India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 28, 2023, 11:59

India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] Project is a task that was taken collectively by several institutions in India to construct a library that is underground with a rock cover of around 1200 metres for Non-accelerator high energy and nuclear physics research.

A group with the name National Neutrino Collaboration was established to look into the activities and the formation of the observatory. It consists of around 50 experts from roughly 15 Indian educational institutes in the country who were given the responsibility to come up with a plan and a proposal for establishing the observatory.

The entire India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] project is funded by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology. I will see the neutrinos and antineutrinos that are created in the Earth's atmosphere.

What are Neutrinos?

Neutrinos, after photons, are the second most prevalent particles in the world (approximately a billion pass through a cubic centimetre of space per second), produced by a variety of radioactive decays and cosmic rays striking atoms during a supernova. They were discovered for the first time in 1959.

According to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, they have a lower mass. Recent tests, however, suggest that these charge-neutral fundamental particles have a finite but unknown mass.

One of the most important open challenges in physics today is determining neutrino masses. Neutrino detectors are used to investigate the specifics of these particles' interactions.

They pass through most items that come in their route without being observed, including humans, machines, and the Earth's surface. That is why scientists must dig deep underground to put up specific detectors to collect the weak signals of neutrinos in a relatively noise-free and disturbance-free environment.

Features of the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]

  • At Bodi West Hills, the observatory and the lab will be built and everything will be underground
  • A magnetic Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector was built to research neutrinos.
  • Once the project is finished, the country will get the world's largest magnet
  • The Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) will be established in Madurai.

Advantages of the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]

  • The features of neutrino particles, whose primary source is the atmosphere of the Sun and the Earth will be studied so that more can be discovered about these unknown particles
  • This will also aid in developing a physics model that is not limited to the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
  • It will create a significant impact on subjects like nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, medical imaging, and so on.

Issues in India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]

The India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] project was brought before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for causing harm to the Western Ghats ecology.

NGT, on the other hand, gave it environmental approval.

Under Poovulagin Nanbargal, locals in the Pottipuram Panchayat have protested the proposed observatory/ Friends of the Earth.

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India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] Objectives

The India-based Neutrino Observatory Project aspires to construct a world-class underground neutrino laboratory with a rock cover to undertake basic neutrino research.

The key institution is the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. The observatory will be created in collaboration with the Departments of Atomic Energy and Science and Technology.

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FAQs on India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]

Q1. Where will the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] will be set up?

India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] will be set up in the Bodi West Hills in Tamil Nadu.

Q2. Who has funded the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO]?

India-based Neutrino Observatory has been funded by the Atomic Energy and Science and Technology Department.

Q3. What will be constructed in the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] for studying the neutrinos?

A magnetised Iron Calorimeter will be constructed in the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] to study neutrinos.

Q4. Where was the India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] project challenged?

The India-based Neutrino Observatory [INO] Project was challenged before the National Green Tribunal.