SNOLAB, an extension of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), officially opened its underground facility May 17.
The facility, which is two km underground, allows research into particle astrophysics, seismology and geophysics, with interest in precision, long-term measurements at great depths and biology.
It is the deepest and cleanest laboratory in the world dedicated to this kind of work, and allows researchers to conduct experiments in an environment with the lowest possible interference from environmental and solar radioactivity.
"SNOLAB puts Canada at the forefront in the international search for new forces and forms of matter," said Dr. Pekka Sinervo, chair of the SNOLAB Institute board of management in a news release. "It also has been designed to provide researchers from numerous disciplines and countries the opportunity to perform experiments that can only be done with the shielding provided by the two km of rock."
SNOLAB’s surface facility was completed in the fall of 2005. Construction of the underground facility was made possible by funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., Ontario Research Fund (ORF), Vale and FedNor.
Operating costs have been supported by the Ontario Research Fund's research Excellence Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Vale by CFI and by the member institutions. The city of Sudbury is providing a five-year grant for public education for the new developments at SNOLAB.