardhana

Jul 10, 2015
www.drrayjay.net

Dr. Ray Jayawardhana is the keynote speaker at this year's Neutrino Day.  Jayawardhana is the Dean of Science and professor of physics and astronomy at York University in Toronto.  He joined Innovation host Cara Hetland at the 4850 foot level from the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Amy Varland

Ida Clarke grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in south-central South Dakota. She’s now a junior at Black Hills State University in Spearfish studying environmental physical science. Clarke says her background in chemistry, physics, and geology helped her land a summer internship at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. Clarke says she plans to use what she’s learning to help her community get involved in
science.
 

BHSU Gets $600,000 NSF Grant

Oct 23, 2014
Amy Varland

Black Hills State University in Spearfish is getting money from the National Science Foundation. University officials say the NSF $600,000 grant is to enhance the university’s science lab capabilities and increase involvement between the college and the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead.
 
BHSU Assistant Research Professor Dr. Brianna Mount says part of the money is to purchase equipment that detects radioactive materials like uranium and thorium.
 

Amy Varland

Science officials at the Sanford Underground Research Facility and art experts from Black Hills State University say there is a connection between art and science.
 

Officials from the Lab and the University are hosting a panel discussion exploring the notion titled “When Art and Science Collide.”
 

BHSU Photography Professor Steve Babbitt is one of the panelists. Babbitt has worked with scientists at the lab while photographing the transition of the former Homestake gold mine into a state-of-the-art research facility.
 

SDPB

In honor of Neutrino Day, this week's Innovation broadcast live from a mile undergroud at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Scientists from around the country and the world gather there to investigate the mysterious building block of the universe: dark matter.  

  , and UC Berkley grad student Mia Ihm explained the LUX experiment, which uses the most sensitive dark matter detector in the world. Alan Poon and Wenqin Xu of the Majoranna Project also explained the underground construction of a new double beta decay detector.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Science takes center stage in Lead on Saturday for the 7th annual Neutrino Day. Last year an estimated one-thousand people attended activities at the Sanford Underground Research Facility and throughout town. Constance Walter is communications director for the underground lab. She joined Dakota Midday to share some of the highlights of the family event. Click here for a full schedule of activities.

Recent frigid temperatures caused delays and closures at many locations across the state. Officials say operations at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead were not hampered though, despite wind-chills that reached more than twenty below zero.
 

Constance Walter is the Director of Communications at the lab. She says the cold weather had little to no impact, and it was business as usual for the scientists.

The Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead is expanding it’s current display. Museum officials say visitors can expect to see new items like the Homestake Mine’s employment records from it’s very first day of operation back in the 1870’s.

The gold rush of the late 1800’s brought people from all over the world to the Northern Hills of South Dakota. The Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead has artifacts that date back to the gold rush’s very beginnings.
 

Neutrino Day 2013

Jul 12, 2013

Bill Harlan, director of communications at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, and Mike Headley, executive director of the Sanford Lab, talked about Neutrino Day happening Saturday, July 13.  This year marks the Lab's sixth annual free science festival.  Events are scheduled to take place all over the city of Lead.

More here

Large Underground Xenon

Jul 12, 2013

Thailand native Mongol Moongweluwan is a graduate student who is currently working on the large underground xenon (LUX) at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead.  He discussed his work with Innovation host Cara Hetland.

Majorana Experiment

Jul 12, 2013

Steve Elliott, spokesman for the Majorana experiment, joined SDPB News Director Cara Hetland a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead for Innovation.  The Majorana experiment is an ultra-low background search for neutrinoless double-beta decay.  Elliott is also a fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

South Dakota Artists Explore Dark Matter

Jul 11, 2013

The Sanford Underground Lab in Lead typically brings scientists together to explain the elusive and mysterious microscopic neutrino. Into the Dark: Artists Exploring Dark Matter is an art exhibit showing the interpretation of dark matter by artists from across the state.
 

The miles of deep underground tunnels beneath the town of Lead are slowly transitioning from a gold- mining operation into a first-class science research lab. Scientists at the lab are hoping to get to know dark matter a little better. What does it look like? What does it feel like?