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  • richardmitnick 5:12 pm on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Serbia joins CERN as its 23rd Member State",   

    From CERN: “Serbia joins CERN as its 23rd Member State” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    From CERN

    24 March, 2019

    Visit of Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, with Mladen Šarčević, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development (Image: CERN)

    Today, CERN welcomes Serbia as its 23rd Member State, following receipt of formal notification from UNESCO that Serbia has acceded to the CERN Convention.



    Today, CERN welcomes Serbia as its 23rd Member State, following receipt of formal notification from UNESCO that Serbia has acceded to the CERN Convention.

    “Investing in scientific research is important for the development of our economy and CERN is one of the most important scientific institutions today. I am immensely proud that Serbia has become a fully-fledged CERN Member State. This will bring new possibilities for our scientists and industry to work in cooperation with CERN and fellow CERN Member States,” said Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia.

    “Serbia has a longstanding relationship with CERN, with the continuous involvement of Serbian scientists in CERN’s major experiments. I’m very happy to see that Serbia’s initiative to seek membership status of CERN has now converged and that we can welcome Serbia as a Member State,” said Ursula Bassler, President of the CERN Council.

    “It is a great pleasure to welcome Serbia as our 23rd Member State. The Serbian scientific community has made strong contributions to CERN’s projects for many years. Membership will strengthen the longstanding relationship between CERN and Serbia, creating opportunities for increased collaboration in scientific research, training, education, innovation and knowledge-sharing,” said Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General.

    “As a CERN Member State, Serbia is poised to further the development of science and education as our scientists, researchers, institutes and industry will be able to participate on the world stage in important scientific and technological decision-making,” said Mladen Šarčević, the Serbian Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development.

    When Serbia was a part of Yugoslavia, which was one of the 12 founding Member States of CERN in 1954, Serbian physicists and engineers took part in some of CERN’s earliest projects, at the SC, PS and SPS facilities. In the 1980s and 1990s, physicists from Serbia worked on the DELPHI experiment at CERN’s LEP collider. In 2001, CERN and Serbia concluded an International Cooperation Agreement, leading to Serbia’s participation in the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, as well as in the ACE and NA61 experiments. Serbia’s main involvement with CERN today is in the ATLAS and CMS experiments, in the ISOLDE facility, which carries out research ranging from nuclear physics to astrophysics, and on design studies for future particle colliders – FCC and CLIC – both of which are potentially new flagship projects at CERN.

    As a CERN Member State, Serbia will have voting rights in the Council, CERN’s highest decision-making authority, and will contribute to the Organization’s budget. Membership will enhance the recruitment opportunities for Serbian nationals at CERN and for Serbian industry to bid for CERN contracts.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , WOVO-World Organization of Volcano Observatories   

    From Eos: “Data from Past Eruptions Could Reduce Future Volcano Hazards” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    Fidel Costa
    Christina Widiwijayanti
    Hanik Humaida

    Optimizing the Use of Volcano Monitoring Database to Anticipate Unrest; Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 26–29 November 2018.

    Java’s Mount Merapi volcano (right), overlooking the city of Yogyakarta, is currently slowly extruding a dome. Mount Merbabu volcano (left) has not erupted for several centuries. Participants at a workshop last November discussed the development and use of a volcano monitoring database to assist in mitigating volcano hazards. Credit: Fidel Costa

    In 2010, Mount Merapi volcano on the Indonesian island of Java erupted explosively—the largest such eruption in 100 years.

    Mount Merapi, viewed from Umbulharjo
    16 April 2014
    Crisco 1492

    Merapi sits only about 30 kilometers from the city of Yogyakarta, home to more than 1 million people. The 2010 eruption forced more than 390,000 people to evacuate the area, and it caused 386 fatalities. In the past few months, the volcano has started rumbling again, and it is currently extruding a dome that is slowly growing.

    Will Merapi’s rumblings continue like this, or will they turn into another large, explosive eruption? Answering this question largely depends on having real-time monitoring data covering multiple parameters, including seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions. But volcanoes can show a wide range of behaviors. A volcanologist’s diagnosis of what the volcano is going to do next relies largely on comparisons to previous cases and thus on the existence of an organized and searchable database of volcanic unrest.

    For over a decade, the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) has contributed to the WOVOdat project, which has collected monitoring data from volcanoes worldwide. WOVOdat has grown into an open-source database that should prove very valuable during a volcanic crisis. However, there are many challenges ahead to reaching this goal:

    How do we standardize and capture spatiotemporal data produced in a large variety of formats and instruments?
    How do we go from multivariate (geochemical, geophysical, and geodetic) signals to statistically meaningful indicators for eruption forecasts?
    How do we properly compare periods of unrest between volcanic eruptions?

    Participants at an international workshop last November discussed these and other questions. The workshop was organized by the Earth Observatory of Singapore and the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Yogyakarta. An interdisciplinary group of over 40 participants, including students and experts from more than 10 volcano observatories in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Japan, France, Italy, the Caribbean, the United States, Chile, and Singapore, gathered to share their expertise on handling volcano monitoring data, strategize on how to improve on monitoring data management, and analyze past unrest data to better anticipate future unrest and eruptions.

    Participants agreed on the need for a centralized database that hosts multiparameter monitoring data sets and that allows efficient data analysis and comparison between a wide range of volcanoes and eruption styles. They proposed the following actions to optimize the development and use of a monitoring database:

    develop automatic procedures for data processing, standardization, and rapid integration into a centralized database platform
    develop tools for diagnosis of unrest patterns using statistical analytics and current advancement of machine learning techniques
    explore different variables, including eruption styles, morphological features, eruption chronology, and unrest indicators, to define “analogue volcanoes” (classes of volcanoes that behave similarly) and “analogue unrest” for comparative studies
    develop protocols to construct a short-term Bayesian event tree analysis based on real-time data and historical unrest

    Volcano databases such as WOVOdat aim to be a reference for volcanic crisis and hazard mitigation and to serve the community in much the same way that an epidemiological database serves for medicine. But the success of such endeavors requires the willingness of observatories, governments, and researchers to agree on data standardization; efficient data reduction algorithms; and, most important, data sharing to enable findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data across the volcano community.

    —Fidel Costa (, Earth Observatory of Singapore and Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Christina Widiwijayanti, Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and Hanik Humaida, Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, Geological Agency of Indonesia, Bandung

    See the full article here .


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    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 2:45 pm on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: According to Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser is expected to make its first test flight in spring 2021 and conduct at least six orbital flights to and from the International Space Station, Critically it could also return cargo to an airport runway., It was the selection by NASA of a cargo variant of the design called the Dream Chaser Cargo System that ultimately breathed new life into the program in January 2016., Overall the design is planned to deliver up to 12100 pounds (5500 kilograms) of pressurized and unpressurized cargo., Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser, , The spacecraft is being designed to be able to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket or an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket., The third commercial cargo freighter for the International Space Station, Ultimately it is hoped each space plane could be used 15 or more times with a future crewed variant to fly at least 25 times.   

    From Spaceflight Insider: “Dream Chaser passes latest NASA development milestone” 


    From Spaceflight Insider

    March 24th, 2019
    Derek Richardson

    An artist’s rendering of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser above the International Space Station. Image Credit: Nathan Koga / SpaceFlight Insider

    Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser cargo space plane recently passed another milestone in its development to be the third commercial cargo freighter for the International Space Station.

    According to the Nevada-based company, Dream Chaser, which has been in development in one form or another for more than a decade, passed NASA’s Integrated Review Milestone 5 (IR5), which is essentially a status check on the performance of a number of ground and flight operations in advance of the spacecraft’s first resupply mission under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract.

    “This milestone is a great accomplishment for the team focused on operations development and demonstration,” John Curry, CRS-2 program director within SNC’s Space Systems business area, said in a March 21, 2019, company news release. “It shows we can operate the Dream Chaser from the ground, including getting critical science in and out of the vehicle.”

    Graphic rendering of Dream Chaser spacecraft on orbit. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

    Dream Chaser is a space plane based, in part, of the design of NASA’s HL-20 lifting body concept that was studied as a crew transport vehicle to Space Station Freedom, a 1980s space station design that evolved into the International Space Station. It was to be about 30 feet (9 meters) long and sport stubby wings.

    In Sierra Nevada Corporation’s version of the vehicle, it was initially envisioned to carry up to seven people to the ISS when it was competing under the NASA’s commercial crew development programs. However in 2014, the design was ultimately not chosen primarily because of “lack of maturity,” according to Aviation Week at the time. The space agency instead selected SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 spacecraft, which are expected to make their first crewed flights as early as the second half of 2019.

    Sierra Nevada Corporation at the time was beginning drop tests of the spacecraft prototype. The first glide, which took place at Edwards Air Force Base in California, performed well, save for a stuck landing gear at the end of the flight, which caused the test article to flip over upon landing.

    The company said the test was a success despite the landing gear issue, which not the design that would be used for the space-rated version as it was taken from a military jet.

    Following the NASA non-selection, the company continued development, looking for supporters and organizations that might use the crewed version, including a European company and the United Nations.

    Graphic rendering of Dream Chaser spacecraft on the space station. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

    However, it was the selection by NASA of a cargo variant of the design, called the Dream Chaser Cargo System, that ultimately breathed new life into the program in January 2016.

    The cargo variant is essentially the lifting body spacecraft, with foldable wings to fit in a rocket with a 16.5-foot (5-meter) payload fairing, and a small disposable module at the back of the vehicle that could carry pressurized and unpressurized cargo.

    That cargo module would also hold solar arrays to increase flight time in space and support powered payloads, Sierra Nevada Corporation said.

    Overall, the design is planned to deliver up to 12,100 pounds (5,500 kilograms) of pressurized and unpressurized cargo.

    Critically, it could also return cargo to an airport runway. The cargo module would be disposed with any unneeded equipment before re-entry.

    The spacecraft is being designed to be able to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket or an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket. However, it is likely that ULA’s Vulcan rocket, which is being designed to replace the Atlas V, would be able to support Dream Chaser flights as well.

    Ultimately, it is hoped each space plane could be used 15 or more times, with a future crewed variant to fly at least 25 times.

    For IR5, the company said NASA’s review included the development of the spacecraft’s flight computers and software, its mission simulator and mission control center, and demonstrations using high-fidelity mockups of the vehicle and unpressurized cargo module.

    The review took place at Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Louisville, Colorado-facility and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Data was also used from the 2017 free-flight test, also at Edwards Air Force Base. The landing gear worked as designed for that landing.

    “Our Dream Chaser team continues to successfully execute milestones as we move closer to getting this spacecraft into space,” Fatih Ozmen, SNC’s owner and CEO, said in a March 21, 2019 company statement. “The orbital spacecraft is being built and this milestone demonstrates the vehicle keeps passing key reviews and is making great strides.”

    According to Sierra Nevada Corporation, Dream Chaser is expected to make its first test flight in spring 2021 and conduct at least six orbital flights to and from the International Space Station to deliver and return supplies and experiments.

    Under the CRS-2 contract, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft and Dream Chaser are expected to fly a minimum of six launches each with a maximum potential value overall being $14 billion.

    CRS-2 is a followup to the CRS-1 contract, which had its first operational flight by SpaceX in October 2012. The first operational flight using Cygnus was in January 2014.

    The first CRS-2 flights by Northrop Grumman and SpaceX are expected in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The contract is expected to run through at least 2024.

    See the full article here .


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    SpaceFlight Insider reports on events taking place within the aerospace industry. With our team of writers and photographers, we provide an “insider’s” view of all aspects of space exploration efforts. We go so far as to take their questions directly to those officials within NASA and other space-related organizations. At SpaceFlight Insider, the “insider” is not anyone on our team, but our readers.

    Our team has decades of experience covering the space program and we are focused on providing you with the absolute latest on all things space. SpaceFlight Insider is comprised of individuals located in the United States, Europe, South America and Canada. Most of them are volunteers, hard-working space enthusiasts who freely give their time to share the thrill of space exploration with the world.

  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How a proton gets its spin is surprisingly complicated", , , RHIC-BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider,   

    From Science News: “How a proton gets its spin is surprisingly complicated” 

    From Science News

    March 25, 2019
    Emily Conover

    SPIN SURPRISE Protons are composed of smaller particles, called quarks and antiquarks, which contribute angular momentum, or spin. Now scientists report that a rarer type of antiquark adds more to the proton’s spin than a more common variety.

    In an odd twist, rarer up quarks add more angular momentum than more plentiful down quarks.

    Like a quantum version of a whirling top, protons have angular momentum, known as spin. But the source of the subatomic particles’ spin has confounded physicists. Now scientists have confirmed that some of that spin comes from a frothing sea of particles known as quarks and their antimatter partners, antiquarks, found inside the proton.

    Surprisingly, a less common type of antiquark contributes more to a proton’s spin than a more plentiful variety, scientists with the STAR experiment report March 14 in Physical Review D.

    Quarks come in an assortment of types, the most common of which are called up quarks and down quarks. Protons are made up of three main quarks: two up quarks and one down quark. But protons also have a “sea,” or an entourage of transient quarks and antiquarks of different types, including up, down and other varieties (SN: 4/29/17, p. 22).

    Previous measurements suggested that the spins of the quarks within this sea contribute to a proton’s overall spin. The new result — made by slamming protons together at a particle accelerator called the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC — clinches that idea, says physicist Elke-Caroline Aschenauer of Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, N.Y., where the RHIC is located.

    BNL RHIC Campus

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector


    A proton’s sea contains more down antiquarks than up antiquarks. But, counterintuitively, more of the proton’s spin comes from up than down antiquarks, the researchers found. In fact, the down antiquarks actually spin in the opposite direction, slightly subtracting from the proton’s total spin.

    “Spin has surprises. Everybody thought it’s simple … and it turns out it’s much more complicated,” Aschenauer says.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 12:17 pm on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Computers have now become powerful enough to address these multiphysics problems, Miriam Kreher, , MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), MIT’s Computational Reactor Physics Group (CRPG), Modeling multiphysics problems is not simple, Nuclear science and engineering,   

    From MIT News: Women in STEM- Miriam Kreher “Fine-tuning multiphysics problems” 

    MIT News
    MIT Widget

    From MIT News

    March 25, 2019
    Leda Zimmerman | Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

    “I thought nuclear made the most sense, since it produced energy and cleaned up the atmosphere, so I decided I should contribute to the field somehow,” Miriam Kreher recalls.
    Photo: Gretchen Ertl

    Nuclear science and engineering graduate student Miriam Kreher codes to create better models for complex interactions within nuclear reactors.

    “Stretching myself radically to learn a new kind of physics or code is exactly what I want to do,” says Miriam Kreher. “It’s how I solve problems and find new ones.”

    A second-year doctoral student in nuclear science and engineering, Kreher is finding just the kind of challenges she craves as a member of MIT’s Computational Reactor Physics Group (CRPG). Her task: helping to develop vastly improved software simulations of the complex interactions taking place inside nuclear reactors.

    “Some people focus on how neutrons move, and others look at how water flowing around the core affects temperature,” she explains. “But in nuclear reactors, these physics phenomena of neutron transport and fluid flow affect each other through complex feedback, and we need to understand both at the same time.”

    This tight coupling of physics phenomena has preoccupied nuclear engineering for some time. “Getting a more precise picture of these interactions would allow for finer-tuned operational margins in reactors,” notes Kreher, a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow. More accurate simulations could help the current fleet of commercial reactors work at higher powers, and aid in designing the next generation of reactors.

    However, modeling multiphysics problems is not simple. Even in steady-state, there are countless neutrons interacting with the fuel and coolant, depositing large amounts of energy that alters the temperature of everything inside the reactor. Add a time variable, or alter the position of the control rod, which determines the rate of fission reactions, and the modeling proves more difficult still. Current high-fidelity simulations are expensive, requiring weeks or longer to render. But quite recently, scientists have begun to gain ground on these problems.

    “Computers have now become powerful enough to address these multiphysics problems, permitting stable simulations in a shorter amount of time,” says Kreher. “This could be the basis for much less expensive modeling.”

    Under the supervision of CRPG faculty leads Kord Smith and Benoit Forget, Kreher is developing computational tools that will yield high fidelity simulations with representative temperature and density conditions inside a reactor core. To tackle the complex multiphysics problems she confronts as she goes about this task, Kreher is taking a sequence of tough math and computation classes so she can test new modeling approaches.

    “I want to help develop computational methods that will permit other researchers to simplify or speed up their simulations, so eventually they won’t need to depend on the world’s fastest computers,” she says. “I am excited to be part of something that could set the groundwork for science of the future.”

    Kreher found her way into nuclear engineering early. Brought up in Morocco and France, she arrived at a magnet high school for science and technology in Marseille. There, Kreher became engaged by a class combining physics and English that included a survey on energy.

    “I thought nuclear made the most sense, since it produced energy and cleaned up the atmosphere, so I decided I should contribute to the field somehow,” she recalls. She pursued engineering at the University of Pittsburgh — the city where her father grew up — concentrating in nuclear engineering. She found mentors who offered her research opportunities, and received her first taste of coding. “I give Pitt a lot of credit for that; I got my first internship at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory because I knew MATLAB.”

    Kreher also plunged into policy work, joining the Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation in 2014 for a week-long visit to Washington, where she learned about the intersection of politics and technology.

    “If I had been drawn to fields other than math and physics, I might have become an advocate or lobbyist, because public perception of nuclear power is really important,” she says. To this day, Kreher says she likes to pop in on her Washington representative to discuss energy issues when her schedule permits.

    She applied to the MIT Summer Research Program in 2015 to sharpen her resume for graduate school, and landed a research spot with Benoit Forget’s group.

    “I was just an intern, but all the students helped me, and I eventually contributed to the group’s research,” says Kreher. “It felt fun and dynamic, a natural fit, and I decided on MIT for graduate school.”

    Her work on multiphysics problems evolved quickly during meetings with Forget and Smith, who became her advisors. Summer research at several Department of Energy laboratories provided her opportunities to acquire additional coding techniques.

    With her anticipated graduation in 2022, Kreher has years more of meticulous computation before her. “I keep the larger research vision in view, and while I struggle with coding issues from time to time I always get a rush when I solve them, which makes it feel worthwhile to go on to the next problem.”

    For research breaks, she works up a sweat swing dancing with MIT’s Lindy Hop Society. “I have no background in dancing, but it makes me really happy, especially since I’m not one of those people who exercise,” she says. “It just gives me those natural endorphins from moving, plus it’s a social outlet for me.” And as MIT co-president of the student section of the American Nuclear Society, Kreher engages in the kind of outreach work on energy issues that remain important to her.

    At the end of the doctoral road, a position at one of the national labs or perhaps a faculty position, beckons. In the meantime, MIT life is working out well. “Being here is very special, because I can problem solve with people, and they share things with me,” she says. “Culturally, socially, I’m very happy at MIT.”

    She’s also a big fan of the 32-year-old MSRP, and of Institute efforts to make the science and engineering communities more inclusive.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 10:52 am on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ExaLearn, , , , ,   

    From insideHPC: “ExaLearn Project to bring Machine Learning to Exascale” 

    From insideHPC

    March 24, 2019

    As supercomputers become ever more capable in their march toward exascale levels of performance, scientists can run increasingly detailed and accurate simulations to study problems ranging from cleaner combustion to the nature of the universe. Enter ExaLearn, a new machine learning project supported by DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), aims to develop new tools to help scientists overcome this challenge by applying machine learning to very large experimental datasets and simulations.

    The first research area for ExaLearn’s surrogate models will be in cosmology to support projects such a the LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope) now under construction in Chile and shown here in an artist’s rendering. (Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc. / LSST Corporation)

    “The challenge is that these powerful simulations require lots of computer time. That is, they are “computationally expensive,” consuming 10 to 50 million CPU hours for a single simulation. For example, running a 50-million-hour simulation on all 658,784 compute cores on the Cori supercomputer NERSC would take more than three days.


    NERSC Cray Cori II supercomputer at NERSC at LBNL, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer

    LBL NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.


    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.


    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supeercomputer

    Running thousands of these simulations, which are needed to explore wide ranges in parameter space, would be intractable.

    One of the areas ExaLearn is focusing on is surrogate models. Surrogate models, often known as emulators, are built to provide rapid approximations of more expensive simulations. This allows a scientist to generate additional simulations more cheaply – running much faster on many fewer processors. To do this, the team will need to run thousands of computationally expensive simulations over a wide parameter space to train the computer to recognize patterns in the simulation data. This then allows the computer to create a computationally cheap model, easily interpolating between the parameters it was initially trained on to fill in the blanks between the results of the more expensive models.

    “Training can also take a long time, but then we expect these models to generate new simulations in just seconds,” said Peter Nugent, deputy director for science engagement in the Computational Research Division at LBNL.

    From Cosmology to Combustion

    Nugent is leading the effort to develop the so-called surrogate models as part of ExaLearn. The first research area will be cosmology, followed by combustion. But the team expects the tools to benefit a wide range of disciplines.

    “Many DOE simulation efforts could benefit from having realistic surrogate models in place of computationally expensive simulations,” ExaLearn Principal Investigator Frank Alexander of Brookhaven National Lab said at the recent ECP Annual Meeting.

    “These can be used to quickly flesh out parameter space, help with real-time decision making and experimental design, and determine the best areas to perform additional simulations.”

    The surrogate models and related simulations will aid in cosmological analyses to reduce systematic uncertainties in observations by telescopes and satellites. Such observations generate massive datasets that are currently limited by systematic uncertainties. Since we only have a single universe to observe, the only way to address these uncertainties is through simulations, so creating cheap but realistic and unbiased simulations greatly speeds up the analysis of these observational datasets. A typical cosmology experiment now requires sub-percent level control of statistical and systematic uncertainties. This then requires the generation of thousands to hundreds of thousands of computationally expensive simulations to beat down the uncertainties.

    These parameters are critical in light of two upcoming programs:

    The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, is an advanced instrument on a telescope located in Arizona that is expected to begin surveying the universe this year.

    LBNL/DESI Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument for the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz, USA

    NOAO/Mayall 4 m telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA, Altitude 2,120 m (6,960 ft)

    DESI seeks to map the large-scale structure of the universe over an enormous volume and a wide range of look-back times (based on “redshift,” or the shift in the light of distant objects toward redder wavelengths of light). Targeting about 30 million pre-selected galaxies across one-third of the night sky, scientists will use DESI’s redshifts data to construct 3D maps of the universe. There will be about 10 terabytes (TB) of raw data per year transferred from the observatory to NERSC. After running the data through the pipelines at NERSC (using millions of CPU hours), about 100 TB per year of data products will be made available as data releases approximately once a year throughout DESI’s five years of operations.

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, is currently being built on a mountaintop in Chile.


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC

    LSST telescope, currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    LSST Data Journey, Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova

    When completed in 2021, the LSST will take more than 800 panoramic images each night with its 3.2 billion-pixel camera, recording the entire visible sky twice each week. Each patch of sky it images will be visited 1,000 times during the survey, and each of its 30-second observations will be able to detect objects 10 million times fainter than visible with the human eye. A powerful data system will compare new with previous images to detect changes in brightness and position of objects as big as far-distant galaxy clusters and as small as nearby asteroids.

    For these programs, the ExaLearn team will first target large-scale structure simulations of the universe since the field is more developed than others and the scale of the problem size can easily be ramped up to an exascale machine learning challenge.

    As an example of how ExaLearn will advance the field, Nugent said a researcher could run a suite of simulations with the parameters of the universe consisting of 30 percent dark energy and 70 percent dark matter, then a second simulation with 25 percent and 75 percent, respectively. Each of these simulations generates three-dimensional maps of tens of billions of galaxies in the universe and how the cluster and spread apart as time goes by. Using a surrogate model trained on these simulations, the researcher could then quickly run another surrogate model that would generate the output of a simulation in between these values, at 27.5 and 72.5 percent, without needing to run a new, costly simulation — that too would show the evolution of the galaxies in the universe as a function of time. The goal of the ExaLearn software suite is that such results, and their uncertainties and biases, would be a byproduct of the training so that one would know the generated models are consistent with a full simulation.

    Toward this end, Nugent’s team will build on two projects already underway at Berkeley Lab: CosmoFlow and CosmoGAN. CosmoFlow is a deep learning 3D convolutional neural network that can predict cosmological parameters with unprecedented accuracy using the Cori supercomputer at NERSC. CosmoGAN is exploring the use of generative adversarial networks to create cosmological weak lensing convergence maps — maps of the matter density of the universe as would be observed from Earth — at lower computational costs.

    See the full article here .


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    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at Or you can send me mail at:

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  • richardmitnick 10:22 am on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , For Phase 3 installation of the full decay VerteX Detector (VXD) was completed. With this change Belle II is now fully equipped and ready to take physics data., , KEK Inter-University Research Institute Corporation, , ,   

    From KEK Inter-University Research Institute Corporation: “SuperKEKB Phase 3 (Belle II Physics Run) Starts” 

    From KEK Inter-University Research Institute Corporation


    On March 11th, 2019, Phase 3 operation of the SuperKEKB project began successfully, marking a major milestone in the development of Japan’s leading particle collider. This phase will be the physics run of the project, in which the Belle II experiment will start taking data with a fully instrumented detector.

    The KEKB accelerator, operated from 1999 to 2010, currently holds the world record luminosity for an electron-positron collider. SuperKEKB, its successor, plans to reach a luminosity 40 times greater over its lifetime.

    Belle II and SuperKEKB are poised to become the world’s first Super B factory facility. Belle II aims to accumulate 50 times more data than its predecessor, Belle, and to seek out new physics hidden in subatomic particles that could shed light on mysteries of the early universe.

    Belle II KEK High Energy Accelerator Research Organization Tsukuba, Japan

    The Belle experiment, which completed data taking in 2010, along with its competitor in the United States BaBar, demonstrated Charge-Parity Violation (CPV) in weak interactions of B mesons.

    SLAC BaBar

    SLAC BaBar

    This discovery was explicitly recognized by the Nobel Foundation and resulted in the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded to Professors Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa for their work developing the theory of CPV in weak interactions.

    A major upgrade, the Belle II/SuperKEKB facility, began construction at the end of 2010. SuperKEKB will achieve its goal of 40 times KEKB’s luminosity by shrinking the beams to “nano-beam” size, at the collision point, 20 times smaller than the beam sizes achieved at KEKB while simultaneously doubling the beam currents. These changes will result in much larger quantities of data as well as greater beam backgrounds. Belle II was designed to handle these conditions.

    In February 2016, Phase 1 commissioning of the SuperKEKB accelerator was successfully completed. Low-emittance Ampère-level beams were circulated in both rings, but no collisions were possible. This was followed by the installation of the superconducting final focus magnets and the Belle II outer detector. Phase 2, the pilot run of Belle II, began in March of 2018, with the first collisions recorded in the early hours of April 26th. Initial results from Phase 2 were shown at international conferences in 2018.

    For Phase 3, installation of the full decay VerteX Detector (VXD) was completed. With this change, Belle II is now fully equipped and ready to take physics data.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    KEK-Accelerator Laboratory

    KEK, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, is one of the world’s leading accelerator science research laboratories, using high-energy particle beams and synchrotron light sources to probe the fundamental properties of matter. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, KEK is advancing our understanding of the universe that surrounds us, its mechanisms and their control. Our mission is:

    • To make discoveries that address the most compelling questions in a wide range of fields, including particle physics, nuclear physics, materials science, and life science. We at KEK strive to make the most effective use of the funds entrusted by Japanese citizens for the benefit of all, by adding to knowledge and improving the technology that protects the environment and serves the economy, academia, and public health; and

    • To act as an Inter-University Research Institute Corporation, a center of excellence that promotes academic research by fulfilling the needs of researchers in universities across the country and by cooperating extensively with researchers abroad; and

    • To promote national and international collaborative research activities by providing advanced research facilities and opportunities. KEK is committed to be in the forefront of accelerator science in Asia-Oceania, and to cooperate closely with other institutions, especially with Asian laboratories.

    Established in 1997 in a reorganization of the Institute of Nuclear Study, University of Tokyo (established in 1955), the National Laboratory for High Energy Physics (established in 1971), and the Meson Science Laboratory of the University of Tokyo (established in 1988), KEK serves as a center of excellence for domestic and foreign researchers, providing a wide variety of research opportunities. In addition to the activities at the Tsukuba Campus, KEK is now jointly operating a high-intensity proton accelerator facility (J-PARC) in Tokai village, together with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Over 600 scientists, engineers, students and staff perform research activities on the Tsukuba and Tokai campuses. KEK attracts nearly 100,000 national and international researchers every year (total man-days), and provides excellent research facilities and opportunities to many students and post-doctoral fellows each year.

  • richardmitnick 9:43 am on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "In a new quantum simulator light behaves like a magnet", , , , ,   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “In a new quantum simulator, light behaves like a magnet” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    Nik Papageorgiou

    Physicists at EPFL propose a new “quantum simulator”: a laser-based device that can be used to study a wide range of quantum systems. Studying it, the researchers have found that photons can behave like magnetic dipoles at temperatures close to absolute zero, following the laws of quantum mechanics. The simple simulator can be used to better understand the properties of complex materials under such extreme conditions.

    When subject to the laws of quantum mechanics, systems made of many interacting particles can display behaviour so complex that its quantitative description defies the capabilities of the most powerful computers in the world. In 1981, the visionary physicist Richard Feynman argued we can simulate such complex behavior using an artificial apparatus governed by the very same quantum laws – what has come to be known as a “quantum simulator”.

    One example of a complex quantum system is that of magnets placed at really low temperatures. Close to absolute zero (-273.15°C), magnetic materials may undergo what is known as a “quantum phase transition”. Like a conventional phase transition (e.g. ice melting into water, or water evaporating into steam), the system still switches between two states, except that close to the transition point the system manifests quantum entanglement – the most profound feature predicted by quantum mechanics. Studying this phenomenon in real materials is an astoundingly challenging task for experimental physicists.

    But physicists led by Vincenzo Savona at EPFL have now come up with a quantum simulator that promises to solve the problem. “The simulator is a simple photonic device that can easily be built and run with current experimental techniques,” says Riccardo Rota, the postdoc at Savona’s lab who led the study. “But more importantly, it can simulate the complex behavior of real, interacting magnets at very low temperatures.”

    The simulator may be built using superconducting circuits – the same technological platform used in modern quantum computers. The circuits are coupled to laser fields in such a way that it causes an effective interaction among light particles (photons). “When we studied the simulator, we found that the photons behaved in the same way as magnetic dipoles across the quantum phase transition in real materials,” says Rota. In short, we can now use photons to run a virtual experiment on quantum magnets instead of having to set up the experiment itself.

    “We are theorists,” says Savona. “We came up with the idea for this particular quantum simulator and modelled its behavior using traditional computer simulations, which can be done when the quantum simulator addresses a small enough system. Our findings prove that the quantum simulator we propose is viable, and we are now in talks with experimental groups who would like to actually build and use it.”

    Understandably, Rota is excited: “Our simulator can be applied to a broad class of quantum systems, allowing physicists to study several complex quantum phenomena. It is a truly remarkable advance in the development of quantum technologies.”

    Science paper:
    Riccardo Rota, Fabrizio Minganti, Cristiano Ciuti, Vincenzo Savona.
    “Quantum Critical Regime in a Quadratically Driven Nonlinear Photonic Lattice”
    Physical Review Letters

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

  • richardmitnick 9:15 am on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Women in Physics Group inspires the next generation of physicists and astronomers", , , ,   

    From University of Pennsylvania: “Women in Physics Group inspires the next generation of physicists and astronomers” 

    U Penn bloc

    From University of Pennsylvania

    March 22, 2019


    Erica K. Brockmeier Writer
    Eric Sucar Photographer

    Willman (center) and a group of undergraduates, including physics majors as well as students studying other STEM-related disciplines, chatted informally over breakfast about their personal experiences as STEM students and researchers.

    Earlier this month, Penn’s Women in Physics group hosted its fifth annual spring conference and networking event. Students had the opportunity to meet informally and share their work with Beth Willman, a world-renowned astronomer and deputy director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC

    LSST telescope, currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    LSST Data Journey, Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova

    Providing access to strong role models is just one of the goals of the undergraduate led group, which was founded in 2013 to support women studying physics through scholarship, mentorship, and social activities.

    “It’s a positive message that [Willman] is a strong, leading woman in a field that’s usually dominated by men,” says junior Olivia Sylvester from Mendham, New Jersey, a board member of the group. “In addition to learning about what she has to say about her research, you’re also taking in the fact that she’s probably overcome a lot of barriers to achieve such great success.”

    The conference kicked off with a casual morning get-together as Willman and a group of undergraduates chatted over coffee and breakfast. Students shared their experiences at Penn, with several indicating that they felt the atmosphere in the Department of Physics & Astronomy was generally welcoming and inclusive for women.

    After being introduced to several researchers in the department and sharing lunch with the Society of Physics group, undergraduate students presented the results of their summer research projects to Willman.

    First-year student Jen Locke from Ambler, Pennsylvania, presented her work from the lab of Masao Sako, an associate professor and undergraduate chair of the physics and astronomy department, on visualizing new planet candidates located in the Kuiper belt.

    Kuiper Belt. Minor Planet Center

    Next summer, Locke will work on developing a search strategy for finding new objects in the LSST database, a project that will likely involve Willman to a certain extent.

    Junior Alex Ulin from Los Angeles talked about her NASA internship on the flower-shaped starshade, a complex foldable structure that will make it easier to take pictures of potentially habitable planets that are difficult to visualize because of the brightness of the sun.

    NASA JPL Starshade

    Ulin, who wants to study materials science after graduation, worked on how to cut the nanometers-thin sheets of metal so they can cover the 20-meters-wide, origami-like structure as precisely as possible.

    Senior Abby Lee from St. Paul, Minnesota, who is advised by Gary Bernstein, the Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, presented the results of her research on selecting features for a physical model that describes dark matter subhalo disruption. These events, which happen when the circular “halo” around stars and galaxies interact with black holes or large areas of dark matter, can now be visualized thanks to improvements in technology but now require models that can help describe their behavior.

    Caterpillar Project A Milky-Way-size dark-matter halo and its subhalos circled, an enormous suite of simulations . Griffen et al. 2016

    Throughout the student presentations, Willman asked questions that ranged from the technical to the philosophical. Ulin, who also sits on the board for the Women in Physics group, says that these types of projects, as well as having researchers and mentors who can provide meaningful feedback on results, are instrumental experiences for undergraduate students in physics. “Talking to someone that you see having a success in the field can really inspire you to consider research and a career in STEM,” she says.

    The final event of the conference was a public lecture from Willman. More than 70 students, faculty, and other members of the Penn community attended her presentation, “The Most Magnificent Map Ever Made.” Willman, who is a Philadelphia native, says that the LSST is poised to become one the most productive scientific endeavors of all time. The project will look at half of the sky over 1,000 times across a 10-year period, and each image it collects will be 3.2 billion pixels large.

    In 2022, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will embark on a 10-year mission to map half the sky. Willman discussed this ambitious project, as well as how the data could revolutionize the field of astronomy, during a public lecture that was held at Houston Hall.

    But Willman says that LSST’s real impact will come from distributing data in “science-ready” formats that can be used and studied easily. Through open-data initiatives that reduce barriers and enable people from a broad range of backgrounds to get involved with astronomy, Willman says that both scientists and society can benefit. “Everything that’s required in the future of scientific progress requires diversity,” she says. “Bringing ideas and people together is beneficial, and science needs as many viewpoints as possible.”

    Junior Abby Timmel from Baltimore, the third board member of the group, says that researchers like Willman who teach from their own experience instead of a textbook can do a lot to inspire students. “This event shows what it looks like to be really successful in physics, how to take the things that you’re learning about and go further with them to really make an impact,” she says.

    With more than 30 active members and a number of events throughout the year, the members of Women in Physics will continue working on their own “magnificent map” as they chart a course towards improved inclusion in STEM.

    Their annual conference is just one example of how important making connections and providing encouragement are for students in STEM. “It spreads awareness that there is a group for women physicists, but I also think that having an event that we’ve organized helps people respect the idea of a group like this,” says Ulin. “They see that not only are we trying to be a support system, we’re also actively doing things for the community.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

    Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with 100 countries and every U.S. state represented in one of the Ivy League’s most diverse student bodies. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our world-renowned graduate and professional schools.

    Penn’s award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to pursue inquiry and discovery, follow their passions, and address the world’s most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.

  • richardmitnick 8:11 am on March 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Highlights from Moriond: ATLAS explores the full Run 2 dataset", , , , , , ,   

    From CERN ATLAS: “Highlights from Moriond: ATLAS explores the full Run 2 dataset” 

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    CERN ATLAS another view Image Claudia Marcelloni ATLAS CERN



    23rd March 2019
    Pierre Savard

    Figure 1: The highest-mass dijet event measured by ATLAS (mass = 8.12 TeV). (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    This week, particle physicists from around the world gathered in La Thuile, Italy, for the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference on Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories. It was one of the first major conferences to be held following the recent completion of the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) second operation period (Run 2). The ATLAS Collaboration unveiled a wide range of new results, including new analyses using the full Run 2 dataset, as well as some high-profile studies of Higgs, electroweak and heavy-ion physics.

    Figure 2: The invariant mass spectrum of two electrons compared with the Standard Model prediction, and with putative signals from a Z’ boson. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    First search results using the full Run 2 dataset

    Over the course of Run 2 of the LHC – from 2015 to 2018 – the ATLAS experiment collected 139 inverse femtobarn of proton-proton collision data for analysis. Though this data-taking period concluded just a few months ago, ATLAS physicists have already reported on a variety of new searches using the full Run 2 dataset. So far, all of these new searches are in agreement with the Standard Model expectation.

    The first of these analyses, released in a paper submitted to Physics Letters B, is a search for heavy neutral gauge bosons (denoted Z’) decaying into lepton pairs. The sensitivity of this analysis has increased significantly over the lifetime of the LHC, as seen in Figure 3. The new result sets exclusion limits on specific theoretical models up to a mass of 5.1 TeV.

    A similar search was also conducted by looking for new particles – or “resonances” – decaying to two jets of particles. These “dijet” searches reveal events with the highest energies observed at the LHC; an example of such an event can be seen in Figure 1. No evidence of significant resonant structures was observed in the mass spectrum probed with the Run 2 dataset.

    ATLAS physicists also presented a search for new particles decaying to two weak bosons (W of Z), where the weak bosons then decay to two jets each. As the resonance would be very heavy, the weak bosons produced would be highly energetic and would generate overlapping jets as they decay. Thus, identifying the weak bosons is particularly challenging, and required the development of new reconstruction and analysis techniques. These have substantially improved the sensitivity of the analysis, as illustrated in Figure 4, setting significantly improved constraints on the allowed parameter space for such heavy resonances decaying to W or Z bosons.

    New searches for supersymmetry were also presented. One analysis focused on electroweak production of supersymmetric particles called “charginos” and “sleptons” decaying into two electrons or muons, along with missing transverse momentum. A second analysis looked for long-lived supersymmetric partners of the top quark that decay further away from the collision point. Many other searches are ongoing at ATLAS that will probe vast regions of yet-unexplored supersymmetric parameter space.

    Figure 3: Ratio of the observed limit to the Z’ cross section for the combination of the channels with two electrons and two muons. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    Figure 4: Comparison between the current and previous expected limits on the cross section times branching ratio for WW+WZ production. An extrapolation of the expected limits from the previous results to the current dataset size, assuming no change to the previous analysis strategy or its uncertainties, is also shown. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    First measurement of the Higgs boson using the full Run 2 dataset

    ATLAS also released a new measurement of the rare production cross section of the Higgs boson in association with two top quarks (ttH), followed by the similarly rare decay of the Higgs boson to two photons. The ttH production process was first observed in 2018, though it required the combination of many Higgs decay channels. Using the full Run 2 dataset, the observation of ttH in a single Higgs decay channel – into a pair of photons – is now possible. This allowed for a measurement of the production rate with an uncertainty of 25%, with a central value that is compatible with the Standard Model prediction.

    An updated combination of Higgs analyses was also presented, setting new constraints on the Higgs coupling to other particles, as well as interesting indirect constraints on the elusive self-coupling of the Higgs boson with itself. This update includes analyses that use 80 fb-1 (the data taken from 2015 to 2017) and represents the most comprehensive and precise set of Higgs properties measurements presented by the collaboration to date. Other results reporting first evidence for the rare electroweak processes involving the production of three weak bosons were also shown at the conference.

    Observation of light-by-light scattering

    The scattering of light by light involves two incoming photons scattering off of each other and producing two outgoing photons. This is a purely quantum mechanical effect that is not predicted by the classical theory of electromagnetism. The scattering of light requires a very intense source of photons, which can be achieved by using the enormous electric fields generated by fully ionised lead ions. As the ions cross each other, the intense electric fields supply a beam of photons that can collide, effectively turning the Large Hadron Collider into a “Large Photon Collider”.

    Evidence for this process at the LHC was first reported by ATLAS in 2017 in Nature Physics, and was also seen by CMS. Using the much larger dataset collected in 2018, ATLAS was able to clearly observe this process with a significance of over 8 standard deviations and measure the cross section with an uncertainty of 19%. This was one of the first results presented at Moriond.

    New measurement of CP violation

    Figure 5: The measured values of φs and ∆Γs, compared to measurements by other LHC experiments. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    The observed asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the Universe (a symmetry breaking known as “CP violation”) is one the unresolved puzzles in particle physics. As the Standard Model is only able to explain part of this asymmetry, there is great motivation to search for additional sources in the form of new or larger CP violation phases. The LHC produces copious samples of B mesons that are used to measure CP violating processes. In a new analysis using 80 fb-1 of data, ATLAS investigated the decay of B-sub-s (Bs) mesons, which are composed of a bottom quark and a strange quark. Specifically, J/ψ φ decays were investigated to measure the CP-violating phase φs, the average decay width (Γs), and the width difference (∆Γs) between the physical Bs meson states.

    In the Standard Model, φs is predicted to be small. However, physics beyond the Standard Model could increase the size of the observed CP violation by enhancing the mixing phase φs with respect to the Standard Model value. The measured values of φs and ∆Γs are shown in Figure 5, and compared to measurements by other LHC experiments and to the Standard Model prediction.

    A week of rich and exciting results

    This week, ATLAS and other LHC experiments presented important new results, deepening our understanding of particle physics. The presentation of the first results with the full Run 2 dataset represent the first steps in the realisation of what will be a rich and exciting Run 2 physics programme. Though Moriond EW is now drawing to a close, the Moriond QCD conference will start on its heels on Sunday 24 March – expect more exciting new results.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CERN Courier

    Quantum Diaries

    CERN map

    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles


    Quantum Diaries

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