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  • richardmitnick 9:43 am on June 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    From FNAL: “Exclusive production: shedding light with grazing protons” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    June 3, 2016
    Bo Jayatilaka

    1
    When two protons approaching each other pass close enough together, they can “feel” each other, similar to the way that two magnets can be drawn closely together without necessarily sticking together. According to the Standard Model, at this grazing distance, the protons can produce a pair of W bosons. No image credit.

    As its name implies, the primary mission of the Large Hadron Collider is to generate collisions of protons for study by physicists at experiments such as CMS.

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

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    It may surprise you to find out that the vast majority of protons accelerated by the LHC never collide with one another. Some of these fly-by protons, however, still interact with each other in such a way as to help physicists shed light on the nature of the universe.

    The LHC accelerates bunches of protons, with more than 10 billion protons in each bunch, in opposite directions around the ring. As those protons arrive at a detector, such as CMS, magnets focus the beams to increase the density of protons and thus increase the chance of a coveted collision. Despite what seems like overwhelming odds, only a few of these protons actually collide with each other: tens to hundreds per each beam “crossing.” An even smaller fraction of the remaining protons pass close enough to other protons to “feel” each other, even if they do not directly collide.

    Think of two toy magnets on a tabletop: A north end and a south end moved close enough to each other will rather firmly stick to each other. However, you can also move one magnet just close enough to the other that you can make it wiggle without drawing it all the way over. This exchange of energy is mediated by the exchange of photons, the carrier particle of the electromagnetic force. Similarly, two protons in the LHC that get just the right distance from each other will exchange photons without colliding.

    Now for the part that gets really interesting to particle physicists. The photons generated by these near-miss proton interactions can be billions of times more energetic than those of visible light, and as a result they carry enough energy to create particles in their own right. The Standard Model predicts the production of massive particles, such as pairs of W bosons, from these interacting photons without any of the additional activity that is seen in the messier proton-proton collision events.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.
    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    In a detector such as CMS, this pair of W bosons is said to be produced “exclusively.” However, “exclusive production” is an apt name in another way – creating a pair of W bosons from interacting photons is a rare occurrence in an even rarer sample of photons generated from near-miss proton interactions.

    CMS scientists performed such a search for such W boson pairs emanating from interacting photons. In a data set consisting of 7- and 8-TeV collisions, 15 candidate events for this process were observed. While it may not seem like much, the expected background was considerably smaller, allowing the CMS team to claim that they have evidence of the process. (In the particle physics world, evidence is a three-standard-deviation departure from background, as explained here). Furthermore, these results helped place stringent results on a number of models which predict a greater rate of this process.

    See the full article here .

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

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  • richardmitnick 12:25 pm on May 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Berkeley built new RFQ successfully takes first beam at FNAL, Fermilab Accelerator Division,   

    From FNAL: “Upgraded PIP-II RFQ successfully takes first beam” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    May 25, 2016
    Rashmi Shivni

    1
    This photo of the RFQ for the Fermilab PIP-II accelerator was taken during the assembly phase at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Andrew Lambert, Berkeley Lab

    In March, the Fermilab Accelerator Division successfully sent beam through a newly commissioned linear accelerator. The brand new radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ) linac, designed and built by a team of engineers and physicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will be the start for a proposed upgrade to Fermilab’s 800-MeV superconducting linear accelerator.

    “The RFQ is one of the biggest challenges faced by our group,” said Derun Li, lead scientist on the RFQ development team and deputy head of the Center for Beam Physics at Berkeley Lab. “And seeing it take nearly 100 percent of the source beam on its first try is great!”

    The new, front-end accelerator is one of several upgrade projects conducted under PIP-II, a plan to overhaul the Fermilab accelerator complex to produce high-intensity proton beams for the lab’s multiple experiments. PIP-II is supported by the DOE Office of Science.

    Currently located at the Cryomodule Test Facility, approximately 1.5 miles northeast of Wilson Hall, the RFQ took first beam – 100-microsecond pulses at 10 hertz – during its first testing phase. Since its first run in March, the team has been working on various commissioning activities, including running the pulsed beam through the RFQ and its transport lines. These activities are expected to continue until June.

    The goal of these tests is to provide intense, focused beams to the entire accelerator complex. The lab’s current RFQ, which sits at the beginning of the laboratory’s accelerator chain, accelerates a negative hydrogen ion beam to 0.75 million electronvolts, or MeV. The new RFQ, which is longer, accelerates a beam to 2.1 MeV, nearly three times the energy. Transported beam current, and therefore power, is the key improvement with the new RFQ. The current RFQ delivers 54-watt beam power; the new RFQ delivers beam at 21 kilowatts – an increase by a factor of nearly 400.

    RFQs are widely used for accelerating low-energy ion beams, and the energy of the beams they produce typically caps off at about 5 MeV, said Paul Derwent, PIP-II Department head. These low energy protons will then undergo further acceleration by other components of Fermi’s accelerator complex, some to 8 GeV and others to 120 GeV.

    The new RFQ is 4.5 meters long and made of four parallel copper vanes, as opposed to four rods used on the current RFQ. As viewed from one end, the vanes form a symmetrical cross. At the center of the cross is a tiny aperture, or tunnel through which the beam travels.


    The RFQ is undergoing tests at the Cryomodule Test Facility at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    If you were to remove one vane and peer inside the RFQ from the side, you would see an intricate pattern of peaks and valleys, similar to a waveform, along the inner edge of each vane. Like puzzle pieces, the vanes fit together to form the small tunnel with the rippling walls of that inner waveform shape. The farther down the tunnel you go, and therefore the higher the beam energy, the longer the spacing of the peaks and valleys. This means that the time the beam needs to go from peak to valley and back remains constant, necessary for proper acceleration.

    Jim Steimel, the electrical engineering coordinator for PIP-II and a Fermilab liaison for Berkeley’s RFQ development team, said this shape is a special trait in RFQs; one that creates an electromagnetic quadrupole field that focuses low-velocity particles.

    “As the beam travels through the RFQ tunnel, longitudinal electrical fields generated by the vane peaks and valleys accelerate particle energy,” Steimel said. “This helps focus the beam and keeps the particles accelerating.”

    The Berkeley team successfully designed the accelerator to bring beams to a higher intensity than Fermilab’s previous RFQ technology could achieve – energy that matches PIP-II’s front-end requirements.

    “Our challenge was to come up with a design that uses minimum radio-frequency power and delivers the required beam quality and intensity, and to engineer a mechanical design that can withstand continuous operation at high average power,” Li said.

    Li’s team took into account potential problems that may occur at a power of 100 kilowatts or more, which was needed to maintain the electromagnetic quadrupole field inside the RFQ.

    For example, at higher powers temperatures can rapidly increase, causing thermal stress on the RFQ components. Large water flow rates and durable materials are needed to withstand heat and prevent deformations, which is a significant mechanical engineering feat.

    “The Berkeley team is proud to have been a key contributor to the first phase of the PIP-II upgrade,” said Wim Leemans, director of Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division. “Berkeley physicists and engineers have been building RFQs for a number of users and purposes for 30 years, and this is a great example of getting the most leverage out of the agency investment.”

    Now that the Berkeley and Fermilab teams demonstrated that the RFQ can generate intense beams in pulses, the next step will be to create a continuous high-intensity beam for PIP-II. The team expects to achieve a continuous beam in the summer.

    “Fermilab and Berkeley have a long history of collaboration,” Derwent said. “This was just another one where it has worked very well, and their expertise helped us achieve one of our goals.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:48 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , The Strong Nuclear Force   

    From Don Lincoln at FNAL: “The Strong Nuclear Force “ 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image

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

    FNAL Don Lincoln
    FNAL Don Lincoln

    Scientists are aware of four fundamental forces- gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Most people have at least some familiarity with gravity and electromagnetism, but not the other two. How is it that scientists are so certain that two additional forces exist? In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln explains why scientists are so certain that the strong force exists.

    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:09 pm on May 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angela Gonzales, , ,   

    From Symmetry: “Of bison and bosons” Women in Science 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    05/24/16
    Lauren Biron

    1
    Artwork by Angela Gonzales

    When talking about Fermilab’s distinct visual and artistic aesthetic, it’s impossible not to mention Angela Gonzales.

    2
    Angela Gonzales

    The artist – Fermilab’s 11th employee – joined the lab in 1967 and immediately began connecting the lab’s cutting-edge science with an artistic flair to match. She picked a color palette of bold blues and oranges and reds that would go on to adorn the campus’ buildings, and illustrated hundreds of posters, signs and report covers for the lab.

    She also designed the iconic logo and a beautiful graphic that has become an unofficial seal for the laboratory, most commonly found on the back of T-shirts. But what do all of the symbols mean?

    If all this symbolism isn’t enough for you—or if you’re a part of the coloring book craze and want to shade in a science drawing—fear not. Gonzales made an expanded version of this graphic. The buildings (clockwise from the top left) are the Meson Lab (now the Fermilab Test Beam Facility), the Geodesic Dome (now part of the Silicon Detector Facility), the CDF building (now part of the Illinois Accelerator Research Center) and the Pagoda (a small building that hosted a control room). She also incorporated four of the outdoor sculptures on the Fermilab site (clockwise from top): Tractricious, the Mobius Strip, Acqua Alle Funi and Broken Symmetry. You’ll also find some of the particle symbols from the core graphic, along with the symbols for π mesons, K mesons and gluons (g).

    [This beautiful work will become a part of my FNAL blog template.]

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 1:52 pm on May 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    From FNAL: “What do theorists do?” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    May 13, 2016
    Leah Hesla
    Rashmi Shivni

    1
    Pilar Coloma (left) and Seyda Ipek write calculations from floor to ceiling as they try to find solutions to lingering questions about our current models of the universe. Photo: Rashmi Shivni, OC

    Some of the ideas you’ve probably had about theoretical physicists are true.

    They toil away at complicated equations. The amount of time they spend on their computers rivals that of millennials on their hand-held devices. And almost nothing of what they turn up will ever be understood by most of us.

    The statements are true, but as you might expect, the resulting portrait of ivory tower isolation misses the mark.

    The theorist’s task is to explain why we see what we see and predict what we might expect to see, and such pronouncements can’t be made from the proverbial armchair. Theorists work with experimentalists, their counterparts in the proverbial field, as a vital part of the feedback loop of scientific investigation.

    “Sometimes I bounce ideas off experimentalists and learn from what they have seen in their results,” said Fermilab theorist Pilar Coloma, who studies neutrino physics. “Or they may find something profound in theory models that they want to test. My job is all about pushing the knowledge forward so other people can use it.”

    Predictive power

    Theorists in particle physics — the Higgses and Hawkings of the world — push knowledge by making predictions about particle interactions. Starting from the framework known as the Standard Model, they calculate, say, the likelihood of numerous outcomes from the interaction of two electrons, like a blackjack player scanning through the possibilities for the dealer’s next draw.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.
    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    Experimentalists can then seek out the predicted phenomena, rooting around in the data for a never-before-seen phenomenon.

    Theorists’ predictions keep experimentalists from having to shoot in the dark. Like an experienced paleontologist, the theorist can tell the experimentalist where to dig to find something new.

    “We simulate many fake events,” Coloma said. “The simulated data determines the prospects for an experiment or puts a bound on a new physics model.”

    The Higgs boson provides one example.

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event
    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    By 2011, a year before CERN’s ATLAS and CMS experiments announced they’d discovered the Higgs boson, theorists had put forth nearly 100 different proposals by as many different methods for the particle’s mass. Many of the predictions were indeed in the neighborhood of the mass as measured by the two experiments.

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

    CERN/ATLAS
    CERN/ATLAS

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    And like the paleontologist presented with a new artifact, the theorist also offers explanations for unexplained sightings in experimentalists’ data. She might compare the particle signatures in the detector against her many fake events. Or given an intriguing measurement, she might fold it into the next iteration of calculations. If experimentalists see a particle made of a quark combination not yet on the books, theorists would respond by explaining the underlying mechanism or, if there isn’t one yet, work it out.

    “Experimentalists give you information. ‘We think this particle is of this type. Do you know of any Standard Model particle that fits?’” said Seyda Ipek, a theorist studying the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe. “At first it might not be obvious, because when you add something new, you change the other observations you know are in the Standard Model, and that puts a constraint on your models.”

    And since the grand aim of particle physics theory is to be able to explain all of nature, the calculation developed to explain a new phenomenon must be extendible to a general principle.

    “Unless you have a very good prediction from theory, you can’t convert that experimental measurement into a parameter that appears in the underlying theory of the Standard Model,” said Fermilab theorist John Campbell, who works on precision theoretical predictions for the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.

    Calculating moves

    The theorist’s calculation starts with the prospect of a new measurement or a hole in a theory.

    “You look at the interesting things that an experiment is going to measure or that you have a chance of measuring,” Campbell said. “If the data agrees with theory everywhere, there’s not much room for new physics. So you look for small deviations that might be a sign of something. You’re really trying to dream up a new set of interactions that might explain why the data doesn’t agree somewhere.”

    In its raw form, particle physics data is the amount and location of the energy a particle deposits in a particle detector. The more sensitive the detector, the more accurate the experimentalists’ measurement, and the more precise the corresponding calculation needs to be.

    2
    Fermilab theorists John Campbell (left) and Ye Li work on a calculation that describes the interactions you might expect to see in the complicated environment of the LHC. Photo: Rashmi Shivni

    The CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider, for example, allows scientists to measure some probabilities of particle interactions to within a few percent. And that’s after taking into account that it takes one million or even one billion proton-proton collisions to produce just one interesting interaction that CMS would like to measure.

    “When you’re making the measurement that accurately, it demands a prediction at a very high level,” Campbell said. “If you’re looking for something unexpected, then you need to know the expected part in quite a lot of detail.”

    A paleontologist recognizes the vertebra of a brachiosaurus, and the theoretical particle physicist knows what the production of a pair of top quarks looks like in the detector. A departure from the known picture triggers him to take action.

    “So then you embark on this calculation,” Campbell said.

    Embark, indeed. These calculations are not pencil-and-paper assignments. A single calculation predicting the details of a particle interaction, for example, can be a prodigious effort that takes months or years.

    So-called loop corrections are one example: Theorists home in on what happens during a particle event by adding detail — a correction — to an approximate picture.

    Consider two electrons that approach each other, exchange a photon and diverge. Zooming in further, you predict that the photon emits and reabsorbs yet another pair of particles before it itself is reabsorbed by the electron pair. And perhaps you predict that, at the same time, one of the electrons emits and reabsorbs another photon all on its own.

    Each additional quantum-scale effect, or loop, in the big-picture interaction is like pennies on the dollar, changing the accounting of the total transaction — the precision of a particle mass calculation or of the interaction strength between two particles.

    With each additional loop, the task of performing the calculation becomes that much more formidable. (“Loop” reflects how the effects are represented pictorially in Feynman diagrams — details in the approximate picture of the interaction.) Theorists were computing one-loop corrections for the production of a Higgs boson arising from two protons until 1991. It took another 10 years to complete the two-loop corrections for the process. And it wasn’t until this year, 2016, that they finished computing the three-loop corrections. Precise measurements at the Large Hadron Collider would (and do) require precise predictions to determine the kind of Higgs boson that scientists would see, demanding the decades-long investment.

    “Doing these calculations is not straightforward, or we would have done them a long time ago,” Campbell said.

    Once the theorist completes a calculation, they might publish a paper or otherwise make their code broadly available. From there, experimentalists can use the code to simulate how it will look in the detector. Farms of computers map out millions of fake events that take into account the new predictions provided courtesy of the theorist.

    “Without a network of computers available, our studies can’t be done in a reasonable time,” Coloma said. “A single computer can not analyze millions of data points, just as a human being could never take on such a task.”

    If the simulation shows that, for example, a particle might decay in more ways than what the experiment has seen, the theorist could suggest that experimentalists expand their search.

    “We’ve pushed experiments to look in different channels,” Ipek said. “They could look into decays of particles into two-body states, but why not also 10-body states?”

    Theorists also work with an experiment, or multiple experiments, to put their calculations to best use. Armed with code, experimentalists can change a parameter or two to guide them in their search for new physics. What happens, for example, if the Higgs boson interacts a little more strongly with the top quark than we expect? How would that change what we see in our detectors?

    “That’s a question they can ask and then answer,” Campbell said. “Anyone can come up with a new theory. It is best to try to provide a concrete plan that they can follow.”

    Outlandish theories and concrete plans

    Concrete plans ensure a fruitful relationship between experiment and theory. The wilder, unconventional theories scientists dream up take the field into exciting, uncharted territory, but that isn’t to say that they don’t also have their utility.

    Theorists who specialize in physics beyond the Standard Model, for example, generate thousands of theories worldwide for new physics – new phenomena seen as new energy deposits in the detector where you don’t expect to see them.

    “Even if things don’t end up existing, it encourages the experiment to look at its data in different ways,” Campbell said. An experiment could take so much data that you might worry that some fun effect is hiding, never to be seen. Having truckloads of theories helps mitigate against that. “You’re trying to come up with as many outlandish ideas as you can in the hope that you cover as many of those possibilities as you can.”

    Theorists bridge the gap between the pure mathematics that describes nature and the data through which nature manifests.

    “The field itself is challenging, but theory takes us to new places and helps us imagine new phenomena,” Ipek said.” We collectively work toward understanding every detail of our universe and that’s what ultimately matters most.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:21 pm on May 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    From FNAL: “Large Hadron Collider prepares to deliver six times the data” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    May 9, 2016

    Media contact

    Andre Salles, Fermilab Office of Communication, asalles@fnal.gov, 630-840-6733
    Ivy F. Kupec, National Science Foundation, ikupec@nsf.gov, 703-292-8796
    Rick Borchelt, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Communications and Public Affairs, rick.borchelt@science.doe.gov, 202-586-4477
    Sarah Charley, US LHC, scharley@fnal.gov, 630-338-3034 (cell)

    1
    Collisions recorded on May 7, 2016, by the CMS detector on the Large Hadron Collider. After a winter break, the LHC is now taking data again at extraordinary energies. Image: CERN

    Experiments at the LHC are once again recording collisions at extraordinary energies

    Editor’s note: The following news release about the restart of the Large Hadron Collider is being issued by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. scientists working on the LHC. Fermilab serves as the U.S. hub for the CMS experiment at the LHC and the roughly 1,000 U.S. scientists who work on that experiment, including about 100 Fermilab employees. Fermilab is a Tier 1 computing center for LHC data and hosts a Remote Operations Center to process and analyze that data. Read more information about Fermilab’s role in the CMS experiment and the LHC. Fermilab scientists are available for interviews upon request, including Joel Butler, recently elected next spokesperson of the CMS experiment.

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

    After months of winter hibernation, the Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons and taking data. The LHC will run around the clock for the next six months and produce roughly 2 quadrillion high-quality proton collisions, six times more than in 2015 and just shy of the total number of collisions recorded during the nearly three years of the collider’s first run.

    “2015 was a recommissioning year. 2016 will be a year of full data production during which we will focus on delivering the maximum number of data to the experiments,” said Fabiola Gianotti, CERN director general.

    CERN Fabiola Gianotti
    Fabiola Gianotti

    The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Its collisions produce subatomic fireballs of energy, which morph into the fundamental building blocks of matter. The four particle detectors located on the LHC’s ring allow scientists to record and study the properties of these building blocks and look for new fundamental particles and forces.

    “We’re proud to support more than a thousand U.S. scientists and engineers who play integral parts in operating the detectors, analyzing the data and developing tools and technologies to upgrade the LHC’s performance in this international endeavor,” said Jim Siegrist, associate director of science for high-energy physics in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. “The LHC is the only place in the world where this kind of research can be performed, and we are a fully committed partner on the LHC experiments and the future development of the collider itself.”

    [Never should it be forgotten that this work could have proceeded i the US had the US Congress followed through with funding for the Superconducting Super Collider which had begun construction in Texas. In 1993, our congress decided to stop this project and leave this research to others.]

    Between 2010 and 2013 the LHC produced proton-proton collisions with 8 teraelectronvolts of energy. In the spring of 2015, after a two-year shutdown, LHC operators ramped up the collision energy to 13 TeV. This increase in energy enables scientists to explore a new realm of physics that was previously inaccessible. Run II collisions also produce Higgs bosons — the groundbreaking particle discovered in LHC Run I — 25 percent faster than Run I collisions and increase the chances of finding new massive particles by more than 40 percent.

    Almost everything we know about matter is summed up in the Standard Model of particle physics, an elegant map of the subatomic world.

    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.
    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.

    During the first run of the LHC, scientists on the ATLAS and CMS experiments discovered the Higgs boson, the cornerstone of the Standard Model that helps explain the origins of mass.

    CERN/ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event
    ATLAS

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN CMS Higgs Event
    CMS

    The LHCb experiment also discovered never-before-seen five-quark particles, and the ALICE experiment studied the near-perfect liquid that existed immediately after the Big Bang. All these observations are in line with the predictions of the Standard Model.

    CERN/LHCb
    LHCb

    AliceDetectorLarge
    ALICE

    “So far the Standard Model seems to explain matter, but we know there has to be something beyond the Standard Model,” said Denise Caldwell, director of the Physics Division of the National Science Foundation. “This potential new physics can only be uncovered with more data that will come with the next LHC run.”

    For example, the Standard Model contains no explanation of gravity, which is one of the four fundamental forces in the universe. It also does not explain astronomical observations of dark matter, a type of matter that interacts with our visible universe only through gravity, nor does it explain why matter prevailed over antimatter during the formation of the early universe. The small mass of the Higgs boson also suggests that matter is fundamentally unstable.

    The new LHC data will help scientists verify the Standard Model’s predictions and push beyond its boundaries. Many predicted and theoretical subatomic processes are so rare that scientists need billions of collisions to find just a small handful of events that are clean and scientifically interesting. Scientists also need an enormous amount of data to precisely measure well-known Standard Model processes. Any significant deviations from the Standard Model’s predictions could be the first step towards new physics.

    The United States is the largest national contributor to both the ATLAS and CMS experiments, with 45 U.S. universities and laboratories working on ATLAS and 49 working on CMS.

    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. Cyprus and Serbia are associate members in the pre-stage to membership. Turkey and Pakistan are associate members. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Union, JINR and UNESCO have observer status.

    See the full from FNAL article here .
    See the Symmetry article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:43 pm on May 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL support of a Latin American initiative   

    From FNAL: “Fermilab’s Latin American workshop showcases past, present and future collaboration” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    May 5, 2016
    Rashmi Shivni

    On April 27 and 28, Fermilab hosted the Neutrino – Latin America Workshop for visiting scientists. The workshop showcased Latin American collaboration with the laboratory throughout the years, and scientists discussed research opportunities both here at Fermilab and at institutions in Central and South America.

    “Our intention was to increase the awareness of the DUNE scientific and technical program and to highlight the many areas where Latin American scientists and engineers can make important contributions within DUNE and the broader Fermilab neutrino program, including the short-baseline neutrino experiments,” said Mark Thomson, a co-spokesperson for DUNE and lead organizer of the workshop.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE
    FNAL LBNF/DUNE

    Latin America has a rich history in particle physics, and this workshop highlighted the projects that resulted from the longstanding relationship Fermilab has with these nations, he said.

    The past

    As early as the 1930s, physicists at institutions in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico were studying cosmic rays and theoretical particle physics. Several of these nations expanded their focus in particle physics, but at the time, programs were few, and funding was minimal. In the early 1980s, Leon Lederman, Fermilab’s second director, realized the potential benefits of a relationship between Fermilab and our neighbors to the south after attending several symposia hosted in Latin America. By 1984, Lederman sponsored four Brazilian physicists — the first Latin American scientists to come to Fermilab — to participate on a fixed-target experiment.

    “Lederman took a bold step with inviting us to join the experimental high-energy physics program at Fermilab,” said Carlos Escobar, a guest scientist in Fermilab’s Neutrino Division and one of the first four Brazilian physicists to join the lab. “We had physicists working in theory for high-energy physics groups in our home institutions but no experimental groups in particle physics. We were the pioneering Latin Americans here at Fermilab.”

    Shortly after this group joined the lab, they began to reach out to their students and colleagues at home to train them for future projects. More and more Latin American students and scientists from multiple countries gained opportunities to learn and work at Fermilab, and they eventually became a valuable group to the laboratory’s growing neutrino program.

    The present

    The first day of the April workshop included presentations and discussions about past neutrino experiments, right up to current projects. Latin America has collaborated with Fermilab on several projects over the years, including MINOS and MINOS+, MiniBooNE, LArIAT and NOvA.

    FNAL/MINOS
    FNAL/MINOS

    FNAL/MiniBooNE
    FNAL/MiniBooNE

    FNAL/LArIAT II
    FNAL/LArIAT II

    FNAL/NOvA experiment
    FNAL/NOvA experiment

    According to Julian Felix, a professor of physics at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico, Latin Americans made up nearly a quarter of the MINERvA collaboration.

    FNAL/MINERvA
    FNAL/MINERvA

    The proposed CAPTAIN MINERvA experiment, which would be an expansion of its predecessor with a focus in neutrino-argon interaction studies, would continue the tradition of collaboration with Latin American institutions.

    “The test beam for the MINERvA experiment was done by several Latin American students, and all of the students made a big difference in this work,” he said in his presentation. “This experiment had the largest contributions from Latin America of any experiment at Fermilab, and my students and I gained a lot of experience from it.”

    Today, the in-progress Short-Baseline Neutrino program, with three supporting experiments hunting for a fourth type of neutrino, currently has 55 collaborating institutions from eight countries. Three institutions are from Brazil and one is from Puerto Rico. Workshop participants in the SBN program took the opportunity to invite their Latin American colleagues to join SBN.

    FNAL/Short-Baseline Near Detector
    FNAL/Short-Baseline Near Detector

    “We want to reach out to this specific region of the world because they are valuable and bring a variety of ideas and opinions to our work,” said Regina Rameika, head of Fermilab’s Neutrino Division. “We especially want students to participate so they can gain experience. New programs like SBN are great because students can start at the beginning of the project and see it progress.”

    Several workshop participants said that, while experience abroad is valuable, it’s just as important that highly trained professionals who studied at Latin American universities and institutions make their skills and talents available in their home nations.

    “Our governments and countries are willing to fund physicists and engineers,” Felix said. “We need skilled professionals in industry in our home countries.”

    Rameika said Fermilab is a good training ground for Latin American students, who participate in a particle physics experiment before they head back to their nations to inspire others to become scientists.

    “Fermilab could be a part of this loop in which we bring students here, offer them profound experience in their field and then send them back to build stronger programs back home,” she said.

    At the workshop, physicists on new projects in Latin America informed and invited Fermilab scientists to participate. ANDES, for example, is an underground laboratory located on the borders between Argentina, Brazil and Chile. It will be one of the first multidisciplinary underground facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. And, CONNIE a neutrino-nucleus interaction experiment led by Fermilab scientist Juan Estrada and located in a nuclear power plant near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will produce data to help answer questions about the Standard Model and even test safety applications in nuclear facilities.

    The future

    On the second day of the workshop, the spotlight was on future opportunities and upcoming experiments.

    Fermilab’s future flagship experiment DUNE is among the world’s largest neutrino experiments, currently with 850 collaborators from 149 institutions in 29 countries. Presenters discussed opportunities in software, scientific computing, theory and accelerator engineering for DUNE. The research scope includes supernova neutrinos, neutrino oscillation, proton decay and the universe’s matter-antimatter imbalance.

    Several Latin American institutions have developed simulation technologies capable of handling the amount of data DUNE would produce. This is one of the many key areas in which Latin American collaboration is vital to the lab.

    “DUNE is an incredibly exciting international partnership and will be the next big thing in particle physics,” Thomson said. “We hope to build on the existing Latin American participation in DUNE and the rest of the Fermilab neutrino program. Latin American scientists bring great expertise, and DUNE is an opportunity to form scientific partnerships in the next major international neutrino experiment. There are many benefits, including providing training for the next generation of Latin American physicists.”

    CERN’s protoDUNE, the large-scale DUNE prototypes, also has opportunities for Latin American scientists and engineers in Switzerland. CERN enjoys strong Latin American participation, with approximately 300 physicists from 12 nations, according to Gustavo Otero y Garzon, a research assistant at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and a physicist on CERN’s ATLAS experiment.

    In 2015, Fermilab had a total of 162 visiting Latin American scientists and students from eight countries contributing to several neutrino experiments.

    “Latin America is developing and growing its economy, and this is a perfect opportunity for us to engage their local industry and institutions to develop new technologies and share their expertise,” Escobar said. “These nations share a passion for science with us and will be effective partners for us at the frontier of particle physics.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:53 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , FNAL G-2,   

    From Don Lincoln at FNAL: “The physics of g-2” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    FNAL Don Lincoln
    Don Lincoln

    At any time in history, a few scientific measurements disagreed with the best theoretical predictions of the time. Currently, one such discrepancy involves the measurement of the strength of the magnetic field of a subatomic particle called a muon. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln explains this mystery and sketches ongoing efforts to determine if this disagreement signifies a discovery. If it does, this measurement will mean that we will have to rewrite the textbooks.


    Access the mp4 video here .

    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    FNAL G-2
    FNAL G-2

    FNAL Muon g-2 studio
    FNAL Muon g-2 studio

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:01 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    From FNAL: “Fermilab and Russia: four decades of scientific collaboration” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    1
    On Aug. 25, 2000, the DZero collaboration team completed construction on the forward muon system detectors. Designing and building the detector took approximately five years with the help of scientists, engineers and technicians from Fermilab, JINR and other Russian institutions. Photo: Fermilab

    Near the end of the competitive Space Race in the early 1970s, a Soviet institution joined forces with a young Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to work toward a greater understanding of the subatomic world. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, which celebrated its 60th anniversary on March 26, remains an important, long-running Fermilab collaborator.

    This relationship began in 1972 when JINR sent some of the first Soviet scientists to Fermilab. Together, American and Soviet scientists worked at the lab’s first accelerator system, using a Soviet-built jet hydrogen target in the proton beam.

    “After this initial collaboration, there were quite a few scientists traveling between the United States and the Soviet Union,” said Dmitri Denisov, co-spokesperson on the DZero experiment and head of Fermilab’s Particle Physics Initiatives Department. “There were many labs in the USSR active in accelerator-based particle physics and using high-energy accelerators that resembled the science at Fermilab.”

    Soviet scientists from multiple institutions soon noticed the similarities between the USSR and U.S. experiments as well as interesting, mutual scientific goals. In spite of the tension between the two nations, Fermilab became one of the few places in the U.S. for Soviet scientists testing their prototypes, conducting R&D projects and performing sophisticated, long-term experiments, Denisov said. This collaboration became a symbol of two competing countries overcoming their differences and working together to move the field of particle physics forward.

    By the late 1980s and into the 1990s, CDF and DZero became a major focus at Fermilab for Russian particle physicists.

    FNAL/Tevatron CDF detector
    FNAL/Tevatron CDF detector

    FNAL/Tevatron DZero detector
    FNAL/Tevatron DZero detector

    At that time, Denisov was a young graduate student and worked with the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, a small city near Moscow. He, along with a few other colleagues, joined the DZero experiment.

    “We were all eager to come here, and about one or two years later, we planned to go back and construct a similar, even larger experiment in the USSR,” he said. “But the situation became difficult as the USSR disintegrated in 1991.”

    Russian particle physics experimentation slowed down, and many projects ended. One option was to come to Fermilab and keep up with the ongoing experiments here. Although there were very few of them at the time, Russian scientists at Fermilab contributed to the discovery of the top quark. Soon after the discovery, more scientists came to the lab to work with other collaborators, upgrading the DZero detector or joining the CDF experiment.

    Experiments at the Tevatron, which was the world’s highest-energy collider in the early 2000s, was the peak of Russian collaboration at Fermilab and provided a great opportunity to plan for future projects with Russia.

    FNAL/Tevatron map
    FNAL/Tevatron map

    FNAL Tevatron tunnel
    FNAL/Tevatron tunnel

    By about 2005, a total of almost 300 scientists and engineers from Russian laboratories and universities joined Fermilab in several experiments. At the end of the Tevatron run, a couple of years later, many Russian scientists and engineers joined projects such as NOvA and Mu2e.

    In early 2014, as the crisis in Ukraine unfolded, U.S. and Russian relations grew fragile, and additional approvals were necessary for Russian users and visiting scientists visiting Fermilab.

    Aleksandr Simonenko, a contributing scientist from JINR, used to visit Fermilab for six months out of the year in 2007 for the CDF experiment. Simonenko now visits Fermilab for almost three months out of the year for the Mu2e experiment. Russian institutions continue to send their scientists to Fermilab to work on experiments such as CDF, DZero, Muon g-2, Mu2e and NOvA.

    Last year, 75 scientists from 10 collaborating Russian institutions and laboratories worked at Fermilab.

    “I think all scientists should participate in collaborations like this one, because each time you come, you get some additional experience and learn about the work of other places,” Simonenko said.

    With the proposed international DUNE experiment, Fermilab may be able to further boost Russian participation.

    FNAL Dune & LBNF
    FNAL LBNF/DUNE

    “We must think of our work as science without borders,” Denisov said. “Science doesn’t depend on politics that much, but it’s beneficial to exchange our cultures and views. Science brings us together, and it is the same here just as it is in Russia. That’s why we work well together.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:37 pm on April 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    From FNAL: “Heavy neutrinos: Leave no stone unturned” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    April 8, 2016
    Bo Jayatilaka

    While the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC yielded considerable evidence that the Higgs mechanism is responsible for some particles having mass and others not, it does not help explain why massive particles have the specific masses they do. Over a decade prior to the discovery of the Higgs boson, experiments studying neutrinos produced by the sun and by particle accelerators made the astounding discovery that neutrinos have mass, albeit in incredibly tiny amounts. The question du jour about neutrino masses shifted immediately from “Do neutrinos have mass?” to “Why are neutrino masses what they are?”

    Physicists naturally attack this question from as many angles as possible. A significant focus of the scientific efforts of Fermilab center on studying neutrinos produced by the Fermilab accelerator complex in order to probe this question. An experiment like CMS, designed to measure highly interactive particles, can’t directly detect neutrinos at all and might seem to be left on the sidelines in this quest. However, a popular family of theories suggests that there is an additional family of neutrino linked to the garden-variety neutrinos we know of. This linking mechanism between the known neutrinos and their exotic cousins is known as a “seesaw mechanism,” as it forces one type to become massive when the others become lightweight. Searching for unknown but massive particles is exactly what the CMS detector was designed to do.

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    The CMS experiment has searched for such heavy neutrinos, focusing on the case where the heavy neutrino is of the Majorana type, meaning that it is its own antiparticle. As Don Lincoln explains about one of the first such searches, the production and decay of a heavy Majorana neutrino results in the signature of two leptons (electrons or muons) of the same electric charge along with jets. A more recent search at CMS used the full 8-TeV data set and focused on events in which the same-charged leptons were muons.

    To ensure that no stone remains unturned in the search for heavy Majorana neutrinos, the analysis of 8-TeV data has been updated* to include events with like-charged electron pairs and like-charged pairings of an electron and a muon.-

    Unfortunately, as with the previous searches, no evidence of a heavy neutrino was seen. However, the inclusion of electron and electron-muon pair events allowed CMS physicists to place significantly more stringent limits on the possible masses of heavy Majorana neutrinos. With Run 2 of the LHC under way, you can expect searches for Majorana neutrinos to push into ever higher masses.

    *Search for heavy Majorana neutrinos in e+/- e+/- plus jets and e+/- mu+/- plus jets events in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 8 TeV
    CMS Collaboration

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
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