GoI: 21 Neutrino Observatories to be set up in the country

Published: September 22, 2020

On September 21, 2020, the Union Minister of state of North Eastern region Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply said that around 21 neutrino observatory or to be set up in the country.

Highlights

According to the information provided by the Minister the observatory is or to be located as follows

  • Six observatories in Karnataka
  • Four observatories in Uttarakhand.
  • One observatory in each of the following states that are to be operated by the Indian Institute of geomagnetism
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Gujarat
  • Meghalaya
  • Maharashtra
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Rajasthan
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Puducherry
  • Andaman and Nicobar Island

The observatory will provide more information about the properties of Neutrino particles. The observatories will study about the neutrino particles from the Sun and from the earth’s atmosphere.

Indian neutrino observatory

The observatory is being constructed in Bodi West Hills located in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. This observatory will study only atmospheric neutrinos. The Solar neutrinos on other hand have much lower energy and thus more powerful detectors are required.

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research is the nodal agency implementing the project. The observatory is jointly built by the department of Science and Technology and Department of Atomic Energy.

The laboratory will require adequate shielding to the detector. This is to seal the vibrations created from anthropogenic and earthly activities.

Concerns raised

The observatory is constructed underground. According to the environmentalists, the explosions, blasts and vibrations from the construction will badly affected the ecologically fragile Western Ghats. The Mathikettan Shola National Park is very close to the observatory and will face adverse impacts.

What is a neutrino?

Neutrino is a tiny elementary particle. It is not a part of the atom. Neutrinos are of tiny mass and have no charge. They interact with other matter particles very weakly. Hence, the information carried by them from distant galaxies and stars are not disturbed by other astronomical bodies.

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