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  • richardmitnick 1:38 pm on May 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab MINOS,   

    From Symmetry: “Long-distance neutrino search” 

    Symmetry

    May 15, 2014
    Amanda Solliday

    Physicist Ruth Toner sits facing five computer screens and a TV monitor in a room in Medford, Massachusetts. She’s watching an experiment in action: Tiny particles fly through a pair of detectors hundreds of miles away, one at a laboratory in Illinois and the other in a former iron ore mine near the Canadian border of Minnesota.

    “Nothing’s turned red yet, so it’s going okay,” Toner says as she glances at the largest screen, which glows green.

    Toner, a postdoc at Harvard University, has been taking shifts here in the new control room at Tufts University since January 20, when she was the first to try it out independently. The room allows particle physicists at the two Boston-area schools to observe detectors of the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, or MINOS, experiment at Fermilab in Illinois and in Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. The MINOS experiment is on its second iteration, called MINOS+ (pronounced Mee-nohs-plus).

    The experiment studies a beam of neutrinos produced at Fermilab and propelled toward the detectors. Neutrinos interact so rarely with other matter that they are able to travel straight through the earth.

    Posters from previous experiments hang on the control room wall, along with images overlaid with mnemonic devices for the MINOS+ detectors’ component names. There’s also a webcam that connects the room to the distant detectors. It’s switched off, but as Toner watches the other screens display data, she discusses what she sees with a coordinator onsite at Fermilab through the MINOS+ electronic logbook.

    “Fermilab neutrino experiments are bringing far-flung people together to do some really exciting science,” Toner says. “Neutrino physics is a very fast-moving field right now, with the potential for some really interesting future discoveries.”

    room

    Scientists on the MINOS+ experiment aim to learn more about how the perplexing particles oscillate, or change form, and also hunt for new particles such as sterile neutrinos.

    The Boston-area researchers learned how to construct and run the control room from physicists at the University of Rochester, who set up a similar remote operations center for another Fermilab neutrino experiment called MINERνA. Academic institutions in the United States and abroad, including The College of William and Mary and the University of Warsaw, have developed similar centers.

    Patricia Vahle, a physics professor at The College of William and Mary, sees a local control room as a tool with trade-offs.

    “A remote control room definitely saves money, removes travel hassles and also creates a simpler way to expose students to particle physics research,” she says. “But you do lose something. Coming to Fermilab for shifts gives you a chance to connect face-to-face with your colleagues.”

    The Tufts crew has been involved with MINOS since the project was first proposed in the mid-1990s. Tony Mann, a physics professor at Tufts University and co-leader of MINOS+, manages a group currently working on three Fermilab neutrino experiments: MINOS+, MINERνA and the latest addition, NOνA.

    “There’s no way we could participate in all three experiments without local control room capabilities,” Mann says. “I think remote control rooms are a positive development for the particle physics community.”

    See the full article here.

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.



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  • richardmitnick 9:17 am on May 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS, ,   

    From Fermilab: “Physics in a Nutshell – The twin paradox” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.
    Friday, May 2, 2014

    Fermilab Don Lincoln
    This column was written by Dr. Don Lincoln

    In my last column, I discussed the fact that time passes slower for clocks that are moving at high velocity, and I showed that the Fermilab MINOS beamline proves that the predictions of relativity are right.

    Fermilab NuMI Tunnel
    Fermilab NuMI Tunnel

    ae
    The twin paradox is a classic seeming conundrum of Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Today’s column explains why it is important that the word “seeming” is added. In reality, there is no paradox.

    However, one must be very careful. The “relativity” in the theory’s name comes from the absolute core premise of [Albert] Einstein’s idea, which is that nothing is absolute. If you are standing on a train platform and a train whizzes by, you would say that a person on the train is moving. On the other hand, a person sitting on the train would say that he is stationary and that you are moving. Relativity says that both of you are right. Who is moving and who is stationary is just a matter of perspective, and the laws of physics must work equally well for both people.

    But this raises a conundrum when applied to the question of moving clocks. How can moving clocks tick more slowly than stationary ones if the question of who is moving is a matter of opinion? If I can say you are moving and your clock is slow, and if you can say I am moving and my clock is slow, something is inconsistent.

    This longstanding question about special relativity is called the twin paradox. Suppose one in a set of twins sets off in a spaceship, travels to a distant star and then returns. On both legs of the trip, he accelerates to high velocity and then coasts for most of the journey. According to the “moving clocks tick slower” premise, the twin who stays on Earth will have experienced one duration, while the traveling twin will have experienced another, slower duration. The spacefaring twin will return to Earth younger than his homebody brother.

    “But wait,” says the traveling twin, “according to my definition, I was just sitting there on my stationary spaceship while the Earth zoomed away from me and then zoomed back. By all rights, Earth twin should be younger!”

    The solution to this seeming paradox has to do with the idea of a reference frame, which is central to special relativity. “Reference frame” is just a fancy term that means “the world according to me,” putting each person at the center of his or her universe. All “inertial” observers — those who don’t experience any acceleration — will agree that the homebody never changed his reference frame. He just sat there. Similarly, all observers will agree that the traveler lived in two reference frames, one moving away from Earth and one returning. Any third observer coasting through space will see that the homebody’s velocity doesn’t change while the traveler’s velocity does.

    The law of relativity takes the traveler’s two reference frames into account. Thus the so-called paradox isn’t really a paradox. While the question of who is moving is a matter of opinion, the question of who has experienced two reference frames is not.

    Some readers, probably including some of my doctoral-holding colleagues at Fermilab, will claim that the difference between the two twins is that one of the two has experienced an acceleration. (After all, that’s how he slowed down and reversed direction.) However, the relativistic equations don’t include that acceleration phase; they include just the coasting time at high velocity. For the professional (or the brave), I work out the predictions of relativity. That one twin inhabits two frames is the only thing that matters.

    The twin paradox is one of those mind-bending questions you encounter as you first begin to explore the predictions of relativity, but don’t be fooled: It really isn’t a paradox at all. Keep that in mind as you explore other explanations that may resonate with you — the well-known ones posted by physicist John Baez, a video by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the idea of acceleration, or my own description here of one twin being in one frame.

    Embracing the twin paradox is an important first step as you dip your toe into the nonintuitive world of special relativity. If you dig a little deeper into the links given here (and show a little determination), hopefully you’ll begin to be more comfortable that Einstein really was right.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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    • Lubos Motl 9:37 am on May 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      ““Reference frame” is just a fancy term that means “the world according to me,” putting each person at the center of his or her universe.

      We’re lucky that my blog is called “The Reference Frame” including the article, “The”, which means that mine is the only true and objectively correct center of *the* Universe. ;-)

      Like

    • Richard Mitnick 11:20 am on May 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for reading.

      Like

  • richardmitnick 12:23 pm on April 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Fermilab MINOS, , , ,   

    From Fermilab: “Proving special relativity: episode 3″ 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, April 18, 2014
    This column was written by Dr. Don Lincoln
    Fermilab Don Lincoln

    “Time waits for no man” goes the saying, and it appears to be true. Inexorably the moments of our lives tick away until we have none left and slip away into the darkness. However, as painful as that truth is, we have some comfort in the fact that time marches on equally for all of us — pauper and prince. Time plays no favorites.

    [Albert] Einstein turned this comforting truism on its head in 1905 when he published his theory of special relativity. In one of the most nonintuitive consequences of his theory, time does not march at the same pace for us all — it depends on a person’s velocity. Slow-moving objects age more quickly than their speedy brethren.

    ae
    One of the most nonintuitive consequences of Einstein’s theory of special relativity is the idea that different people will experience time at different rates. This has no analog in classical theory, and yet it is easy to observe at laboratories such as Fermilab and CERN.

    That just didn’t seem even possible.

    Luckily, at particle accelerator laboratories, it is pretty easy to increase the velocity of subatomic particles and put Einstein’s idea to a strict test. Let me immediately get to the punch line: As bizarre as it seems, Einstein is right.

    There are a ton of examples I can give from every particle accelerator laboratory on the planet, and they all confirm the theory of special relativity beyond a shadow of a doubt. Let’s use one to illustrate the point: the Fermilab MINOS beamline, which shoots neutrinos in the direction of Minnesota.

    numi

    Fermilab makes neutrinos by slamming high-energy protons into a target, creating a spray of particles. The most common are pions, which then decay into muons and neutrinos. Since the pions come flying out of the collision, they move while they are decaying.

    To see the effect of relativity, we need to see just how long of a tunnel is needed to let them decay. To do that, we need to know the pions’ velocity and how long they live. In the same way that you can combine the speed of a car and the time it travels to determine the distance of its trip, you can figure out how far a pion will travel before it can decay.

    We know very well how long stationary pions live. Because pion decay is essentially a form of radioactive decay, individual pions don’t have a fixed lifetime any more than people do — some live longer and some shorter. But we can certainly say 95 percent of pions decay in 80 billionths of a second.

    Let’s say the pions have an energy of 14 GeV, traveling at 99.995 percent the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). Combining velocity and time, we would predict that the NuMI/MINOS decay tunnel would need to be about 76 feet long to contain all of the pion’s decay. Yet the actual tunnel is 2,320 feet long — almost half a mile. You know that Fermilab wouldn’t dig a much-longer-than-needed tunnel just for fun. There had to be a reason for its length, and that reason is Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

    One of the predictions of relativity is that moving clocks tick more slowly than stationary ones. There are many forms of clocks, from an old-style grandfather clock to the beat of a human heart. The steady decay of particles such as pions forms its own clock, and because of the effects of relativity, the moving-pion clock is slower than the stationary-pion clock, which means Fermilab scientists had to design the NuMI/MINOS tunnel to be long enough to accommodate the longer lifetime of the moving, decaying pion.

    Using the velocities and lifetimes described here, classical physics says that every pion would have decayed in the 2,320-foot-long tunnel — after all, it really only needed 76 feet anyway. Yet Fermilab physicists know that only about 40 percent of the pions will decay before they smash into the end of the tunnel about half a mile away. This is exactly what is predicted by relativity.

    While the fact that clocks tick more slowly if they are moving is not at all intuitive, every time we shoot a beam of neutrinos at Minnesota, we conclusively prove that the universe can be nonintuitive. Relativity works.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 2:05 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab: “Slip stacked beam sent to NuMI in accelerator complex’s new operational mode” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
    No Writer Credit

    On Friday, Feb. 14, the reconfigured Recycler successfully sent 12 batches of slip stacked beam to the NuMI target.

    ac
    The Accelerator Division reached a new milestone in the ramp-up of operations at Fermilab’s accelerator complex.

    This is the first time the Accelerator Division carried out all the acceleration steps — from the beginning of the accelerator chain to the NuMI target — in the accelerator complex’s high-power operation mode.

    Starting in the Booster, the 12 batches of beam were injected into and slip stacked in the Recycler, transferred to the Main Injector, accelerated to 120 GeV and delivered to the NuMI target.

    The Accelerator Division will continue to work on gradually increasing the slip-stacked-beam intensity in the Recycler. The goal is to have the reconfigured Recycler fully integrated into the rest of the accelerator complex in May. In the new configuration, the accelerator complex will be able to produce more neutrinos.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 3:25 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab MINOS, ,   

    From Fermilab: “Final block of NOvA near detector in place” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
    No Writer Credit

    Since June, crews have been assembling the massive NOvA near detector in the Minos cavern, located 350 feet underground at Fermilab. On Friday, Jan. 10, the final 21,000-pound plastic block of that detector was put into place, signaling a significant milestone in what will be one of the largest and most sophisticated neutrino experiments in the world.

    block
    Members of the NOvA crew put the final NOvA near-detector block into place in the Minos cavern. Photo: Cindy Arnold

    Construction of the near detector began in June, after the excavation of the NOvA cavern was completed in May. The detector consists of a muon catcher and eight PVC blocks standing 15 feet high and wide and about 6 feet deep. Each block was assembled at the CDF assembly building, driven to Minos on a truck and then carefully lowered down an open shaft to the cavern floor, where workers wheeled it into place.

    In the coming months, the near detector will be filled with liquid scintillator and wired with the sensors needed to take neutrino data. It will weigh about 300 tons. Meanwhile, in northern Minnesota, construction is nearly complete on the 14,000-ton far detector, and the NOvA experiment is already receiving a beam of neutrinos from Fermilab’s Main Injector.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 2:12 pm on December 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab: “MINOS+ adds to the book on neutrinos” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
    Leah Hesla

    Fermilab’s MINOS neutrino experiment entered a new stage this year, marked by a new name: MINOS+.

    minos
    MINOS

    Using a higher-energy and higher-power neutrino beam than its predecessor, the experiment’s second stage explores new territory in neutrino interactions. It also coaxes many times the number of interactions from neutrinos as they pass through the MINOS detector than could the original setup. With MINOS+, scientists hope to uncover new behavior not visible in MINOS’ first phase, which lasted from 2005 to 2012.

    Since 2001, when scientists first confirmed the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation, researchers have been studying precisely how neutrinos change from one of their three types into another. A neutrino of one type at point A may have transformed into another type by the time it reaches point B. The way a neutrino oscillates depends on the ratio of the distance it travels to its energy — or L/E (L over E) in physicist parlance.

    In MINOS+, while the distance the neutrinos travel is the same as it was for MINOS — 734 kilometers — the neutrino energy is significantly higher. This takes scientists’ search for a better understanding of neutrinos into a new L/E region, one where fewer neutrinos “disappear” by the time they reach the detector, having oscillated into a neutrino flavor the detector can’t easily see.

    At the same time, the increased energy and more powerful beam causes the neutrinos to interact more often in the MINOS detector, reducing measurement uncertainties and providing even more opportunities to catch neutrinos doing something out of the ordinary.

    Thus in the new L/E region, scientists can both paint a high-definition picture of neutrino oscillations and look for physics that departs from the standard expectation.

    To date, MINOS provides the best measurement of a key property of neutrino oscillation, the difference in the square of the masses between two of the three mass states. MINOS+ will continue to beat on the precision of this measurement. Neutrino masses themselves — parameters of standard neutrino oscillations — are too small to measure by conventional means.

    Scientists will also look for one or more hypothesized sterile neutrinos, as well as any effects that depart from the Standard Model of particle physics. They may even be able to spot hints of extra dimensions.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics
    Standard Model of Particle Physics

    With the more intense neutrino beam delivered by Fermilab’s revamped accelerator complex, scientists will fill in gaps in the book on neutrinos with more precise details on this subtle and puzzling particle.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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    • Alex Autin 11:09 am on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      …my head just exploded. ;)

      Like

    • richardmitnick 12:55 pm on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It is a far far reach; but neutrinos, which are 1/2 spin, and affected by gravity and the weak force could turn out to be dark matter. No one is saying this yet, but…

      Like

  • richardmitnick 12:28 pm on August 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab: “Probing three-flavor neutrino oscillations with the complete MINOS data set” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
    João Coelho

    “For many years neutrinos were assumed to be massless. This assumption stemmed from the incredible smallness of their masses and the remarkable weakness of their interactions. The discovery of neutrino mass was possible due to one of the most powerful techniques in physics: interferometry.

    Just like slightly untuned musical instruments creating an acoustic beat, neutrinos of different mass oscillate among different flavors. The beat frequency of these relativistic oscillations depends on the difference (interference) among frequencies of the neutrino states as they propagate, which is governed by the difference of the squares of their masses. However, not only neutrino masses play a role: This is also a potential window to the origin of the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe. The interference pattern could reveal that leptons do not respect the so-called Charge-Parity (CP) symmetry.

    For more than nine years, the MINOS experiment has observed neutrinos and antineutrinos produced by the Fermilab accelerator complex, located 735 km from the MINOS detector in Minnesota, and by cosmic-ray interactions in the Earth’s atmosphere. In particular, we have looked for neutrinos produced in the muon flavor that oscillated into other neutrino flavors. We observe this process through both the disappearance of muon neutrinos and the appearance of electron neutrinos in MINOS. Each of these channels has been studied separately before. Now, for the first time, we present results from a combined analysis of the complete MINOS data set.

    The combination of appearance and disappearance allows us to probe aspects of neutrino oscillations that involve all three flavors of neutrinos. Such three-flavor phenomena are the main focus of many upcoming neutrino oscillation experiments and the new MINOS results take us a little closer to those goals. For example, the difference between neutrinos and antineutrinos known as CP violation cannot occur in oscillations between only two neutrino flavors. Furthermore, oscillations studied in a two-neutrino model cannot determine which neutrino is the heaviest or which neutrino has a larger muon-flavor component.

    The new results, presented in the graphics above and below, constitute our best measurement of the parameters that determine the three-neutrino oscillation pattern: the mixing angle θ23, the mass difference Δm232 and the CP-violating phase δCP.”

    chart
    The 68 percent and 90 percent confidence limits for the mixing parameters Δm232 and sin2θ23 resulting from a combined fit to the MINOS data for muon-neutrino disappearance and electron-neutrino appearance. The best fit occurs in the inverted hierarchy and lower octant at a value of (0.41, -2.41×10-3 eV2), as indicated by the star. No image credit

    chart2
    The 1-D likelihood profile for δCP, plotted separately for each combination of hierarchy and θ23 octant. The best fit occurs in the inverted hierarchy and lower octant; the worst fit is the normal hierarchy and upper octant and is disfavored at 81 percent confidence level. The dashed horizontal lines indicate the 68 percent (90 percent) single-parameter confidence limits, which disfavor 36 percent (11 percent) of the parameter space defined by the mass hierarchy, octant, and δCP. No image credit

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 10:59 am on May 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS,   

    From Fermilab- “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Unraveling neutrino oscillations with MINOS” 

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, May 24, 2013
    Michelle Medeiros

    Neutrinos are among the most mysterious particles that make up the universe, and they are not very easy to study. The three types can change from one to another in a quantum phenomenon known as neutrino oscillations.

    In the MINOS experiment, we are able to measure these oscillations by producing a beam made of muon neutrinos (the NuMI beam) and detecting it in two different locations: at the near detector, located at Fermilab, and at the far detector, 734 kilometers away in Soudan, Minn. The large distance between the detectors gives the neutrinos a chance to change type, allowing us to observe neutrino oscillations.

    tunnel

    The MINOS experiment has the special feature of being able to detect muon neutrinos and antineutrinos individually by separating the events each produces. Therefore we are able to study both muon neutrino and antineutrino oscillations, which are described essentially by two parameters: mixing angle and mass splitting.

    Beyond that, we also use the far detector to detect neutrinos and antineutrinos created by interactions of cosmic ray particles with the nuclei in the Earth’s atmosphere. These are called atmospheric neutrinos and antineutrinos.

    Several experiments have been measuring neutrino oscillations, helping us better understand this mysterious particle. For the first time, the MINOS collaboration has carried out a measurement by combining its two kinds of data: beam and atmospheric neutrinos and antineutrinos. We used the complete MINOS data set, accumulated over nine years of operation. The combined analysis has yielded the world’s most precise measurement of the mass splitting parameter for both muon neutrinos and antineutrinos. Furthermore, we compared results obtained for muon neutrinos and antineutrinos and found that they have practically the same oscillation parameters, providing more evidence that CPT symmetry is conserved in the neutrino sector. This is also the most precise comparison ever made between neutrino and antineutrino oscillation parameters.”

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 10:15 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab- “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Does matter matter for neutrino flavor?” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, March 15, 2013
    Zeynep Isvan, Brookhaven National Laboratory

    “The NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam is generated here at Fermilab and points toward the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Soudan, Minn. The MINOS collaboration detects this beam of neutrinos in its journey twice: once at Fermilab right after it is generated and once at Soudan Lab after the neutrinos have traveled 450 miles through the Earth’s crust. At its generation, the beam is made up of muon-flavored neutrinos (neutrinos come in three flavors: electron, muon, and tau). After traveling such a long distance, some of the neutrinos change flavor, primarily into and a few into electron neutrinos. This phenomenon of flavor change is called neutrino oscillation. By counting the number (and measuring the energy) of muon neutrinos before and after travel, MINOS can measure parameters that govern neutrino oscillations.

    graph
    im2
    By combining its neutrino and antineutrino data sets, MINOS has constrained the non-standard interaction parameter εμτ, finding that the results are consistent with εμτ=0, shown by the gray line. The angle θ and the parameter Δm2 relate to the relative masses of the neutrinos and to how quantum mechanically “mixed” the flavors are.

    The presence of matter in the neutrino path may also have an impact on flavor change. If it does, the flavor count after travel would be altered. Some of these interactions are expected from the tiny number of oscillation-generated electron neutrinos, but extra interactions of muon or tau neutrinos with the Earth are non-standard and are thus called non-standard interactions, or NSI for short. (The Earth is made up of regular matter—electrons, protons and neutrons—and not of matter in muon or tau flavors.)

    Because of its magnetized detectors, MINOS remains the most suitable experiment to further investigate NSI. Starting this spring, MINOS+ will collect data in a complementary energy regime. This will allow for a more precise determination of the impact of NSI in neutrino flavor change.”

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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  • richardmitnick 10:24 am on January 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Organizing the masses at MINOS” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    Ryan Patterson, Caltech

    “Over a decade ago the evidence became clear that neutrinos, which come in three varieties, can morph from one type to another as they travel, a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation. By tallying how often this transformation happens under various conditions—different neutrino energies, different distances of travel—one can tease out a number of fundamental properties of neutrinos, for example, their relative masses. The MINOS collaboration has been doing exactly this by sending an intense beam of muon-type neutrinos from Fermilab to northern Minnesota, where a 5-kiloton detector lies in wait deep underground.

    minos
    The 30 m long MINOS detector comprises 486 massive octagonal planes, lined up like the slices of a loaf of bread. Each plane consists of a sheet of steel that is about 8 m high and 2.5 cm thick, covered on one side with a layer of scintillating plastic. This photo shows the final plate in the assembly. (CERN)

    MINOS also collected data with an antineutrino beam, and the real excitement comes in when combining the antineutrino and neutrino data sets. Differences between the rates of this particular oscillation mode between neutrinos and antineutrinos would point to a violation of something called CP symmetry. While physicists know that CP symmetry is violated by quarks, it remains unknown whether the same is true for neutrinos.

    While further data will be needed to bring the answers into sharper focus, MINOS is the first to use this accelerator-based neutrino-antineutrino technique to probe such deep questions in the neutrino sector, paving the way for the next round of measurements.”

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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