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  • richardmitnick 5:56 pm on November 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From LHCb at CERN: “The proton beam knocks at the LHC door” 

    CERN New Masthead

    23 November 2014
    No Writer Credit

    The LHCb collaboration took proton interaction data this weekend

    team
    LHCb is an experiment set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the Universe we inhabit today.

    The proton beam knocked at the LHC’s very solid door this weekend and found it still closed, but nonetheless managed to provide the LHCb collaboration with very interesting data. The CERN accelerator system (see video) is now fully operational, except for the LHC collider itself. This past weekend, CERN accelerator system operators tested the two transfer lines between the SPS and LHC. One of these lines ends with a so-called beam stopper known as the “TED”, located at the end of the line about 300m from the LHCb detector. The TED is currently closed, and so absorbed the proton beam before it could enter the LHC. However many muons were produced during the absorption process, and these muons passed through the TED and traversed the LHCb detector.

    This “beam dump” experiment therefore created an excellent opportunity for LHCb physicists and engineers to commission the LHCb detector and data acquisition system. The collected data are also useful for detector studies and alignment purposes (i.e. determining the relative geometrical locations of the different sub-detectors with respect to each other).

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    The image shows the shift leader, run coordinator, spokesperson and sub-detector experts in front of the LHCb data acquisition computer screens.

    LHCb took its last collision data on 14th February 2013. The two year Long Shutdown 1 (LS1) period that followed has been used for an extensive program of consolidation and maintenance (see 24 January 2014 “underground” news). Collisions are expected to resume again in Spring 2015.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    See the full article, with video, here.

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  • richardmitnick 3:00 pm on November 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From Triumf: “LHCb Experiment Confirms TRIUMF Prediction” 

    On Wednesday, November 19th, the LHCb collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of two new particles in the baryon family. The particles, known as the Xi_b’- and Xi_b*-, were predicted to exist by the quark model but had never been seen before.

    CERN LHCb New
    LHCb at CERN

    Randy Lewis, York University, and Richard Woloshyn (photographed), TRIUMF, submitted a paper together in 2009, “Bottom baryons from a dynamical lattice QCD simulation,” in which the masses of Xi_b’- and Xi_b* were predicted. This paper, among the eight theoretical papers cited in the LHCb collaboration report submitted to the Physical Review Letters, offered the LHCb researchers a light in the path of discovery.

    rw
    Richard Woloshyn

    “Theoretical and experimental physics complement each other in an important way,” said Petr Navratil, Head of Theory Department at TRIUMF. “Richard’s work illustrates how theoretical predictions motivate experimental efforts. Experimental results then provide feedback to improve the theoretical understanding.”

    The new particles are baryons made from three quarks bound together by the strong force. The types of quarks are different, though: the new Xib particles both contain one beauty (b), one strange (s), and one down (d) quark. Thanks to the heavyweight b quarks, the baryons are more than six times as massive as the proton. But the particles are more than just the sum of their parts: their mass also depends on how they are configured. Each of the quarks has an attribute called “spin“. In the Xi_b’- state, the spins of the two lighter quarks point in opposite directions, whereas in the Xi_b*- state they are aligned. This difference makes the Xi_b*- a little heavier.

    “Nature was kind and gave us two particles for the price of one,” said
    Matthew Charles of the CNRS’s LPNHE laboratory at Paris VI University.

    “The Xi_b’- is very close in mass to the sum of its decay products: if it had been just a little lighter, we wouldn’t have seen it at all using the decay signature that we were looking for.”

    “This is a very exciting result. Thanks to LHCb’s excellent hadron identification, which is unique among the LHC experiments, we were able to separate a very clean and strong signal from the background,” said Steven Blusk from Syracuse University in New York. “It demonstrates once again the sensitivity and how precise the LHCb detector is.”

    “I am happy that LHCb cites our work and that it appears on the broader stage, ” said Richard Woloshyn, “It shows the work we do here at TRIUMF and in Canada is important.”

    As well as the masses of these particles, the LHCb team studied their relative production rates, their widths – a measure of how unstable they are – and other details of their decays. The results match up with predictions based on the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). QCD is part of the Standard Model of particle physics, the theory that describes the fundamental particles of matter, how they interact and the forces between them.

    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    “Our approach was based directly on QCD. These results give us confidence and show that the theory is adequate to deal with any measurement and to predict the outcomes of experiments,” said Richard.

    “This success is a reminder of TRIUMF’s leadership role in theoretical physics. Richard has been using the computational method called lattice QCD to make important contributions for many years, and I am one of several people who learned lattice QCD by spending time at TRIUMF with Richard,” said Randy Lewis.

    Richard admits that when he first saw the InterActions news release he did not expect it to be related to one of his theoretical ‘discoveries’ and set it aside to read later. It wasn’t until he saw the CBC headline, “New subatomic particles predicted by Canadians found at CERN” that he knew of his part in the discovery.

    See the full article here..

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    Triumf Campus
    Triumf Campus

    World Class Science at Triumf Lab, British Columbia, Canada
    Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics
    Member Universities:
    University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Carleton University, University of Guelph, University of Manitoba, Université de Montréal, Simon Fraser University,
    Queen’s University, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, York University. Not too shabby, eh?

    Associate Members:
    University of Calgary, McMaster University, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Regina, Saint Mary’s University, University of Winnipeg, How bad is that !!

     
  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on November 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From CERN: “CERN makes public first data of LHC experiments” 

    CERN New Masthead

    20 Nov 2014
    Cian O’Luanaigh

    CERN today launched its Open Data Portal where data from real collision events, produced by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will for the first time be made openly available to all. It is expected that these data will be of high value for the research community, and also be used for education purposes.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    cern

    “Launching the CERN Open Data Portal is an important step for our Organization. Data from the LHC programme are among the most precious assets of the LHC experiments, that today we start sharing openly with the world. We hope these open data will support and inspire the global research community, including students and citizen scientists,” says CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer.

    The principle of openness is enshrined in CERN’s founding Convention, and all LHC publications have been published Open Access, free for all to read and re-use. Widening the scope, the LHC collaborations recently approved Open Data policies and will release collision data over the coming years.

    The first high-level and analysable collision data openly released come from the CMS experiment and were originally collected in 2010 during the first LHC run. This data set is now publicly available on the CERN Open Data Portal. Open source software to read and analyse the data is also available, together with the corresponding documentation. The CMS collaboration is committed to releasing its data three years after collection, after they have been thoroughly studied by the collaboration.

    CERN CMS New
    CMS

    “This is all new and we are curious to see how the data will be re-used,” says CMS data preservation coordinator Kati Lassila-Perini. “We’ve prepared tools and examples of different levels of complexity from simplified analysis to ready-to-use online applications. We hope these examples will stimulate the creativity of external users.”

    In parallel, the CERN Open Data Portal gives access to additional event data sets from the ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb collaborations, which have been specifically prepared for educational purposes, such as the international masterclasses in particle physics benefiting over ten thousand high-school students every year. These resources are accompanied by visualisation tools.

    CERN ALICE New
    ALICE

    CERN ATLAS New
    ATLAS

    CERN LHCb New
    LHCb

    “Our own data policy foresees data preservation and its sharing. We have seen that students are fascinated by being able to analyse LHC data in the past and so, we are very happy to take the first steps and make available some selected data for education” says Silvia Amerio, data preservation coordinator of the LHCb experiment.

    “The development of this Open Data Portal represents a first milestone in our mission to serve our users in preserving and sharing their research materials. It will ensure that the data and tools can be accessed and used, now and in the future,” says Tim Smith of the CERN IT Department.

    All data on OpenData.cern.ch are shared under a Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication; data and software are assigned unique DOI identifiers to make them citable in scientific articles; and software is released under open source licenses. The CERN Open Data Portal is built on the open-source Invenio Digital Library software, which powers other CERN Open Science tools and initiatives.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 9:42 am on November 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From LHCb at CERN: “LHCb experiment observes two new baryon particles never seen before” 

    CERN New Masthead

    19 Nov 2014
    No Writer Credit

    graph

    Geneva 19 November 2014. Today the collaboration for the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of two new particles in the baryon family. The particles, known as the Xi_b’- and Xi_b*-, were predicted to exist by the quark model but had never been seen before. A related particle, the Xi_b*0, was found by the CMS experiment at CERN in 2012. The LHCb collaboration submitted a paper reporting the finding to Physical Review Letters.

    CERN LHCb New
    LHCb at CERN

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    Like the well-known protons that the LHC accelerates, the new particles are baryons made from three quarks bound together by the strong force. The types of quarks are different, though: the new X_ib particles both contain one beauty (b), one strange (s), and one down (d) quark. Thanks to the heavyweight b quarks, they are more than six times as massive as the proton. But the particles are more than just the sum of their parts: their mass also depends on how they are configured. Each of the quarks has an attribute called “spin“. In the Xi_b’- state, the spins of the two lighter quarks point in opposite directions, whereas in the Xi_b*- state they are aligned. This difference makes the Xi_b*- a little heavier.

    “Nature was kind and gave us two particles for the price of one,” said Matthew Charles of the CNRS’s LPNHE laboratory at Paris VI University. “The Xi_b’- is very close in mass to the sum of its decay products: if it had been just a little lighter, we wouldn’t have seen it at all using the decay signature that we were looking for.”

    “This is a very exciting result. Thanks to LHCb’s excellent hadron identification, which is unique among the LHC experiments, we were able to separate a very clean and strong signal from the background,” said Steven Blusk from Syracuse University in New York. “It demonstrates once again the sensitivity and how precise the LHCb detector is.”

    As well as the masses of these particles, the research team studied their relative production rates, their widths – a measure of how unstable they are – and other details of their decays. The results match up with predictions based on the theory of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).

    QCD is part of the Standard Model of particle physics, the theory that describes the fundamental particles of matter, how they interact and the forces between them. Testing QCD at high precision is a key to refine our understanding of quark dynamics, models of which are tremendously difficult to calculate.

    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    “If we want to find new physics beyond the Standard Model, we need first to have a sharp picture,” said LHCb’s physics coordinator Patrick Koppenburg from Nikhef Institute in Amsterdam. “Such high precision studies will help us to differentiate between Standard Model effects and anything new or unexpected in the future.”

    The measurements were made with the data taken at the LHC during 2011-2012. The LHC is currently being prepared – after its first long shutdown – to operate at higher energies and with more intense beams. It is scheduled to restart by spring 2015.

    Further information

    Caption diagram : The mass difference spectrum: the LHCb result shows strong evidence of the existence of two new particles the Xi_b’- (first peak) and Xi_b*- (second peak), with the very high-level confidence of 10 sigma. The black points are the signal sample and the hatched red histogram is a control sample. The blue curve represents a model including the two new particles, fitted to the data. Delta_m is the difference between the mass of the Xi_b0 pi- pair and the sum of the individual masses of the Xi_b0 and pi-.. INSET: Detail of the Xi_b’- region plotted with a finer binning.

    Link to the paper on Arxiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1411.4849
    More about the result on LHCb’s collaboration website: http://lhcb-public.web.cern.ch/lhcb-public/Welcome.html#StrBeaBa
    Observation of a new Xi_b*0 beauty particle, on CMS’ collaboration website: http://cms.web.cern.ch/news/observation-new-xib0-beauty-particle
    Footnote(s)

    1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession. Serbia is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer Status.

    See the full article here.
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  • richardmitnick 10:20 am on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From FNAL- “Frontier Science Result: CMS Origin of the smallest masses” 


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

    Friday, Nov. 14, 2014
    Jim Pivarski

    Since the discovery of the Higgs boson two years ago, about 80 analyses have helped to pin down its properties. Today, we know that it does not spin, that it is mirror-symmetric, and that it decays into pairs of W bosons, pairs of Z bosons, pairs of tau leptons, and pairs of photons (through a pair of short-lived top quarks). There are even weak hints at a fifth decay mode: decays into pairs of b quarks. All of these results are in agreement with expectations for a Standard Model Higgs boson, but they are still coarse measurements with significant uncertainties.

    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    To say that this boson is a Standard Model Higgs is to say that it is exactly the particle that was predicted in 1964. That leaves a lot of room for surprises. Without interference from new phenomena, the rate that this boson decays into particle-antiparticle pairs would be proportional to the square of the mass of the particle-antiparticle pairs. The best way to check the proportionality of something is to look at it on an extreme range. Since the Higgs is believed to give mass to everything from 0.0005-GeV electrons to 173-GeV top quarks, there’s plenty of room to check.

    dots
    Muons (red) are 18 times lighter than tau leptons (blue), so we expect Higgs decays to muon pairs to be about 300 times less common than Higgs decays to tau pairs.

    The highest decay rates are easiest to detect, so only the heaviest particle-antiparticle pairs have been tested so far. The lightest particle-antiparticle decay that has been observed is Higgs to pairs of tau leptons, which are 1.8 GeV each. The next-lighter final state that could be observed is Higgs to pairs of muons, which are 0.1 GeV each. By the expected scaling, Higgs to muon pairs should be 300 times less common. However, muons are easy to detect and clearly identify, so they make a good target.

    Even if you combine all the LHC data collected so far, it would not be enough to see evidence of this decay mode. However, the LHC is scheduled to restart next spring at almost twice its former energy. Higher energy and more intense beams would produce more Higgs bosons, making a future detection of Higgs to muon pairs possible.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    To prepare for such a discovery and find potential problems early, CMS scientists searched for Higgs to muon pairs in the current data set. They didn’t find any, but they did establish that no more than 0.16 percent of Higgs bosons decay into muons, only a factor of 7 from the expected number, and then they used these results to project sensitivity in future LHC data. Incidentally, the Higgs boson is the first particle known to decay into tau lepton pairs much more (6.3 percent) than muon pairs (0.023 percent). All other particles decay into taus and muons almost equally.

    CERN CMS New
    CMS in the LHC at CERN

    They also searched for Higgs decays into electrons, the lighter cousin of muons and tau leptons. Since electrons are 200 times lighter than muons, Higgs to electron pairs is expected only 0.00000051 percent of the time. None were found, though an observation would been an exciting surprise!

    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 1:58 pm on November 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Fermilab Neutrino Division, High Energy Physics, ,   

    From FNAL: “From the Neutrino Division – The new Neutrino Division” 


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

    Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

    rc
    Regina Rameika, head of the Neutrino Division, wrote this column.

    Neutrino experiments have played a big part in Fermilab’s 47-year history, and we are now working to make them an even bigger part of Fermilab’s future. As we plan for the next 40 years, we strive to fulfill an important element of the laboratory’s vision: to lead the world in neutrino science with particle accelerators. To enable this vision, in July Director Lockyer announced the formation of a Neutrino Division at Fermilab.

    The initial goal of this new organization is to provide a visible home with administrative and technical support for the laboratory’s current and planned neutrino experiments. In October, about 70 staff, guest scientists and international fellows became the first members of the new division.

    The organization is starting out small, with two very well-defined tasks. The first is to focus on operating the experiments in the NuMI and Booster neutrino beams: MicroBooNE, MINERvA, MINOS+ and NOvA. The second, aligning ourselves with the P5 plan, is to develop in a coordinated way a world-leading program of short- and long-baseline neutrino experiments. The division will host the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) project team as well as the staff and user community who are joining this effort.

    The Neutrino Division is beginning to grow a new group focused on optimizing beam designs and modeling for existing as well as future neutrino beams. It has a Technical Support Department, including a team of engineers specializing in cryogenic systems to operate and design liquid-argon neutrino detectors, which are the key elements in both the short-baseline and LBNF programs. We expect the engineering team to grow as the new projects mature and require more design effort. The Technical Support Department also includes the Operations Support Group, which supports the current and future experiments either directly or as experiment liaisons with the other divisions and sections of the laboratory.

    As a new division, we are learning many of the complexities involved in running an organization, including managing personnel with the new FermiWorks system, planning budgets and finding office space for staff and users. We approach these challenges with an eye for improvement from the “way we’ve always done it” to better ways of doing things. Being a small division, we need to be nimble and versatile. Cross-training and succession planning will be key to our success.

    It’s an exciting time for neutrino research at Fermilab. All of us at the Neutrino Division look forward to our role in building the laboratory’s future.

    To learn more about the new Neutrino Division and watch us evolve, please visit our website.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 3:17 pm on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From Symmetry: “The November Revolution” 

    Symmetry

    November 11, 2014
    Amanda Solliday

    Forty years ago today, two different research groups announced the discovery of the same new particle and redefined how physicists view the universe.

    On November 11, 1974, members of the Cornell high-energy physics group could have spent the lulls during their lunch meeting chatting about the aftermath of Nixon’s resignation or the upcoming Big Red hockey season.

    But on that particular Monday, the most sensational topic was physics-related. One of the researchers in the audience stood up to report that two labs on opposite sides of the country were about to announce the same thing: the discovery of a new particle that heralded the birth of the Standard Model of particle physics.

    tr
    Ting and Richter

    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    “Nobody at the meeting knew what the hell it was,” says physicist Kenneth Lane of Boston University, a former postdoctoral researcher at Cornell. Lane, among others, would spend the next few years describing the theory and consequences of this new particle.

    It isn’t often that a discovery comes along that forces everyone to reevaluate the way the world works. It’s even rarer for two groups to make such a discovery at the same time, using different methods.

    One announcement would come from a research group led by MIT physicist Sam Ting at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The other was to come from a team headed by physicist Burton Richter at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, then called the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, in California. Word traveled fast.

    “We started getting all sorts of inquiries and congratulations before we even finished writing the paper,” Richter says. “Somebody told a friend, and then a friend told another friend.”

    Ting called the new particle the J particle. Richter called it psi. It became known as J/psi, the discovery that sparked the November Revolution.

    Independently, the researchers at Brookhaven and SLAC had designed two complementary experiments.

    Ting and his team had made the discovery using a proton machine, shooting an intense beam of particles at a fixed target. Ting was interested in how photons, particles of light, turn into heavy photons, particles with mass, and he wanted to know how many of these types of heavy photons existed in nature. So his team—consisting of 13 scientists from MIT with help from researchers at Brookhaven—designed and built a detector that would accept a wide range of heavy photon masses.

    “The experiment was quite difficult,” Ting says. “I guess when you’re younger, you’re more courageous.”

    In early summer 1974, they started the experiment at a high mass, around 4 to 5 billion electronvolts. They saw nothing. Later, they lowered the mass and soon saw a peak near 3 billion electronvolts that indicated a high production rate of a previously unknown particle.

    At SLAC, Richter had created a new type of collider, the Stanford Positron Electron Asymmetric Rings (SPEAR). His research group used a beam of electrons produced by a linear accelerator and stored the particles in a ring of magnets. Then, they would generate positrons in a linear accelerator and inject them in the other direction. The detector was able to look at everything produced in electron-positron collisions.

    The goal was to determine the masses of known elementary particles, but the researchers saw strange effects in the summer of 1974. They looked at that particular region with finer resolution, and over the weekend of November 9-10, discovered a tall, thin energy peak around 3 billion electronvolts.

    At the time, Ting visited SLAC as part of an advisory committee. The laboratory’s director, Pief Panofsky, asked Richter to meet with him.

    “He called and said, ‘It sounds like you guys have found the same thing,’” Richter says.

    Both researchers sent their findings to the journal Physical Review Letters. Their papers were published in the same issue. Other labs quickly replicated and confirmed the results.

    At the time, the basic pieces of today’s Standard Model of particle physics were still falling into place. Just a decade before, it had resembled the periodic table of the elements, including a wide, unruly collection of different types of particles called hadrons.

    Theorists Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig were the first to propose that all of those different types of hadrons were actually made up of the same building blocks, called quarks. This model included three types of quark: up, down and strange. Other theorists—Sheldon Lee Glashow, James Bjorken, and then also John Iliopoulos and Luciano Maiani—proposed the existence of a fourth quark.

    On the day of the J/psi announcement, the Cornell researchers talked about the findings well into the afternoon. One of the professors in the department, Ken Wilson, made a connection between the discovery and a seminar given earlier that fall by Tom Appelquist, a physicist at Harvard University. Appelquist had been working with his colleague David Politzer to describe something they called “charmonium,” a bound state of a new type of quark and antiquark.

    “Only a few of us were thinking about the idea of a fourth quark,” says Appelquist, now a professor at Yale. “Ken called me right after the discovery and urged me to get our paper out ASAP.”

    The J/psi news inspired many other theorists to pick up their chalk as well.

    “It was clear from day one that J/psi was a major discovery,” Appelquist says. “It almost completely reoriented the theoretical community. Everyone wanted to think about it.”

    Less than two weeks after the initial discovery, Richter’s group also found psi-prime, a relative of J/psi that showed even more cracks in the three-quark model.

    “There was a whole collection of possibilities of what could exist outside the current model, and people were speculating about what that may be,” Richter says. “Our experiment pruned the weeds.”

    The findings of the J/psi teams triggered additional searches for unknown elementary particles, exploration that would reveal the final shape of the Standard Model. In 1976, the two experiment leaders were awarded the Nobel Prize for their achievement.

    In 1977, scientists at Fermilab discovered the fifth quark, the bottom quark. In 1995, they discovered the sixth one, the top.

    Today, theorists and experimentalists are still driven to answer questions not explained by the current prevailing model. Does supersymmetry exist? What are dark matter and dark energy? What particles have we yet to discover?

    Supersymmetry standard model
    Standard Model of Supersymmetry

    “If the answers are found, it will take us even deeper into what we are supposed to be doing as high-energy physicists,” Lane says. “But it probably isn’t going to be this lightning flash that happens on one Monday afternoon.”

    t&R
    Ting and Richter
    Courtesy of: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    See the full article here.

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


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  • richardmitnick 3:09 pm on November 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , High Energy Physics, , , , , The Conversation   

    From The Conversation: “Cheaper, more compact particle accelerators are a step closer” 

    The Conversation
    The Conversation

    Scientists working on an experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the US have taken a step forward in developing a technology which could significantly reduce the size of particle accelerators. The technology is able to accelerate particles more rapidly than conventional accelerators at a much smaller size.

    two
    Before the big bang. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    One of the most impressive aspects of particle accelerators used for research such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is its physical size.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    Yet, even with a circumference of 27km, the LHC would be smaller than most of the next generation of proposed colliders. For example the International Linear Collider (ILC), a possible future collider of electrons and positrons (anti-electrons) could be 31km long, and there is even a proposal for a circular accelerator with an 80km circumference that could be built at CERN as part of the Future Circular Colliders (FCC) project.

    ILC schematic
    ILC schematic

    future
    fut2
    With the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC in 2012, coupled with the absence of other phenomena, the particle physics panorama has become, surprisingly perhaps, very open. While the Standard Model could appear as a complete theory, several undeniable observations tell us that there is more to the story. The nature of dark matter, the origin of the baryon asymmetry in the universe, the mysteries lying behind the very small neutrino masses are telling us to keep looking for answers. Are the required new phenomena to be found at higher energies, or have they escaped detection because of very small couplings? The FCCs will address these fundamental open issues of particle physics.

    The size of all of these machines is determined by our ability to build structures that can transfer energy to particles allowing us to accelerate them to greater speeds. The higher the speed, the greater the energy when these particle beams collide, giving scientists a better chance of answering fundamental questions about the universe. This is because higher energy collisions can create conditions that are similar to those existing when the universe was born.

    Most current accelerators use a structure called an “rf cavity”, a carefully designed “box” through which the particle beam passes. The cavity transfers electromagnetic energy into the kinetic energy of particles, accelerating them. However, there is a limit to the amount of energy that an rf cavity can transfer to particles. This is because, despite operating in a vacuum, there is a risk that increasing electromagnetic fields can lead to lightning-like discharges of energy.

    However, even routine experiments in places like the LHC require more energy than a single rf cavity can provide. That is why the current solution is to use very many cavities arranged in a straight line, if it is a linear machine such as the SLAC, or using the same cavity very many times if it is in a circular machine, such as the LHC.

    Either solution presents challenges and requires a large machine to fit in the many parts needed. This raises the costs. Any technology which can increase the acceleration with smaller parts and without the need for more machinery will make future accelerators more compact.

    This matters because particle accelerators are not just for particle physicists. They are increasingly used in medicine, industry and security. For example, accelerators provide X-rays and particle beams for cancer therapy, for the fabrication of minuscule devices and for scanning the contents of everything from suitcases to freight containers.

    The new technology which could promise more compact particle accelerators has just been published in a study in Nature. The study suggests that, if bunches of electrons are passed through a short column of lithium vapour “plasma” in rapid succession, the electric field of the plasma is able to translate enough energy to accelerate particles hundreds of times quicker than the LHC. It is able to achieve all this while only being 30cm in length.

    Plasma is a state of matter where atoms are broken down into positively charged ions and negatively charged electrons. Most of the matter in the sun exists as plasma, but we can create that state on Earth using high energy lasers.

    The electric field between particles in a plasma can be extremely high. In this experiment, as the bunch of electrons passes through the plasma it causes the electrons of the plasma to move, leaving behind it a region of oscillating electrons. It is this oscillation which generate the “wakefield” which can then be used to accelerate a second set of trailing electrons following very close behind the first bunch.

    Although previous experiments have shown even greater gains in energy, what makes this experiment interesting is the number of electrons accelerated and how evenly each of them acquires energy. Being able to accelerate large numbers of particles to the same energy simultaneously is a prerequisite for any future practical use of this technology called “plasma wakefield acceleration”.

    Other groups around the world including the AWAKE collaboration at CERN and the ALPHA-X collaboration based at the University of Strathclyde are pursuing different approaches to plasma wakefield acceleration using proton beams or lasers to generate the wakefield. Meanwhile there are already tentative designs being proposed for future accelerators that could make use of this technology, if accelerating large numbers of particles simultaneously can be made reliable.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 1:24 pm on November 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , High Energy Physics, ,   

    From Daily Galaxy: “Discovery of “Higgs Boson” Points to an Undiscovered Force of Nature” 

    Daily Galaxy
    The Daily Galaxy

    November 08, 2014
    via University of Southern Denmark

    gal.

    Last year CERN [actually announced July 4.2012, editors] announced the finding of a new elementary particle, the Higgs particle. But maybe it wasn’t the Higgs particle, maybe it just looks like it. And maybe it is not alone. Many calculations indicate that the particle discovered last year in the CERN particle accelerator was indeed the famous Higgs particle. Physicists agree that the CERN experiments did find a new particle that had never been seen before, but according to an international research team, there is no conclusive evidence that the particle was indeed the Higgs particle.

    The research team has scrutinized the existing scientific data from CERN about the newfound particle and published their analysis in the journal Physical Review D. A member of this team is Mads Toudal Frandsen, associate professor at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark.

    “The CERN data is generally taken as evidence that the particle is the Higgs particle. It is true that the Higgs particle can explain the data but there can be other explanations, we would also get this data from other particles”, Mads Toudal Frandsen explains.

    The researchers’ analysis does not debunk the possibility that CERN has discovered the Higgs particle. That is still possible – but it is equally possible that it is a different kind of particle. “The current data is not precise enough to determine exactly what the particle is. It could be a number of other known particles”, says Mads Toudal Frandsen.

    But if it wasn’t the Higgs particle, that was found in CERN’s particle accelerator, then what was it? “We believe that it may be a so-called techni-higgs particle. This particle is in some ways similar to the Higgs particle – hence half of the name”, says Mads Toudal Frandsen. Although the techni-higgs particle and Higgs particle can easily be confused in experiments, they are two very different particles belonging to two very different theories of how the universe was created.

    The Higgs particle is the missing piece in the theory called the Standard Model.
    sm
    The Standard Model of elementary particles, with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    This theory describes three of the four forces of nature. But it does not explain what dark matter is – the substance that makes up most of the universe. A techni-higgs particle, if it exists, is a completely different thing: “A techni-higgs particle is not an elementary particle. Instead, it consists of so-called techni-quarks, which we believe are elementary. Techni-quarks may bind together in various ways to form for instance techni-higgs particles, while other combinations may form dark matter. We therefore expect to find several different particles at the LHC, all built by techni-quarks”, says Mads Toudal Frandsen.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    If techni-quarks exist, there must be a force to bind them together so that they can form particles. None of the four known forces of nature (gravity, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force) are any good at binding techni-quarks together. There must therefore be a yet undiscovered force of nature. This force is called the the technicolor force.

    What was found last year in CERN’s accelerator could thus be either the Higgs particle of the Standard Model or a light techni-higgs particle, composed of two techni-quarks. Mads Toudal Frandsen believes that more data from CERN will probably be able to determine if it was a Higgs or a techni-higgs particle. If CERN gets an even more powerful accelerator, it will in principle be able to observe techni-quarks directly.

    The rest of the team behind the scientific paper is: Alexander Belyaev and Matthew S. Brown from the University of Southampton, UK and Roshan Foadi from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

    Ref: Technicolor Higgs boson in the light of LHC data. Phys. Rev. D 90, 035012th Alexander Belyaev, Matthew S. Brown, Roshan Foadi, and Mads T. Frandsen.

    Image at top of the page: The Black Eye galaxy is seen in this Hubble Space Telescope image released in 2004. Galaxies behave as if they contain much more mass than is visible to astronomers. NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

    See the full article here.

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