Governor Michael Rounds has appointed Ani Aprahamian, professor of experimental nuclear physics at Notre Dame, to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. South Dakota is the home of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab (DUSEL).
Aprahamian, an internationally recognized physicist, is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was once program director for nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics at the National Science Foundation. She is co-chair of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee subcommittee on isotope production and applications and chair of the Scientific Council of GANIL in France.
Homestake, at up to 8,000 feet the deepest mine in North America, is the setting for experiments that need to have little cosmogenic background, such as the search for neutrino-less double beta decay and relic dark matter. Fields as diverse as particle and nuclear physics, geology, hydrology, geo-engineering, biology and biochemistry can conduct experiments at DUSEL.
“The development of a deep underground laboratory holds tremendous promise and scientific discovery potential for the United States and will attract a large number of scientists to South Dakota,” said Aprahamian, whose participation in the Global Nuclear Forum alerted her to the growing interest in the development of underground laboratories around the world.