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  • richardmitnick 1:24 pm on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven Lab: “Accelerating Particles Accelerates Science — With Big Benefits for Society” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. RHIC IS UNDER PRESSURE BECAUSE OF U.S. BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS. RHIC, THE RELATIVISTIC HEAVY ION COLLIDER, IS THE LAST GREAT PARTICLE ACCELERATOR IN THE U.S. IT CONTINUES TO DO CUTTING EDGE BASIC RESEARCH.

    March 13, 2013
    Karen McNulty Walsh

    “Tackling the most challenging problems in accelerator science attracts the world’s best and brightest to Brookhaven Lab. It’s only natural that ideas and techniques born here take root in new research facilities around the world — and spark a host of spin-off applications for industry, medicine, national security, and more.

    RHIC
    Twin accelerators: RHIC is really two accelerators in one — made of crisscrossing rings of superconducting magnets, enclosed in a tunnel 2.4 miles in circumference. In the two rings, beams of heavy ions are accelerated to nearly the speed of light in opposite directions, held in their orbits by powerful magnetic fields.

    Some would call the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) — an ‘atom smasher‘ at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory — the most modern accelerator facility in the world. Many ideas about how to accelerate, focus and collide beams of particles that were tried unsuccessfully elsewhere have succeeded at RHIC. And as scientists’ understanding of the early-universe matter created in RHIC’s light-speed collisions has evolved, so too has the collider itself —to probe ever deeper into the mysteries of how this primordial matter gave rise to the visible structure of the universe today.

    The machine, which steers beams of billions of ions into collisions thousands of times per second, is operating at 15 times the level of performance for which it was designed.

    ‘The versatility, performance, and improvements to this machine have been nothing short of astounding,’ said Thomas Roser, who heads the Collider-Accelerator Department at Brookhaven Lab.

    rhic
    The RHIC accelerator complex: The particle smashups recreating early universe conditions at RHIC depend on a chain of accelerators to bring ions up to speed. Several links in the chain have interesting histories and applications beyond physics.

    Unlike any other collider in the world, RHIC can collide a variety of ions — from single protons to uranium nuclei, one of the heaviest naturally occurring atoms — at a very wide range of energies. This versatility allows physicists to explore the mysterious world of quark interactions and the strange and unexpected features of the strong force — including details of the transition from ordinary matter to what the universe looked like some 13.7 billion years ago.

    The success of RHIC is particularly impressive given that, at the beginning, scientists weren’t sure it would work. ‘Never before was a collider made to collide heavy ions,’ said Thomas Hemmick, a physicist at Stony Brook University and a collaborator on RHIC research. ‘There were many new challenges that were absolutely enormous.’

    Throughout the design and construction of RHIC in the 1980s and 1990s, nuclear and accelerator physicists — and students from all over the world — wanted to work on the project. Stony Brook, the university closest to Brookhaven, was a natural partner.

    ‘Many successful students were coming to Stony Brook, some didn’t even know accelerator physics was an option,’ Hemmick said, ‘but collaborations started to happen naturally because of the proximity of the Lab and the expertise of its physicists.’

    Now Hemmick is helping to foster a climate that nurtures those attracted to the scientific and technological challenges presented by RHIC and accelerator science in general. Together with Brookhaven physicist Vladimir Litvinenko, Hemmick co-directs the Center for Accelerator Science and Education (CASE), a unique joint university-laboratory graduate and post-graduate program focused on developing the next crop of accelerator scientists and engineers.

    people
    The Center for Accelerator Science and Education (CASE) helps to build America’s future high-tech workforce. Here high-school students and teachers participating in a CASE workshop visit the RHIC accelerator tunnel.

    Medical advances

    For example, Brookhaven is one of just two facilities in the U.S. that produces high-demand, short-supply radioactive isotopes used in heart-disease diagnosis, and Brookhaven scientists are actively exploring new applications in cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP) produces these isotopes by bombarding specific materials with protons that are accelerated through the 200-million-electron-volt (MeV) linear accelerator, or linac,’ portion of the RHIC accelerator complex, piggybacking on ongoing RHIC operations funding.

    Whether you know it or not, accelerators play a role in many aspects of our lives. The U.S. Department of Energy—whose Office of Science funds the research at RHIC—estimates that there are 30,000 accelerators operating in world. Many of these are small and conduct behind-the-scenes work: producing beams of radiation used to sterilize medical equipment and keep pathogens at bay in our food supply, imprinting computer chips with ions to improve their performance, producing radioisotopes for cancer diagnosis and treatment, and scanning shipping containers for illicit materials.

    The RHIC research program also inspired the U.S. space agency to build and operate its NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven, using beams that come from RHIC’s Booster to simulate the kind of particle radiation that permeates deep space. Studies of how these particles affect cells, DNA samples, electronics, and shielding materials are helping scientists evaluate risks and test strategies to protect future astronauts and satellites. Studying the biological effects of radiation in this manner is also offering new insight into our understanding of cancer and the body’s defense mechanisms.

    lab
    Scientists at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory bombard cells, DNA, and electronic equipment with beams that simulate deep space particle radiation to better understand risks and design protective strategies.

    Magnets for energy storage

    Materials used in accelerator design are also finding new applications. Most of RHIC’s magnets, for example, are made of superconductors — remarkable materials that conduct electricity with no energy loss when kept extremely cool. The design of these magnets has made Brookhaven a world-leader in magnet design and the study of superconducting systems, including more recently discovered superconductors that operate at temperatures above a deep chill, which offer enormous promise for future applications.

    Even the future of accelerator science at RHIC — a proposed Electron Ion Collider known as eRHIC — offers promise of applications beyond its role as a tool for investigating the structure of matter. The idea is to add an electron ring to the existing RHIC tunnel so high-speed electrons can probe the inner structure of heavy ions.

    I have included way too much of this article, but in the hope that you will visit the article yourself and see the very large amount of data I left out. Please visit the full article here. The U.S., in fact the whole scientific world needs RHIC to continue being supported by the D.O.E. Office of Science.

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world.Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 12:55 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven: “On the Mark and Set for RHIC Run 13″ 

    Brookhaven Lab

    Cool-down begins at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [RHIC]

    The refrigeration system at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is humming to life today, beginning cool-down of the magnets in the 2.4-mile-circumference accelerator ring at Brookhaven Lab. Temperatures inside the magnets will ultimately reach a frigid four degrees Kelvin (-452 degrees Fahrenheit) as Run 13 at RHIC gets underway. When collisions begin next week, scientists from Brookhaven and around the world will collect data from particles emerging from the particle smashups to try to solve one of the biggest mysteries of the basic building blocks of matter—the puzzle of the proton’s ‘missing’ spin.

    ‘Recent data from RHIC show for the first time that gluons carry some of the proton’s spin; we now want to find out whether the same is true for antiquarks. RHIC has the unique capability for doing this,’ said Berndt Mueller, who was recently named the Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics.

    RHIC is the only particle collider operating in the United States, and the only collider in the world where scientists can collide polarized protons—bunches of 100 billion protons all spinning like gyroscopes with their axes aligned in a particular direction. Collisions between two beams of these polarized protons are key to the quest to understand the subatomic components that make up the proton—quarks and gluons—and how those pieces contribute to the proton’s overall spin. RHIC operators will spend most of Run 13 colliding these polarized protons at 255 billion electron volts (GeV) for proton spin research.

    Protons, Quarks and Gluons Spin—But the Numbers Don’t Add Up

    ‘Protons’ quarks, antiquarks, gluons and other pieces all contribute fractions of the proton’s spin,’ explained Jamie Dunlop, a deputy spokesperson for the STAR collaboration, one of the two experiments at RHIC. ‘If you add everything up, including the motion of the quarks, antiquarks, and gluons, they have to add up to the whole of the proton’s spin. But we don’t know what fraction is in the spin of the antiquarks and gluons, and in the internal motion of all these particles inside the proton.’

    Brookhaven STAR
    STAR

    ‘New detectors at both STAR and PHENIX give us the ability to track particles called W bosons that emerge from collisions,’ Dunlop said. ‘These W bosons can be used as probes to quantify spin contributions from a proton’s antiquarks and from different flavors of quarks.

    Brookhaven PHENIX
    PHENIX

    Teasing apart these subtle contributions is essential to help reveal the complexity that resides within one of the most seemingly simple objects on Earth, explained Dave Morrison, a co-spokesperson for the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC.

    ‘Protons are the most simple of all stable states of QCD matter,’ he said, referring to matter made of quarks and gluons whose interactions are described by a theory called quantum chromodynamics (QCD). ‘The equation for QCD can be written in one line, but it’s taken us 40 years of theory and experimentation to get to the point we’re at today, he said.

    Tracking Particles at STAR and PHENIX

    Using muon detectors contained inside the funnel-shaped sides of the PHENIX experiment, collaborators will study the production of W bosons and learn about how up and down quarks contribute to the spin of the proton.

    collector
    Using muon detectors contained inside the funnel-shaped sides of the PHENIX experiment, collaborators will study the production of W bosons and learn about how up and down quarks contribute to the spin of the proton.

    During Run 13, the STAR collaboration will track W bosons with a forward GEM tracker that was tested during Run 12 and is now ready for serious use. GEM stands for gaseous electron multiplier. The state-of-the-art detector relies not on wires, but sheets of plastic film coated with copper with holes punched in it (like Gore-Tex) to amplify the path and charge of collision debris with accuracy of 100-150 microns—about the width of a hair.”

    See the full article here.

    The future of RHIC is problematic. The U.S. budget for the D.O.E. Office of Science is under severe pressure. Along with RHIC at Brookhaven, the NIF at Livermore is also in danger of being shut down. The members of our Congress continually show their ignorance of the value of basic scientific research. In the end, we may see a repeat of the stupidly short-sighted view that resulted in 1993 in the shutting down of the construction of the Superconducting Super Collider.

    Brookhaven Campus
    Brookhaven campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 7:29 pm on August 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Cern Courier: “CMS studies the quark–gluon plasma” 

    Aug 16, 2012
    No Writer Credit

    Since the first collisions of lead ions in the LHC in November 2010, the CMS heavy-ion physics programme has been delivering exciting results at a steady pace, revealing more and more about the properties of nuclear matter at extremely high energy-density and temperature.


    CMS

    When atomic nuclei collide at high energies, they are expected to “melt” into a quark–gluon plasma (QGP) – a hot and dense medium made out of partons (quarks and gluons). At the LHC, many of the observed properties of the produced matter are consistent with this picture, similar to earlier findings by experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory and at CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron. The quantitative characterization of this medium is still far from complete, but with more than an order of magnitude increase in the collision energy, the LHC is providing a tremendous opportunity to extend the studies.”

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 7:38 pm on July 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven Lab: “Hot Nuclear Matter Featured in Science” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    Prelude to new RHIC/LHC findings to be presented at Quark Matter 2012

    July 19, 2012
    Karen McNulty Walsh

    A review article appearing in the July 20, 2012, issue of the journal Science describes groundbreaking discoveries that have emerged from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, synergies with the heavy-ion program at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe, and the compelling questions that will drive this research forward on both sides of the Atlantic. With details that help enlighten our understanding of the hot nuclear matter that permeated the early universe, the article is a prelude to the latest findings scientists from both facilities will present at the next gathering of physicists dedicated to this research — Quark Matter 2012, August 12-18 in Washington, D.C.

    rh
    RHIC’s two large experiments, STAR and PHENIX, have multiple detector components and complex electronics for tracking and identifying the particles that fly out after ions collide at nearly the speed of light.

    This Brookhaven article then proceeds to provide us with what looks to be the article from The Journal Science.

    See the full Brookhaven article here.

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

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  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven Lab: “The Glue that Binds Us All” 


    .
    A QGP is formed at the collision point of two relativistically accelerated gold ions in the center of the STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [RHIC] at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
    Visit Brookhaven National Laboratory here.

    How an electron-ion collider could help unravel what makes matter stick together and what puts the spin on protons

    “RHIC, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven Lab, found it first: a ‘perfect’ liquid of strongly interacting quarks and gluons — a quark-gluon plasma (QGP) — produced by slamming heavy ions together at close to the speed of light. The fact that the QGP produced in these particle smashups was a liquid and not the expected gas, and that it flowed like a nearly frictionless fluid, took the physics world by surprise. These findings, now confirmed by heavy-ion experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe, have raised compelling new questions about the nature of matter and the strong force that holds the visible universe together.


    This animation shows the strength of the gluon force field between a quark (at the center of the images) and an anti-quark, which grows as the energy of the nucleus increases. At low boost energies, the force fields are spread out (shown by larger “blobs”) and are comparable to the “strong” force that binds quarks together in the proton. At higher boost energies, force field fluctuations are incredibly strong — 10 times greater than the typical strong force — and localized at much shorter distances than the proton size. These “higher resolution” snapshots are cleaner to interpret than those at low boost energies and provide important clues to figuring out the nature of the glue binding together visible matter in the universe.

    Similarly, searches for the source of “missing” proton spin at RHIC have opened a deeper mystery: So far, it’s nowhere to be found.

    To probe these and other puzzles, nuclear physicists would like to build a new machine: an electron-ion collider (EIC) designed to shine a very bright “light” on both protons and heavy ions to reveal their inner secrets.

    ‘An electron-ion collider would be the brightest, highest-intensity femtoscope to shine on the structure of matter,’ said Brookhaven theoretical physicist Raju Venugopalan, referring to its ability to discern structures at the scale of femtometers — that’s 10-15 meters, a millionth of a nanometer, or a millionth of a billionth of a meter!

    ‘Snapshots’ of matter at that scale over a wide range of energies would offer deeper insight into the substructure of the nucleus, its constituents, and particularly its smallest components, the quarks and gluons and how they interact.

    ‘Increasingly, it’s looking as if gluons and their interactions may hold the keys to many of our puzzles,’ Venugopalan said. An electron-ion collider would be the ideal tool for gazing at the ‘glue’ under conditions where scientists believe that it completely dominates the structure of neutrons, protons, and nuclei.

    image
    The particle tracks observed in RHIC’s detectors (extreme right) contain fingerprints or clues that reflect the conditions very early in heavy ion collisions, when gluons in the colliding ions were just starting to interact. This is somewhat analogous to the way the structure we see in the universe today is a reflection of structural aspects “frozen out” very early in the history of the universe (left). In each frame, time runs from left to right, but over a span of 13.7 billion years in the left frame and only billionths of a second in the right frame. Scientists can learn a lot about these early conditions by looking back, but they’d also like to probe the earliest stage of ion collisions directly. An electron-ion collider would make that possible.

    Glue holds the key.”.

    That last line, “Glue holds the key’, is the lead for the rest of this very interesting article. See the full article here.

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 11:40 am on April 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven Lab: “Coherent Electron Cooling: Combining Methods to Cool Particle Beams and Increase Collision Rates at RHIC” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    “If you can crash more particles into each other at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), you can collect more data from the subatomic wreckage. More data is just what researchers need in the hunt for answers to some of the universe’s biggest mysteries as they investigate the “perfect” liquid quark gluon plasma (QGP) revealed by previous RHIC collisions and search for the origin of proton spin. These experiments help them understand what the universe was like moments after its creation and how it evolved to become what it is today.

    To increase collision rates, or luminosity, at RHIC and generate more data, physicists in Brookhaven’s Collider-Accelerator Department (C-AD) — in collaboration with others from Jefferson National Laboratory, Tech-X Corporation, Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Russia, and Daresbury Laboratory in the United Kingdom — are developing a brand new technique called coherent electron cooling. Theory predicts that coherent electron cooling can increase luminosity by an impressive factor of 10.

    collider
    The free electron laser portion of the proposed coherent electron cooling system, which will amplify the electron clouds’ negatively charged electric field. When the electrons again join with collision-bound ions, the amplified electric field will pull the slower ions to accelerate and the faster ions to decelerate. Thus, the beam condenses, or ‘cools,’ to form a tighter, denser pack.

    ‘The heavy ion beams we collide at RHIC have about 1 billion ions per bunch and the proton beams have about 100 billion per bunch,’ said Vladimir Litvinenko, a C-AD physicist who is leading the charge for a coherent electron cooling system at Brookhaven. ‘In both cases, ion beams naturally expand, or warm up. As that happens, ion bunches in the beams become less dense and luminosity decreases.’”

    vd
    Vladimir Litvinenko, a physicist in Brookhaven Lab’s Collider-Accelerator Department, is leading the charge for a coherent electron cooling system to increase collision rates at the Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

    Interested? See the full article here.

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

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  • richardmitnick 10:50 am on July 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , RHIC   

    From Fermilab Today: “Fermilab’s SiDet Facility aides PHENIX detector upgrade” 

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

    Ashley WennersHerron
    Friday, July 29, 2011

    “PHENIX, one of two major experiments located at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) based at Brookhaven National Laboratory, is upgrading again with help from Fermilab’s Slicon Detector Facility (SiDet). Fermilab technicians finished assembling hundreds of forward silicon vertex tracker (FVTX) detector components in early July.

    The wedge-shaped components will be installed in PHENIX to help scientists study the properties of quark gluon plasma (QGP), which theorists believe made up the universe moments after the Big Bang.

    Eric Mannel, a physicist from Columbia University and one of about 450 PHENIX contributors, worked as an electronics project engineer overseeing the final stages of assembly at Fermilab.

    ‘ We want to understand how the universe evolved the way it did from the very beginning,” Mannel said. “The FVTX detector will provide a higher resolution for tracking of particles which will allow us to study the properties of QGP.’ “

    i2
    One of the hundreds of forward silicon vertex tracker (FVTX) components assembled at Fermilab’s Silicon Detector Facility. Photo: Vassili Papavassiliou, New Mexico State University

    See the full article here.


     
  • richardmitnick 12:22 pm on April 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , RHIC   

    From Brookhaven Labs: “RHIC Physicists Nab New Record for Heaviest Antimatter” 

    Newly discovered antihelium-4 could be heaviest stable antinucleus detectable for decades to come

    “Members of the international STAR collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider — a particle accelerator used to recreate and study conditions of the early universe at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory — have detected the antimatter partner of the helium nucleus: antihelium-4. This new particle, also known as the anti-alpha, is the heaviest antinucleus ever detected, topping a discovery announced by the same collaboration just last year.

    The new record will likely stand far longer, the scientists say, because the next weightier antimatter nucleus that does not undergo radioactive decay is predicted to be a million times more rare — and out of reach of today’s technology.

    i1
    The STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory

    ‘ This discovery highlights the extraordinary capabilities of RHIC to investigate fundamental questions about the nature of matter, antimatter, and the early universe, said William F. Brinkman, Director of the DOE Office of Science.”

    This is really cool science. See the full article here.

     
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