Soudan Underground Mine State Park is the only place I know where you can tour an historic iron ore mine and a state-of-the-art physics lab at the same time. I was here in June of 2006. It's a great day for a geologist like me, or anyone who likes mining history.
|Shaft #8 headframe. It takes a few minutes to get all the way down the cramped "cage" elevator.|
You pass through a nondescript door from the darkened mine and into a brilliantly-lit physics lab, a segue that has all the hallmarks of a James Bond novel. Here is the MINOS (or Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) neutrino detector. More than 2000 feet underground, the lab also conducts dark matter experiments, the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS II).