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Kimballton Underground Research Facility

Map of The United States showing locations of Kimbalton Lab and four other Deep Underground Laboratories.
Regional map highlight proximity of Kimbalton Lab to both Virginia Tech and Roanoke airport.


The Kimballton Underground Research Facility (KURF) is situated in Giles county only 45 minutes North of Virginia Tech's main campus. It is  in an active limestone mine owned by Lhoist North America (Ripplemead, VA). The Virginia Tech physics department maintains and operates 3 physics laboratories at KURF: one on the surface just outside the mine's main entrance, one close to the mine's entrance that offers an overburden of approximately 300 m.w.e., and a deeper lab, situated near the bottom of the mine at 1,450 m.w.e.. Various experiments have been hosted at KURF in the past several years and all focus on particle physics research involving neutrinos and other subatomic particles.

The limestone between the labs and the mountain's surface help filter cosmic rays that bombard the Earth's surface and obscure subatomic interactions. The deeper in the mine, the fewer muons that will interact in the particle detectors. KURF's low levels of natural background radioactivity also provide a perfect environment for particle detector that are sensitive to gammas and neutrons.



Composite image from showing inside of Kimbalton mine shaft and a drawing illustrating the depth from the suface to the Kimabalton Lab facilities.