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When will the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) definitely spot its first neutrino(s)?

Last December, India's Cabinet Committee on Security greenlighted the building of the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project.

When completed, the INO will be India's largest basic science facility. Researchers plan to use it to "study atmospheric neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in the earth’s atmosphere."

Per The Hindu Business Line,

[the INO] is an underground project and will comprise a complex of caverns. The main cavern, which will house the huge neutrino detector [50-kilo tonne magnetised iron calorimeter], will be 130 m long, 26 m wide, and 30 m high. Two smaller caverns will be used for setting up experiments for neutrino double detector and dark matter.

Of course, the project has not been without setbacks. Locals at Western Ghats voiced concerns about radiation and environmental damage. And neutrino detectors are incredibly sensitive and fickle machines. And even when they work properly, the process of detecting a neutrino--and then confirming that detection carefully--can be achingly slow.

To that end, on what date will researchers publicly announce the first confirmed neutrino detection at INO?

Resolution should be triggered by an official announcement from the research group that a detection has been achieved (even if not published). If necessary, a 99.9% confidence level for detection can be specified.


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