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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13204.
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A
Statement of Task

The committee will undertake an assessment of the proposed DUSEL program, including:

•  An assessment of the major physics questions that could be addressed with the proposed DUSEL and associated physics experiments,

•  An assessment of the impact of the DUSEL infrastructure on research in fields other than physics,

•  An assessment of the impact of the proposed program on the stewardship of the research communities involved,

•  An assessment of the need to develop such a program in the United States, in the context of similar science programs in other regions of the world, and

•  An assessment of broader impacts of such an activity, including but not limited to education and outreach to the public.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13204.
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According to the big bang theory, our Universe began in a state of unimaginably high energy and density, contained in a space of subatomic dimensions. At that time, unlike today, the fundamental forces of nature were presumably unified and the particles present were interacting at energies not attainable by present-day accelerators. Underground laboratories provide the conditions to investigate processes involving rare phenomena in matter and to detect the weak effects of highly elusive particles by replicating similar environments to those once harnessed during the earliest states of the Earth. These laboratories now appear to be the gateway to understanding the physics of the grand unification of the forces of nature.

Built to shield extremely sensitive detectors from the noise of their surroundings and the signals associated with cosmic rays, underground facilities have been established during the last 30 years at a number of sites worldwide. To date, the United States' efforts to develop such facilities have been modest and consist primarily of small underground laboratories. However, the U.S. underground community has pushed for larger underground facilities on the scale of major laboratories in other countries. An Assessment of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) addresses this matter by evaluating the major physics questions and experiments that could be explored with the proposed DUSEL. Measuring the potential impact, this assessment also examines the broader effects of the DUSEL in regards to education and public outreach, and evaluates the need associated with developing U.S. programs similar to science programs in other regions of the world.

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