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Physics Panel: US Should Build Billion-Dollar Project To Beam Ghostlike Subatomic Particles Underground

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A visitor to the Science Museum takes a phone photograph of a video projection showing the workings of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the 'Collider' exhibition on Nov. 12, 2013 in London, England. (credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

A visitor to the Science Museum takes a phone photograph of a video projection showing the workings of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the ‘Collider’ exhibition on Nov. 12, 2013 in London, England. (credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee of physicists says the U.S. should build a billion-dollar project to beam ghostlike subatomic particles 800 miles underground from Chicago to South Dakota. That would help scientists understand these particles, called neutrinos, which zip right through us and pose a major puzzle for researchers.

Steven Ritz of the University of California Santa Cruz, the panel’s chairman, said this would be the biggest American particle physics project in many years. It still wouldn’t be anywhere near as massive as Europe’s Large Hadron Collider, which found the critical Higgs Boson.

The committee on Thursday suggested priorities for federal particle physics projects for the next two decades. If approved and funded, the neutrino beam would take about 10 years to build and could run for another 20 years, experts said.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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