The first section of a University of Minnesota particle detector is complete and the facility in Ash River is churning out 3D images of subatomic neutrinos.
Neutrinos have little or no mass, which makes them difficult to study and prompted their nickname "the ghosts of the universe." Physicists say learning about them holds clues to the origins of the universe.
The detector consists of modules that are put together in Minneapolis and shipped to Ash River, which is about 100 miles from Duluth. So far, a 12-foot segment is complete but ultimately the particle detector will be 200 feet long.
While the U of M is leading the effort, researchers from more than 30 universities and institutions are involved in the $283 million project.
The first images come nearly ten years after groundbreaking in Ash River for the facility that expands on research underway in Tower Soudan Mine.