July 12 is Neutrino Day—Bring the whole family

Neutrino Day, the Sanford Lab's free annual science festival, is just around the corner. The 7th annual event welcomed over 1,000 visitors to Lead last year and will continue to build on the tradition with activities, displays, talks with scientists and special presentations for all ages.

A Chamber Mixer and free performance of "Space Science Musical" by the Dakota Children's Theater at the Historic Homestake Opera House precedes this year’s event on Friday, July 11. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.; the show follows at 6:30 p.m. NASA and the Lead-Deadwood Arts Council sponsor the musical.

Neutrino Day events run Saturday, July 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day's keynote talk, by "View from the Center of the Universe" authors Dr. Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams, is at 3 p.m. at the Historic Homestake Opera House. Primack, a physics professor at the University of California Santa Cruz, is one of the world's leading cosmologists and cold dark matter experts, while Abrams is a cultural philosopher and writer.

The husband-and-wife team "use recent advances in astronomy, physics and cosmology to frame an exciting new way to understand the universe as a whole and our role in it." The lecture includes videos based on observations and supercomputer simulations, and looks at the connections between the new scientific cosmology and our human future.

Additional speakers are Dr. Mary Kidd and Milind Diwan. Kidd, assistant professor of physics at Tennessee Technical University, will present "Pushing the Limits of Detection: The Majorana Project" at 9 a.m.

At 1:30 Diwan, spokesperson for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a collaboration between the Sanford Lab and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago, Ill, will give his talk: “The Strange Wandering Life of the Neutrino.” All science talks are at the Opera House.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will again host a Science Café at Bumpin’ Buffalo. “Weather Whys,” with Susan Sanders from the Central Region, Weather Forecast Office, Rapid City, S.D., begins at noon. Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch is available.

Neutrino Day also offers a variety of activities. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Journey Museum’s GeoDome—a portable planetarium—will take visitors on a journey through space from the comfort of the Lead-Deadwood Middle School.

Throughout the day visitors can visit the Sanford Lab Surface Campus and take tours of the hoist-room, chat live with scientists working underground and the Sanford Lab Emergency Response/Mine Rescue team, and witness wild science demonstrations by SDPB’s “Science” Steve Rokusek. 

Free parking and shuttles are provided on Neutrino Day to avoid any inconvenience caused by the construction on Main Street. Park free at the Homestake Visitor's Center (Open Cut) and Lead-Deadwood High School. Regular shuttles will pick visitors up and transport them to events throughout the day.

Major support for Neutrino Day comes from South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, Black Hills Power and Goldcorp Inc. Cosponsors include the Lead Chamber of Commerce, the City of Lead, Simpsons Printing, KEVN, New Rushmore Radio, the Lead Deadwood Art Center, the Historic Homestake Opera House and Black Hills State University.

A full schedule for Neutrino Day can be accessed online at http://www.sanfordlab.org/neutrinoday