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  • richardmitnick 3:32 pm on November 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab, M.I.T.   

    From LC Newsline: “Vertical wonder” 

    Linear Collider Collaboration header
    Linear Collider Collaboration

    26 November 2014
    Joykrit Mitra

    In 2006, Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division teamed up with MIT’s Lincoln Labs to start work on the first iteration of a new kind chip for the proposed International Linear Collider’s vertex detector. A new way to slim down chips was emerging in the semiconductor industry, one that could potentially make it easier to measure the properties of incoming particles. Eight years and several iterations later, the chip is now close to being complete, and the ILC vertex detector is another step closer to being an engineering reality.

    set
    Fermilab’s vertically stacked chips bonded onto sensor wafers. Photo Credit: Reidar Hahn

    In old-fashioned circuit boards, components are arranged side by side on a flat surface. An electrical signal has to travel a long distance to reach the processor, and generates excess electrical noise in the process, reducing the clarity of the output. To solve this problem, the semiconductor industry started vertically stacking wafer-like silicon layers — each thinner than a human hair—and bonding them together chemically. The stacked arrangement is called a 3-D integrated circuit.

    A 3-D arrangement is especially useful for the ILC vertex detector, where the chip and its associated sensor need to be as thin as practicable so as not to disrupt the path of the incoming particles too much and interfere with their properties. Furthermore, the circuitry needs to make do with limited power and still manage to capture a particle’s position, time stamp of arrival and charge at a good resolution.

    Lincoln Labs and Fermilab collaborated to build this kind of a chip. The first iteration, VIP I – or vertically integrated pixel chip – was assembled in Lincoln Labs with three layers stacked together. The two labs went on to design a successor, VIP II-a.

    “When we originally started working on it, our goals were pretty ambitious,” said Ron Lipton of Fermilab’s Particle Physics Division who worked on detector R&D for the ILC and worked with the engineers designing the chip. “But it was clear that if you wanted to really make progress, you had to have commercial technology.”

    At this stage Tezzaron, based in Naperville, Illinois, and Ziptronix of Morrisville, North Carolina, were brought in to help develop VIP II-b, in which each wafer had a 192-by-192-pixel arrangement and greater resolution than its predecessors.

    Tezzaron had created a working 3-D prototype in 2004 connecting two wafers with tungsten contacts embedded in the silicon, and Ziptronix had found a way to get rid of the 50-micron- thick solder bumps being used industrially to connect each pixel on a chip surface to the sensor. Ziptronix engineers had replaced the bumps with metal cylinders only 5 microns in diameter and 1 micron high embedded in a glass insulator, decreasing the distance between pixel and sensor by a factor greater than 10. These advances were integrated into the latest iteration of the VIP.

    tm
    Tungsten mask of the Fermilab logo rendered using the VIP II-b chip. Photo Credit: Ron Lipton

    So far VIP II-b has been tested qualitatively. A mask of the Fermilab logo made of tungsten, 400 microns thick, was pressed against the chip and bombarded with a radioactive source, and the chip was able to reproduce a readout of the pattern at a high resolution with relatively low noise. The result showcases the device’s abilities and serves as testament that the basic circuitry works.

    Next up is detecting an actual particle beam. A collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory, Brown University and Fermilab to optimize the chip quantitatively for such a setup is under way.

    “We have all of the pieces necessary to build a functional prototype for the vertex detector,” Lipton said. “The next step will depend on how the ILC project proceeds.”

    See the full article here.

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    The Linear Collider Collaboration is an organisation that brings the two most likely candidates, the Compact Linear Collider Study (CLIC) and the International Liner Collider (ILC), together under one roof. Headed by former LHC Project Manager Lyn Evans, it strives to coordinate the research and development work that is being done for accelerators and detectors around the world and to take the project linear collider to the next step: a decision that it will be built, and where.

    Some 2000 scientists – particle physicists, accelerator physicists, engineers – are involved in the ILC or in CLIC, and often in both projects. They work on state-of-the-art detector technologies, new acceleration techniques, the civil engineering aspect of building a straight tunnel of at least 30 kilometres in length, a reliable cost estimate and many more aspects that projects of this scale require. The Linear Collider Collaboration ensures that synergies between the two friendly competitors are used to the maximum.

    Linear Collider Colaboration Banner

     
  • richardmitnick 3:18 pm on November 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab,   

    From FNAL: “From the Scientific Computing Division – Strengthening the computing foundation of Fermilab” 


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

    Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

    fn
    Panagiotis Spentzouris, head of the Scientific Computing Division, wrote this column.

    Scientific computing, through the process of numerical modeling and simulation, complements theory and experiment as a way to obtain scientific knowledge. But computing is more than the third leg of the discovery stool. Scientific computing also supports and enables the other two through data collection, reconstruction and analytics. It has always been an essential part of the Fermilab physics program.

    FNAL Scientific Computing

    Every time I see a picture of an event from the Large Hadron Collider’s CMS experiment or, in more recent times, a NOvA event, I think of our Scientific Computing Division’s contributions. NOvA hit the ground running, collecting data with an SCD-designed and -commissioned data acquisition system, processing data with SCD-developed software, and running on computing resources supported by SCD workflow management services and operations. SCD also develops and supports tools and applications for detector and accelerator simulation and physics generation.

    CERN CMS New
    CMS in the LHC at CERN

    FNAL NOvA
    FNAL NOvA

    All in all, SCD has been exceedingly successful in delivering world-class computing services, operations and software engineering support to Fermilab-based experiments, CMS and the high-energy physics community at large, working closely with our users. However, as Fermilab moves forward with the P5 plan, we face many scientific computing challenges.

    First, we must provide the same high level of support to various experiments with different timelines and priorities. In addition, as computing architectures evolve, we must change the paradigms for how we construct our algorithms, write our codes and organize our analysis flows. Also, while new technologies, such as more accessible cloud computing, provide attractive possibilities for deploying computing resources, they require us to develop new services for on-demand reliable resource allocation.

    In order to meet these challenges and continue to serve the needs of our user community, we have reorganized SCD and aligned our activities across three major areas. One is development, integration and research, in which we create the products that run on our facilities. The second is facilities, where we operate the services that run these products. The third is science operations and workflows, through which we tailor applications of the facility services to our experiments and projects and assist with operations.

    Of course, no organization can be successful without its people. In the nearly three months since I became division head, my interactions with all parts of SCD have reinforced this belief. SCD members have unique and diverse skills in a variety of professions, including scientists, engineers, software architects and developers, and experts in using and operating high-performance and high-throughput computing systems.

    It is very exciting to be at Fermilab now. The Fermilab neutrino program is on its way with more experiments to come online; CMS is about to restart taking data; the muon program will start soon; and our accelerator complex upgrades are well under way. We in SCD are looking forward to working with the rest of the laboratory to make this program a great success. Happy Thanksgiving!

    FNAL Muon G-2 Magnet
    The Muon G2 magnet

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 2:46 pm on November 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab, , Scintillators   

    From FNAL: “Scintillator extruded at Fermilab detects particles around the globe” 


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

    Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
    Troy Rummler

    Small, clear pellets of polystyrene can do a lot. They can help measure cosmic muons at the Pierre Auger Observatory, search for CP violation at KEK in Japan or observe neutrino oscillation at Fermilab. But in order to do any of these they have to go through Lab 5, located in the Fermilab Village, where the Scintillation Detector Development Group, in collaboration with the Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Design (NICADD), manufactures the exclusive source of extruded plastic scintillator.

    scin
    The plastic scintillator extrusion line, shown here, produces detector material for export to experiments around the world. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    Like vinyl siding on a house, long thin blocks of plastic scintillator cover the surfaces of certain particle detectors. The plastic absorbs energy from collisions and releases it as measurable flashes of light. Fermilab’s Alan Bross and Anna Pla-Dalmau first partnered with local vendors to develop the concept and produce cost-effective scintillator material for the MINOS neutrino oscillation experiment. Later, with NIU’s Gerald Blazey, they built the in-house facility that has now exported high-quality extruded scintillator to experiments worldwide.

    “It was clear that extruded scintillator would have a big impact on large neutrino detectors,” Bross said, “but its widespread application was not foreseen.”

    Industrially manufactured polystyrene scintillators can be costly — requiring a labor-intensive process of casting purified materials individually in molds that have to be cleaned constantly. Producing the number of pieces needed for large-scale projects such as MINOS through casting would have been prohibitively expensive.

    Extrusion, in contrast, presses melted plastic pellets through a die to create a continuous noodle of scintillator (typically about four centimeters wide by two centimeters tall) at a much lower cost. The first step in the production line mixes into the melted plastic two additives that enhance polystyrene’s natural scintillating property. As the material reaches the die, it receives a white, highly reflective coating that holds in scintillation light. Two cold water tanks respectively bathe and shower the scintillator strip before it is cool enough to handle. A puller controls its speed, and a robotic saw finally cuts it to length. The final product contains either a groove or a hole meant for a wavelength-shifting fiber that captures the scintillation light and sends the signal to electronics in the most useful form possible.

    Bross had been working on various aspects of the scintillator cost problem since 1989, and he and Pla-Dalmau successfully extruded experiment-quality plastic scintillator with their vendors just in time to make MINOS a reality. In 2003, NICADD purchased and located at Lab 5 many of the machines needed to form an in-house production line.

    “The investment made by Blazey and NICADD opened extruded scintillators to numerous experiments,” Pla-Dalmau said. “Without this contribution from NIU, who knows if this equipment would have ever been available to Fermilab and the rest of the physics community?”

    Blazey agreed that collaboration was an important part of the plastic scintillator development.

    “Together the two institutions had the capacity to build the resources necessary to develop state-of-the-art scintillator detector elements for numerous experiments inside and outside high-energy physics,” Blazey said. “The two institutions remain strong collaborators.”

    Between their other responsibilities at Fermilab, the SDD group continues to study ways to make their scintillator more efficient. One task ahead, according to Bross, is to work modern, glass wavelength-shifting fibers into their final product.

    “Incorporation of the fibers into the extrusions has always been a tedious part of the process,” he said. “We would like to change that.”

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 8:14 pm on November 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Cosmic Inflation, , , Fermilab   

    From FNAL- Video: Dr Don Lincoln on Cosmic Inflation 


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

    In 1964, scientists discovered a faint radio hiss coming from the heavens and realized that the hiss wasn’t just noise. It was a message from eons ago; specifically the remnants of the primordial fireball, cooled to about 3 degrees above absolute zero. Subsequent research revealed that the radio hiss was the same in every direction. The temperature of the early universe was uniform to at better than a part in a hundred thousand.

    And this was weird. According to the prevailing theory, the two sides of the universe have never been in contact. So how could two places that had never been in contact be so similar? One possible explanation was proposed in 1979. Called inflation, the theory required that early in the history of the universe, the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. Confused? Watch this video as Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln makes sense of this mind-bending idea.

    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 7:47 pm on November 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fermilab, Nigel Lockyer, , thestar.com   

    From thestar.com: “Basic science is the centre of gravity, says particle physics lab chief “ 

    ts
    thestar.com

    November 24, 2014
    Kate Allen

    Toronto-raised Nigel Lockyer, head of Fermilab, the U.S.’s premier particle physics lab and accelerator, talks about dark matter and how Canada funds scientific research.

    nl
    Nigel Lockyer

    As a kid growing up in North York, Nigel Lockyer earned his keep as a Toronto Star paperboy. He has moved up in the world a little since then. After spending six years as the director of TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle and nuclear physics lab, he was hired away last year to become director of Fermilab, the U.S.’s premier particle physics lab and accelerator. His first degree was a bachelor of science in physics from York University, and this week he returned to Toronto to accept the school’s most distinguished alumni award.

    The Star sat down with its former employee to chat dark matter, balancing science and hockey, and whether the Canadian government supports basic research.

    S.The discovery of the Higgs boson captivated the general public. What are some of the potential discoveries that could be made — in our lifetimes or in our grandchildren’s — that have the potential to be as big of a hit?

    L.I think the world changes the day somebody announces we have observed dark matter. We have all these experiments out there looking for dark matter, trying to produce dark matter, they’re looking for it under the ground, they’re looking for it with satellites and so on. It’s just a question of: where is it?

    I think the astronomers know for sure it’s out there. And we certainly believe there’s nothing special about our galaxy, it’s one of those galaxies that has lots of dark matter and our earth is moving through it. So to me, you find this thing that’s been very mysterious and you’re able to detect it, and then our field, particle physics, would go nuts figuring out how to produce it, how to understand more about it.

    And we don’t know if it’s a single particle or multiple particles or anything at this point. It’s just a complete unknown. All we know are its gravitational properties.

    S.What is it about particle physics that manages to excite the public despite being such a tricky technical field?

    L.Everybody understands that whatever you pick up is made out of something. You have a magnifying glass, you can see the structure of what it is you’re looking at. Particle physics is the extreme of that. You’re looking for the smallest building blocks of space, time, matter.

    S.Fermilab costs what, upwards of $500 million a year to operate?

    L.(Laughs). We don’t advertise those kinds of numbers. It’s $400 (million).

    S.I imagine you’re constantly being pressed to justify Fermilab on an economic basis: jobs created, that kind of thing. Let’s forget about that for a second. What is the worth of basic science?

    L.Basic science generates the ideas of the future, which become applied science. Without basic science you have no input to applied science. The stream dries up.

    Certain organizations understand this extremely well, and others think you can do one or the other, but it’s not true. If you just go back in time, (James Clerk) Maxwell’s understanding that there have to be electromagnetic waves (carries) all the way through to your cellphone today. Quantum mechanics led to the transistor, which led to electronic circuits and so on.

    Everything can point back to basic research. The challenge for governments is how to speed that up and how to pick the winners. Because a lot of stuff that you do ends up not being the home run — or the hat trick, depending on which country you live in.

    S.What can the Canadian government do to nurture the creation of top-level scientists?

    I think they need to fund the science. That’s the bottom line. Take TRIUMF as an example. I spent several years attracting really top people to the laboratory to do research. The government should fund the science those people want to do.

    And they’re always squeezing — they always want to give you less than you need, because that’s how governments function, but I think that’s a mistake. I think Canada can learn from some countries that are very proactive with funding their science. For example, Germany is out in the lead. If you look at Switzerland, great funding for science. If you look at any of the Asian countries now, great funding for science.

    The developing countries are just going nuts with their investment in science, and here we are — and I’ll put Canada and the United States in the same boat, we think alike — saying, “Oh, let’s see, what should we do.” Isn’t it obvious what you should do? Basic science is the future of everything.

    We live in a technological world. Invest in basic science. Just put more money into it. It will work out. And you will keep the best people. Canada is a great country for many other reasons. You don’t have to fight any of those other reasons. You do have to fight the impression that scientific funding is not a high priority for government. And it should be.

    S. Fermilab has lots of grade school students come through (on visits). How can teachers and parents do a better job of increasing scientific literacy in kids — just getting kids excited about science?

    I think you have to make it interesting for them. The same way I got up at five o’clock in the morning to drive my son to hockey, you’ve got to make an effort to take them to events that stimulate them to be interested in science. Around here (in Batavia, Ill.), there seems to be an unusually large number of people interested in robots, and they have all these organizations of kids of different ages from very young all the way through high school where they compete at all these robotic events.

    Going to public lectures with great speakers talking about dark matter — kids are trying to figure out what the world is all about. That’s how I got interested in science, just hearing these crazy ideas.

    And everybody knows this, but teachers are so influential. Whether they’re your public school teachers or your high school or college teachers, having high-quality teachers makes a world of difference to who you produce. Having world-class institutes like York and University of Toronto and Queen’s is another factor in creating great thinkers, whether it’s science or anything else.

    The problem with Canada is that it’s so rich in natural resources that it can always fall back on it rather than developing what I call a knowledge economy mentality. Now the government talks about it, but seems to me that they need to put their money where their mouth is.

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  • richardmitnick 12:07 pm on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab,   

    From FNAL: “Physics in a Nutshell – Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Wi-Fi 


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

    Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
    Jim Pivarski

    When I first started teaching, I was stumped by a student who asked me if quantum mechanics affected anything in daily life. I said that the universe is fundamentally quantum mechanical and therefore it affects everything, but this didn’t satisfy him. Since then, I’ve been noticing examples everywhere.

    rad
    Bandwidth, or the spreading of a radio station onto multiple, neighboring frequencies, is related to uncertainty in quantum mechanics.

    One surprising example is the effect of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle on Wi-Fi communication (wireless internet). Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is usually described as a limit on knowledge of a particle’s position and speed: The better you know its position, the worse you know its speed. However, it is a general principle with many consequences. The most common in particle physics is that the shorter a particle’s lifetime, the worse you know its mass. Both of these formulations are far removed from everyday life, though.

    In everyday life, the wave nature of most particles is too small to see. The biggest exception is radio and light, which are wave-like in daily life and only particle-like (photons) in the quantum realm. In radio terminology, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is called the bandwidth theorem, and it states that the rate at which information is carried over a radio band is proportional to the width of that band. Bandwidth is the reason that radio stations with nearly the same central frequency can sometimes be heard simultaneously: Each is broadcasting over a range of frequencies, and those ranges overlap. If you try to send shorter pulses of data at a higher rate, the range of frequencies broadens.

    Although this theorem was developed in the context of Morse code over telegraph systems, it applies just as well to computer data over Wi-Fi networks. A typical Wi-Fi network transmits 54 million bits per second, or 18.5 nanoseconds per bit (zero or one). Through the bandwidth theorem, this implies a frequency spread of about 25 MHz, but the whole Wi-Fi radio dial is only 72 MHz across. In practice, only three bands can be distinguished, so only three different networks can fill the same airwaves at the same time. As the bit rate of Wi-Fi gets faster, the bandwidth gets broader, crowding the radio dial even more.

    Mathematically, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is just a special case of the bandwidth theorem, and we can see this relationship by comparing units. The lifetime of a particle can be measured in nanoseconds, just like the time for a computer to emit a zero or a one. A particle’s mass, which is a form of energy, can be expressed as a frequency (for example, 1 GeV is a quarter of a trillion trillion Hz). Uncertainty in mass is therefore a frequency spread, which is to say, bandwidth.

    Although it’s fundamentally the same thing, the numerical scale is staggering. A computer network comprising decaying Z bosons could emit 75 million petabytes per second, and its bandwidth would be 600 trillion GHz wide.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 3:06 pm on November 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From FNAL- “Frontier Science Result: DZero Sharing the momentum” 


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

    Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014
    Leo Bellantoni

    The parts inside of a proton are called, in a not terribly imaginative terminology, partons. The partons that we tend to think of first and foremost are quarks — two up quarks and a down quark in each proton — but there are other kinds of partons as well.

    Each parton in a moving proton carries some momentum, which is a fraction of the total momentum of the proton. Because the partons interact with each other constantly, the momentum of a parton keeps changing. So at any particular time, there is some probability that the down quark is carrying, say, half the momentum of the proton, and later it might be a quarter of the total momentum. The fraction is called x. When the down quark is carrying half the momentum of the proton, it has an x of 0.5. These probabilities are key ingredients in calculating what happens in a hadron collider and can only be deduced from experiment.

    olot
    This plot shows the probabilities of finding up and down quarks with different fractions of a proton’s momentum. The vertical axis is arbitrary and different for the two curves. No image credit.

    The figure shows plots of the probabilities of finding up or down quarks at particular values of x. The vertical scale is a little arbitrary, but that won’t matter for us. Notice how the curve for down quarks, in blue, peaks at the left, at low values of x. That means that at any instant, the down quark tends to have a relatively small fraction of the proton’s momentum. The up quark curve, in red, has a ledge, a sort of bump in the generally downward slope at x around 0.2 or so. That means that the chances of an up quark having more momentum than a down quark are really pretty good.

    When a proton with a higher-momentum up quark hits an antiproton with a lower-momentum down antiquark, then these two partons can form a W+ boson, and that W+ boson is headed in the direction of the higher momentum. In a collision of an up antiquark and a down quark, a W- boson can be created that tends to travel in the antiproton direction. Things get a little more complicated when a W+ boson decays to a positron or a W- decays to electrons, but the positron and electron directions still carry information about the x-values of the colliding quarks.

    So the curves in the figure can be measured — or measured better — by looking at events in the Tevatron where a W+ or W- is produced and decays into a positron or electron and measuring the difference, or asymmetry, in the final electron and positron directions.

    DZero has measured the asymmetry in electron and positron directions relative to the direction of the proton’s motion when it collides with antiprotons in the Tevatron. The result is the most precise measurement of this asymmetry to date and provides important information about the momentum of the partons of protons. That information is critical in predicting what happens in all sorts of collisions involving protons, such as those at neutrino and LHC experiments.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 12:56 pm on November 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From Don Lincoln at Fermilab: “Higgs Boson: The Inside Scoop” 


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

    Aug 9, 2013

    FNAL Don Lincoln
    Don Lincoln

    [Don Lincoln is one of the world’s best communicators of High Energy Physics.]

    In July of 2012, physicists found a particle that might be the long-sought Higgs boson. In the intervening months, scientists have worked hard to pin down the identity of this newly-found discovery. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln describes researcher’s current understanding of the particle that might be the Higgs. The evidence is quite strong but the final chapter of this story might well require the return of the Large Hadron Collider to full operations in 2015.

    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    See the full video here.

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  • richardmitnick 1:52 pm on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From FNAL: “Multilaboratory collaboration brings new X-ray detector to light” 


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

    Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
    Troy Rummler

    A collaboration blending research in DOE’s offices of High-Energy Physics (HEP) with Basic Energy Sciences (BES) will yield a one-of-a-kind X-ray detector. The device boasts Brookhaven Lab sensors mounted on Fermilab integrated circuits linked to Argonne Lab data acquisition systems. It will be used at Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source II and Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. Lead scientists Peter Siddons, Grzegorz Deptuch and Robert Bradford represent the three laboratories.

    BNL NSLS II PhotoBNL NSLS-II Interior
    BNL NSLS II

    ANL APS
    ANL APS interior
    ANL APS

    “This partnership between HEP and BES has been a fruitful collaboration, advancing detector technology for both fields,” said Brookhaven’s Peter Siddons.

    team
    These researchers work on the VIPIC prototype. Peter Siddons of Brookhaven National Laboratory (fifth from the left), Grzegroz Deptuch of Fermilab (third from the right) and Robert Bradford of Argonne National Laboratory (far right) lead the effort. Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory

    This detector is filling a need in the X-ray correlation spectroscopy (XCS) community, which has been longing for a detector that can capture dynamic processes in samples with microsecond timing and nanoscale sensitivity. Available detectors have been designed largely for X-ray diffraction crystallography and are incapable of performing on this time scale.

    det
    The 64-by-64 pixel VIPIC prototype, pictured with a sensor on the bottom and solder bump-bonding bump on top, ready to be received on the printed circuit board. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    In 2006, Fermilab’s Ray Yarema began investigating 3-D integrated chip technology, which increases circuit density, performance and functionality by vertically stacking rather than laterally arranging silicon wafers. Then in 2008 Deptuch, a member of Yarema’s group and Fermilab ASIC [Application Specific Integrated Circuit] Group leader since 2011, met with Siddons, a scientist at Brookhaven, at a medical imaging conference. They discussed applying 3-D technology to a new, custom detector project, which was later given the name VIPIC (vertically integrated photon imaging chip). Siddons was intrigued by the 3-D opportunities and has since taken the lead on leveraging Fermilab expertise toward the longstanding XCS problem. As a result, the development of the device at Fermilab — where 97 percent of research funds come through HEP — receives BES funding.

    A 64-by-64-pixel VIPIC prototype tested at Argonne this summer flaunted three essential properties: timing resolution within one microsecond; continuous new-data acquisition with simultaneous old-data read-out; and selective transmission of only pixels containing data.

    The results achieved with the prototype have attracted attention from the scientific community.

    Deptuch noted that this partnership between BES and HEP reflects the collaborative nature of such efforts at the national labs.

    “It truly is a cooperative effort, combining the expertise from three national laboratories toward one specific goal,” he said.

    The team will grow their first VIPIC prototype tiled, seamless array of chips on a sensor to form a 1-megapixel detector. The collaboration is targeting a completion date of 2017 for the basic functionality detector. Ideas for expanded capabilities are being discussed for the future.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 1:57 pm on November 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From FNAL: “Physics in a Nutshell Nine weird facts about neutrinos” 


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

    Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014
    Tia Miceli

    We don’t know much about neutrinos, but what we do know points to renegade particles that, despite their prevalence, are hard to pin down. Here are, in a nutshell, nine neutrino nuggets that scientists have figured out so far.

    neut
    Neutrinos change their flavor just as chameleons can change color. The observer needs to make sure their instruments are prepared to detect these changing beasts.

    1. Neutrinos are super abundant. The shining sun sends 65 billion neutrinos per second per square centimeter to Earth. Neutrinos are the second most abundant particle in the universe. If we were to take a snapshot, we’d see that every cubic centimeter has approximately 1,000 photons and 300 neutrinos.

    2. Neutrinos are almost massless. No one yet knows the mass of neutrinos, but it is at least a million times less massive than the lightest particle we know, the electron. We do know that each is so lightweight and so abundant that the total mass of all neutrinos in the universe is estimated to be equal to the total mass of all of the visible stars.

    3. Neutrinos are perfect probes for the weak force. All other fundamental particles interact through the strong, electromagnetic or weak force or through some combination of the three. Neutrinos are the only particles that interact solely though the weak force. This makes neutrinos important for nailing down the details of the weak force.

    4. Neutrinos are really hard to detect. On average, only one neutrino from the sun will interact with a person’s body during his or her lifetime. Since neutrino interactions are so rare, neutrino detectors must be huge. Super Kamiokande in Japan is as tall as Wilson Hall and holds 50,000 tons of ultrapure water. IceCube is buried between 1.5 and 2.5 kilometers under pure and clear ice in Antarctica, instrumenting a full cubic kilometer of ice.

    Super-Kamiokande experiment Japan
    Super Kamiokande

    ICECUBE neutrino detector
    IceCube

    5. Neutrinos are like chameleons. There are three flavors of neutrinos: electron, muon and tau. As a neutrino travels along, it may switch back and forth between the flavors. These flavor “oscillations” confounded physicists for decades.

    6. Neutrinos of electron flavor linger around electrons. When neutrinos travel through matter, they see dense clouds of electrons. Electron neutrinos will have trouble traversing these dense clouds, effectively slowing down while muon and tau flavors travel through unimpeded. The NOvA experiment is using this phenomenon to deduce more information about the neutrino masses.

    FNAL NOvA experiment
    FNAL/Nova

    7. Neutrinos let us see inside the sun. The light that reaches Earth takes 10,000 to 100,000 years to escape the thick plasma of the sun’s core. When light reaches the solar surface, it freely streams through open space to our planet in only 8 minutes. Neutrinos provide us a penetrating view into the core, where nuclear fusion powers the sun. They take only 3.2 seconds to escape to the solar surface and 8 minutes to reach Earth.

    8. Neutrinos may have altered the course of the universe. Why is everything in the universe made predominantly of matter and not antimatter? Cosmologists think that at the start of the universe there were equal parts of matter and antimatter. Neutrino interactions may have tipped this delicate balance, enabling the formation of galaxies, stars and planets like our own Earth.

    9. Neutrinos dissipate more than 99 percent of a supernova’s energy. Certain types of stellar explosions lose nearly all of their energy through neutrinos. These “core collapse” supernovae [Type II] end as either a black hole or a neutron star. Neutrinos are used to understand how supernovae explode and tell us more about other astronomical objects like active galactic nuclei.

    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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