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CETUP* brings over 150 world-class physicists to SD for 5TH year

June 12, 2015

Over 150 of the world’s top physicists will be in the Lead/Deadwood area from June 15 to July 17, 2015 as part of the fifth year of The Center for Theoretical Underground Physics and Related Areas (CETUP*). Based in South Dakota, CETUP* is an international collaboration point for physicists from around the world developing theoretical foundations ranging from neutrino physics to the quest for the discovery of dark matter. 

The study of neutrino physics and dark matter is of high interest to particle and nuclear physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists. The on-going and proposed dark matter and neutrino experiments in the 20 plus underground laboratories around the world, such as Sanford Underground Research Facility at Homestake Mine, are expected to provide answers to critical questions asked by scientists about the universe for the last few decades.

In response to increasing interest in this research, Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska, Associate Professor of Physics at Dakota State University, started the international research center in 2011. Since then, CETUP* has been the global collaboration point for scientists interested in theoretical and experimental aspects of underground science. The collaboration covers the theoretical realm of the various experiments ongoing at the world’s deep underground laboratories.

“Our mission is to facilitate individual and collaborative research in physics, astrophysics, geoscience, geomicrobiology and other fields in a dynamic atmosphere of intense scientific interactions. Our primary goal is to bring together scientists to promote deep underground science and provide a stimulating environment for creative thinking and open communication between researchers of varying ages and nationalities,” said Szczerbinska.

The 2015 program will focus on dark matter and neutrino physics. Scientists invited to participate in the program will not only provide theoretical support to the underground experiments, but also examine core questions of the 21st century including: What is dark matter? How well do we know neutrino parameters? How have neutrinos shaped the evolution of the universe? How were the heavy elements made? What are the fundamental underlying symmetries of the universe? Is there a grand unified Theory of the Universe? How do supernovae explode?

Over the last four years, over 250 top scientists from around the world have come to CETUP* for extended collaborations. Over 60 new scientific papers and two conference proceedings from CETUP* were published by American Institute of Physics. The center offers a thought-provoking environment not only for world-class research scientists but it also trains young scientists including undergraduate and graduate students. This year’s program will bring together scientists from over 15 countries, 25 states and 80 universities and research laboratories. In addition, CETUP*’s outreach efforts will aim to share the excitement of the research with K-12, undergraduate and graduate students, teachers and the general public.

More than 70 physicists participating in dark matter and neutrino sessions of CETUP* will be joined for one week by an additional 80 physicists coming for the IX International Workshop on Interconnections between Particle Physics and Cosmology (PPC). The PPC has been hosted in major cities such as Leon, Mexico; Soul, South Korea; Torino, Italy; and Geneva, Switzerland.  In 2013 PPC joined CETUP* in Deadwood, S.D. With this year being the first time PPC returns to a previous location, it serves as a testament to the scientific success and credibility of CETUP* along with the affinity the scientists have for the Black Hills region. PPC topics are at the forefront of research in physics, astrophysics and cosmology including origins of dark matter, dark energy, direct and indirect detection measurements, anti-matter searches, Higgs Boson physics, neutrino physics and many others. A greater understanding of the nature of dark matter would help to better comprehend the composition of the universe.

The long-term vision for CETUP* is for a diverse group of theoretical and experimental physicists, astrophysicists and geoscientists to collaborate year-round in a permanent campus setting located in the Black Hills.  Physicists and their families would live at the campus as well.  CETUP* also encourages collaboration in science education  which will be essential in building a critical mass of outstanding scientists of international caliber and attracting rising young scientists to the area with the program. 

For more information, please visit our websites:



Contact Person:

Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska

Email: Barbara.szczerbinska@dsu.edu

Tel.: 605-759-7444