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  • richardmitnick 3:36 pm on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CERN Courier, , , , European backed missions,   

    From CERN Courier: “Europe defines astroparticle strategy” 


    CERN Courier

    Feb 16, 2018

    1

    Multi-messenger astronomy, neutrino physics and dark matter are among several topics in astroparticle physics set to take priority in Europe in the coming years, according to a report by the Astroparticle Physics European Consortium (APPEC).

    The APPEC strategy for 2017–2026, launched at an event in Brussels on 9 January, is the culmination of two years of consultation with the astroparticle and related communities. It involved some 20 agencies in 16 countries and includes representation from the European Committee for Future Accelerators, CERN and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

    Lying at the intersection of astronomy, particle physics and cosmology, astroparticle physics is well placed to search for signs of physics beyond the standard models of particle physics and cosmology. As a relatively new field, however, European astroparticle physics does not have dedicated intergovernmental organisations such as CERN or ESO to help drive it. In 2001, European scientific agencies founded APPEC to promote cooperation and coordination, and specifically to formulate a strategy for the field.

    Building on earlier strategies released in 2008 and 2011, APPEC’s latest roadmap presents 21 recommendations spanning scientific issues, organisational aspects and societal factors such as education and industry, helping Europe to exploit tantalising potential for new discoveries in the field.

    The recent detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars (CERN Courier December 2017 p16) opens a new line of exploration based on the complementary power of charged cosmic rays, electromagnetic waves, neutrinos and gravitational waves for the study of extreme events such as supernovae, black-hole mergers and the Big Bang itself. “We need to look at cross-fertilisation between these modes to maximise the investment in facilities,” says APPEC chair Antonio Masiero of the INFN and the University of Padova. “This is really going to become big.”

    APPEC strongly supports Europe’s next-generation ground-based gravitational interferometer, the Einstein Telescope, and the space-based LISA detector.

    ASPERA Einstein Telescope

    ESA/NASA eLISA space based the future of gravitational wave research

    In the neutrino sector, KM3NeT is being completed for high-energy cosmic neutrinos at its site in Sicily, as well as for precision studies of atmospheric neutrinos at its French site near Toulon.

    Artist’s expression of the KM3NeT neutrino telescope

    Europe is also heavily involved in the upgrade of the leading cosmic-ray facility the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina.

    Pierre Auger Observatory in the western Mendoza Province, Argentina, near the Andes, at an altitude of 1330 m–1620 m, average ~1400 m

    Significant R&D work is taking place at CERN’s neutrino platform for the benefit of long- and short-baseline neutrino experiments in Japan and the US (CERN Courier July/August 2016 p21), and Europe is host to several important neutrino experiments. Among them are KATRIN at KIT in Germany, which is about to begin measurements of the neutrino absolute mass scale, and experiments searching for neutrinoless double-beta decay (NDBD) such as GERDA and CUORE at INFN’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory (CERN Courier December 2017 p8).


    KIT Katrin experiment

    CUORE experiment UC Berkeley, experiment at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ (INFN’s) Gran Sasso National Laboratories (LNGS), a search for neutrinoless double beta decay

    Gran Sasso LABORATORI NAZIONALI del GRAN SASSO, located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy

    There are plans to join forces with experiments in the US to build the next generation of NDBD detectors. APPEC has a similar vision for dark matter, aiming to converge next year on plans for an “ultimate” 100-tonne scale detector based on xenon and argon via the DARWIN and Argo projects.

    DARWIN Dark Matter experiment

    APPEC also supports ESA’s Euclid mission, which will establish European leadership in dark-energy research, and encourages continued European participation in the US-led DES and LSST ground-based projects.

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    LSST telescope, currently under construction 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.

    Following from ESA’s successful Planck mission, APPEC strongly endorses a European-led satellite mission, such as COrE, to map the cosmic-microwave background and the consortium plans to enhance its interactions with its present observers ESO and CERN in areas of mutual interest.

    ESA/Planck

    “It is important at this time to put together the human forces,” says Masiero. “APPEC will exercise influence in the European Strategy for Particle Physics, and has a significant role to play in the next European Commission Framework Project, FP9.”

    A substantial investment is needed to build the next generation of astroparticle-physics research, the report concedes. According to Masiero, European agencies within APPEC currently invest around €80 million per year in astroparticle-related activities, in addition to funding large research infrastructures. A major effort in Europe is necessary for it to keep its leading position. “Many young people are drawn into science by challenges like dark matter and, together with Europe’s existing research infrastructures in the field, we have a high technological level and are pushing industries to develop new technologies,” continues Masiero. “There are great opportunities ahead in European astroparticle physics.”

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 6:10 pm on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN Courier, , , , , Supersymmetry (SUSY)   

    From CERN Courier: “ATLAS extends searches for natural supersymmetry” 


    CERN Courier

    Jan 15, 2018

    1
    Exclusion limits

    Despite many negative searches during the last decade and more, supersymmetry (SUSY) remains a popular extension of the Standard Model (SM). Not only can SUSY accommodate dark matter and gauge–force unification at high energy, it offers a natural explanation for why the Higgs boson is so light compared to the Planck scale. In the SM, the Higgs boson mass can be decomposed into a “bare” mass and a modification due to quantum corrections. Without SUSY, but in the presence of a high-energy new physics scale, these two numbers are extremely large and thus must almost exactly oppose one another – a peculiar coincidence called the hierarchy problem. SUSY introduces a set of new particles that each balances the mass correction of its SM partner, providing a “natural” explanation for the Higgs boson mass.

    Thanks to searches at the LHC and previous colliders, we know that SUSY particles must be heavier than their SM counterparts. But if this difference in mass becomes too large, particularly for the particles that produce the largest corrections to the Higgs boson mass, SUSY would not provide a natural solution of the hierarchy problem.

    New SUSY searches from ATLAS using data recorded at an energy of 13 TeV in 2015 and 2016 (some of which were shown for the first time at SUSY 2017 in Mumbai from 11–15 December) have extended existing bounds on the masses of the top squark and higgsinos, the SUSY partners of the top quark and Higgs bosons, respectively, that are critical for natural SUSY. For SUSY to remain natural, the mass of the top squark should be below around 1 TeV and that of the higgsinos below a few hundred GeV.

    ATLAS has now completed a set of searches for the top squark that push the mass limits up to 1 TeV. With no sign of SUSY yet, these searches have begun to focus on more difficult to detect scenarios in which SUSY could hide amongst the SM background. Sophisticated techniques including machine learning are employed to ensure no signal is missed.

    First ATLAS results have also been released for higgsino searches. If the lightest SUSY particles are higgsino-like, their masses will often be close together and such “compressed” scenarios lead to the production of low-momentum particles. One new search at ATLAS targets scenarios with leptons reconstructed at the lowest momenta still detectable. If the SUSY mass spectrum is extremely compressed, the lightest charged SUSY particle will have an extended lifetime, decay invisibly, and leave an unusual detector signature known as a “disappearing track”.

    Such a scenario is targeted by another new ATLAS analysis. These searches extend for the first time the limits on the lightest higgsino set by the Large Electron Positron (LEP) collider 15 years ago. The search for higgsinos remains among the most challenging and important for natural SUSY. With more data and new ideas, it may well be possible to discover, or exclude, natural SUSY in the coming years.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 6:01 pm on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN Courier, , , , , , Searches for dark photons at LHCb   

    From CERN Courier: “Searches for dark photons at LHCb” 


    CERN Courier

    1
    Comparing results

    CERN/LHCb detector

    The possibility that dark-matter particles may interact via an unknown force, felt only feebly by Standard Model (SM) particles, has motivated an effort to search for so-called dark forces.

    The force-carrying particle for such hypothesised interactions is referred to as a dark photon, A’, in analogy with the ordinary photon that mediates the electromagnetic interaction. While the dark photon does not couple directly to SM particles, quantum-mechanical mixing between the photon and dark-photon fields can generate a small interaction. This provides a portal through which dark photons may be produced and through which they might decay into visible final states.

    The minimal A’ model has two unknown parameters: the dark photon mass, m(A’), and the strength of its quantum-mechanical mixing with the photon field. Constraints have been placed on visible A’ decays by previous beam-dump, fixed-target, collider, and rare-meson-decay experiments.

    However, much of the A’ parameter space that is of greatest interest (based on quantum field theory arguments) is currently unexplored. Using data collected in 2016, LHCb recently performed a search for the decay A’→μ+μ– in a mass range from the dimuon threshold up to 70 GeV. While no evidence for a signal was found, strong limits were placed on the A’–photon mixing strength. These constraints are the most stringent to date for the mass range 10.6 < m(A') < 70 GeV and are comparable to the best existing limits on this parameter.

    Furthermore, the search was the first to achieve sensitivity to long-lived dark photons using a displaced-vertex signature, providing the first constraints in an otherwise unexplored region of A' parameter space. These results demonstrate the unique sensitivity of the LHCb experiment to dark photons, even using a data sample collected with a trigger that is inefficient for low-mass A' decays. Looking forward to Run 3, the number of expected A'→μ+μ− decays in the low-mass region should increase by a factor of 100 to 1000 compared to the 2016 data sample. LHCb is now developing searches for A'→e+e− decays which are sensitive to lower-mass dark photons, both in LHC Run 2 and in particular Run 3 when the luminosity will be higher. This will further expand LHCb’s dark-photon programme.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 5:51 pm on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN Courier, Fermilab joins CERN openlab on data reduction,   

    From CERN Courier: “Fermilab joins CERN openlab on data reduction” 


    CERN Courier

    Jan 15, 2018

    1
    Computing centre

    In November, Fermilab became a research member of CERN openlab – a public-private partnership between CERN and major ICT companies established in 2001 to meet the demands of particle-physics research. Fermilab researchers will now collaborate with members of the LHC’s CMS experiment and the CERN IT department to improve technologies related to physics data reduction, which is vital for gaining insights from the vast amounts of data produced by high-energy physics experiments.

    The work will take place within an existing CERN openlab project with Intel on big-data analytics. The goal is to use industry-standard big-data tools to create a new tool for filtering many petabytes of heterogeneous collision data to create manageable, but still rich, datasets of a few terabytes for analysis. Using current systems, this kind of targeted data reduction can often take weeks, but the Intel-CERN project aims to reduce it to a matter of hours.

    The team plans to first create a prototype capable of processing 1 PB of data with about 1000 computer cores. Based on current projections, this is about one twentieth of the scale of the final system that would be needed to handle the data produced when the High-Luminosity LHC comes online in 2026. “This kind of work, investigating big-data analytics techniques is vital for high-energy physics — both in terms of physics data and data from industrial control systems on the LHC,” says Maria Girone, CERN openlab CTO.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 5:40 pm on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN Courier, , , , The case of the disappearing neutrinos,   

    From CERN Courier: “The case of the disappearing neutrinos” 


    CERN Courier

    1
    Neutrino energy

    Neutrinos are popularly thought to penetrate everything owing to their extremely weak interactions with matter. A recent analysis by the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole proves this is not the case, confirming predictions that the neutrino–nucleon interaction cross section rises with energy to the point where even an object as tiny as the Earth can stop high-energy neutrinos in their tracks.


    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector at the South Pole

    By studying a sample of 10,784 neutrino events, the IceCube team found that neutrinos with energies between 6.3 and 980 TeV were absorbed in the Earth. From this, they concluded that the neutrino–nucleon cross-section was 1.30+0.21–0.19 (stat) +0.39–0.43 (syst) times the Standard Model (SM) cross-section in that energy range. IceCube did not observe a large increase in the cross-section as is predicted in some models of physics beyond the SM, including those with leptoquarks or extra dimensions.

    The analysis used the 1km 3 volume of IceCube to collect a sample of upward-going muons produced by neutrino interactions in the rock and ice below and around the detector, selecting 10,784 muons with an energy above 1 TeV. Since the zenith angles of these neutrinos are known to about one degree, the absorber thickness can be precisely determined. The data were compared to a simulation containing atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos, including simulated neutrino interactions in the Earth such as neutral-current interactions. Consequently, IceCube extended previous accelerator measurements upward in energy by several orders of magnitude, with the result in good agreement with the SM prediction (see figure, above).

    Neutrinos are key to probing the deep structure of matter and the high-energy universe, yet until recently their interactions had only been measured at laboratory energies up to about 350 GeV. The high-energy neutrinos detected by IceCube, partially of astrophysical origin, provide an opportunity to measure their interactions at higher energies.

    In an additional analysis of six years of IceCube data, Amy Connolly and Mauricio Bustamante of Ohio State University employ an alternative approach which uses 58 IceCube-contained events (in which the neutrino interaction took place within the detector) to measure the neutrino cross-section. Although these events mostly have well-measured energies, their neutrino zenith angles are less well known and they are also much less numerous, limiting the statistical precision.

    Nevertheless, the team was able to measure the neutrino cross-section in four energy bins from 18 TeV to 2 PeV with factor-of-ten uncertainties, showing for the first time that the energy dependence of the cross section above 18 TeV agrees with the predicted softer-than-linear dependence and reaffirming the absence of new physics at TeV energy scales.

    Future analyses from the IceCube Collaboration will use more data to measure the cross-sections in narrower bins of neutrino energy and to reach higher energies, making the measurements considerably more sensitive to beyond-SM physics. Planned larger detectors such as IceCube-Gen2 and the full KM3NeT can push these measurements further upwards in energy, while even larger detectors would be able to search for the coherent radio Cherenkov pulses produced when neutrinos with energies above 1017 eV interact in ice.

    Proposals for future experiments such as ARA and ARIANNA envision the use of relatively-inexpensive detector arrays to instrument volumes above 100 km3, enough to measure “GZK” neutrinos produced when cosmic-rays interact with the cosmic-microwave background radiation. At these energies, the Earth is almost opaque and detectors should be able to extend cross-section measurements above 1019 eV, thereby probing beyond LHC energies.

    These analyses join previous results on neutrino oscillations and exotic particle searches in showing that IceCube can also contribute to nuclear and particle physics, going beyond its original mission of studying astrophysical neutrinos.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 5:24 pm on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN Courier, , International committee backs 250 GeV ILC, ,   

    From CERN Courier: “International committee backs 250 GeV ILC” 


    CERN Courier

    Jan 15, 2018

    1
    Plans scaled back.

    On 7 November, during its triennial seminar in Ottawa, Canada, the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) issued a statement of support for the International Linear Collider (ILC) as a Higgs-boson factory operating at a centre-of-mass energy of 250 GeV. That is half the energy set out five years ago in the ILC’s technical design report (TDR), shortening the length of the previous design (31 km) by around a third and slashing its cost by up to 40%.

    The statement follows physics studies by the Japanese Association of High Energy Physicists (JAHEP) and Linear Collider Collaboration (LCC) outlining the physics case for a 250 GeV Higgs factory. Following the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, the first elementary scalar particle, it is imperative that physicists undertake precision studies of its properties and couplings to further scrutinise the Standard Model. The ILC would produce copious quantities of Higgs bosons in association with Z bosons in a clean electron–positron collision environment, making it complementary to the LHC and its high-luminosity upgrade.

    ILC schematic, being planned for the Kitakami highland, in the Iwate prefecture of northern Japan

    One loss to the ILC physics program would be top-quark physics, which requires a centre-of-mass energy of around 350 GeV. However, ICFA underscored the extendibility of the ILC to higher energies via improving the acceleration technology and/or extending the tunnel length – a unique advantage of linear colliders – and noted the large discovery potential accessible beyond 250 GeV. The committee also reinforced the ILC as an international project led by a Japanese initiative.

    Thanks to experience gained from advanced X-ray sources, in particular the European XFEL in Hamburg (CERN Courier July/August 2017 p25), the superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) acceleration technology of the ILC is now well established.

    DESY European XFEL


    XFEL Gun

    Achieving a 40% cost reduction relative to the TDR price tag of $7.8 billion also requires new “nitrogen-infusion” SRF technology recently discovered at Fermilab.

    “We have demonstrated that with nitrogen doping a factor-three improvement in the cavity quality-factor is realisable in large scale machines such as LCLS-II, which can bring substantial cost reduction for the ILC and all future SRF machines,” explains Fermilab’s Anna Grassellino, who is leading the SRF R&D.

    SLAC LCLS-II

    “With nitrogen doping at low temperature, we are now paving the way for simultaneous improvement of efficiency and accelerating gradients of SRF cavities. Fermilab, KEK, Cornell, JLAB and DESY are all working towards higher gradients with higher quality factors that can be realised within the ILC timeline.”

    With the ILC having been on the table for more than two decades, the linear-collider community is keen that the machine’s future is decided soon. Results from LHC Run 2 are a key factor in shaping the physics case for the next collider, and important discussions about the post-LHC accelerator landscape will also take place during the update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in the next two years.

    “The Linear Collider Board strongly supports the JAHEP proposal to construct a 250GeV ILC in Japan and encourages the Japanese government to give the proposal serious consideration for a timely decision,” says LCC director Lyn Evans.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 3:49 pm on February 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CERN Courier, CompactLight, European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, ,   

    From CERN Courier: “EU project lights up X-band technology” 


    CERN Courier

    Nov 10, 2017

    1
    A CLIC X-band prototype structure built by PSI using Swiss FEL technology. (Image credit: M Volpi)

    Advanced linear-accelerator (linac) technology developed at CERN and elsewhere will be used to develop a new generation of compact X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs), thanks to a €3 million project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Beginning in January 2018, “CompactLight” aims to design the first hard XFEL based on 12 GHz X-band technology, which originated from research for a high-energy linear collider. A consortium of 21 leading European institutions, including Elettra, CERN, PSI, KIT and INFN, in addition to seven universities and two industry partners (Kyma and VDL), are partnering to achieve this ambitious goal within the three-year duration of the recently awarded grant.

    X-band technology, which provides accelerating-gradients of 100 MV/m and above in a highly compact device, is now a reality. This is the result of many years of intense R&D carried out at SLAC (US) and KEK (Japan), for the former NLC and JLC projects, and at CERN in the context of the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC). This pioneering technology also withstood validation at the Elettra and PSI laboratories.

    XFELs, the latest generation of light sources based on linacs, are particularly suitable applications for high-gradient X-band technology. Following decades of growth in the use of synchrotron X-ray facilities to study materials across a wide spectrum of sciences, technologies and applications, XFELs (as opposed to circular light sources) are capable of delivering high-intensity photon beams of unprecedented brilliance and quality. This provides novel ways to probe matter and allows researchers to make “movies” of ultrafast biological processes. Currently, three XFELs are up and running in Europe – FERMI@Elettra in Italy and FLASH and FLASH II in Germany, which operate in the soft X-ray range – while two are under commissioning: SwissFEL at PSI and the European XFEL in Germany (CERN Courier July/August 2017 p18), which operates in the hard X-ray region. Yet, the demand for such high-quality X-rays is large, as the field still has great and largely unexplored potential for science and innovation – potential that can be unlocked if the linacs that drive the X-ray generation can be made smaller and cheaper.

    This is where CompactLight steps in. While most of the existing XFELs worldwide use conventional 3 GHz S-band technology (e.g. LCLS in the US and PAL in South Korea) or superconducting 1.3 GHz structures (e.g. European XFEL and LCLS-II), others use newer designs based on 6 GHz C-band technology (e.g. SCALA in Japan), which increases the accelerating gradient while reducing the linac’s length and cost. CompactLight gathers leading experts to design a hard-X-ray facility beyond today’s state of the art, using the latest concepts for bright electron-photo injectors, very-high-gradient X-band structures operating at frequencies of 12 GHz, and innovative compact short-period undulators (long devices that produce an alternating magnetic field along which relativistic electrons are deflected to produce synchrotron X-rays). Compared with existing XFELs, the proposed facility will benefit from a lower electron-beam energy (due to the enhanced undulator performance), be significantly more compact (as a consequence both of the lower energy and of the high-gradient X-band structures), have lower electrical power demand and a smaller footprint.

    Success for CompactLight will have a much wider impact: not just affirming X-band technology as a new standard for accelerator-based facilities, but advancing undulators to the next generation of compact photon sources. This will facilitate the widespread distribution of a new generation of compact X-band-based accelerators and light sources, with a large range of applications including medical use, and enable the development of compact cost-effective X-ray facilities at national or even university level across and beyond Europe.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 3:43 pm on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CERN Courier, , Extreme cosmic rays reveal clues to origin, , ,   

    From CERN Courier: “Extreme cosmic rays reveal clues to origin” 


    CERN Courier

    Nov 10, 2017
    Merlin Kole

    1
    Dipole structure

    The energy spectrum of cosmic rays continuously bombarding the Earth spans many orders of magnitude, with the highest energy events topping 108 TeV. Where these extreme particles come from, however, has remained a mystery since their discovery more than 50 years ago. Now the Pierre Auger collaboration has published results showing that the arrival direction of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) is far from uniform, giving a clue to their origins.

    The discovery in 1963 at the Vulcano Ranch Experiment of cosmic rays with energies exceeding one million times the energy of the protons in the LHC raised many questions. Not only is the charge of these hadronic particles unknown, but the acceleration mechanisms required to produce UHECRs and the environments that can host these mechanisms are still being debated. Proposed origins include sources in the galactic centre, extreme supernova events, mergers of neutron stars, and extragalactic sources such as blazars. Unlike the case with photons or neutrinos, the arrival direction of charged cosmic rays does not point directly towards their origin because, despite their extreme energies, their paths are deflected by magnetic fields both inside and outside our galaxy. Since the deflection reduces as the energy goes up, however, some UHECRs with the highest energies might still contain information about their arrival direction.

    At the Pierre Auger Observatory, cosmic rays are detected using a vast array of detectors spread over an area of 3000 km2 near the town of Malargüe in western Argentina.

    Pierre Auger Observatory in the western Mendoza Province, Argentina, near the Andes, at an altitude of 1330 m–1620 m, average ~1400 m

    Like the first cosmic-ray detectors in the 1960s, the array measures the air showers induced as the cosmic rays interact with the atmosphere. The arrival times of the particles, measured with GPS receivers, are used to determine the direction from which the primary particles came within approximately one degree.

    The collaboration studied the arrival direction of particles with energies in the range 4 8 EeV and for particles with energies exceeding 8 EeV. In the former data set, no clear anisotropy was observed, whereas for particles with energies above 8 EeV a dipole structure was observed (see figure), indicating that more particles come from a particular part of the sky. Since the maximum of the dipole is outside the galactic plane, the measured anisotropy is consistent with an extragalactic nature. The collaboration reports that the maximum, when taking into account the deflection of magnetic fields, is consistent with a region in the sky known to have a large density of galaxies, supporting the view that UHECRs are produced in other galaxies. The lack of anisotropy at lower energies could be a result of the higher deflection of these particles in the galactic magnetic field.

    The presented dipole measurement is based on a total of 30,000 cosmic rays measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory, which is currently being upgraded. Although the results indicate an extragalactic origin, the particular source responsible for accelerating these particles remains unknown. The upgraded observatory will enable more data to be acquired and allow a more detailed investigation of the currently studied energy ranges. It will also open the possibility to explore even higher energies where the magnetic-field deflections become even smaller, making it possible to study the origin of UHECRs, their acceleration mechanism and the magnetic fields that deflect them.

    Further reading
    Pierre Auger Collaboration 2017 Science 357 1266.
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6357/1266

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 3:23 pm on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CALET on the ISS, CERN Courier, , High-energy cosmic rays, ,   

    From CERN Courier: “First cosmic-ray results from CALET on the ISS” 


    CERN Courier

    Nov 10, 2017

    1
    CALET on the ISS. No image credit

    2
    Electron spectrum

    The CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), a space mission led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency with participation from the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and NASA, has released its first results concerning the nature of high-energy cosmic rays.

    Having docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on 25 August 2015, CALET is carrying out a full science programme with long-duration observations of high-energy charged particles and photons coming from space. It is the second high-energy experiment operating on the ISS following the deployment of AMS-02 in 2011. During the summer of 2017 a third experiment, ISS-CREAM, joined these two. Unlike AMS-02, CALET and ISS-CREAM have no magnetic spectrometer and therefore measure the inclusive electron and positron spectrum. CALET’s homogeneus calorimeter is optimised to measure electrons, and one of its main science goals is to measure the detailed shape of the electron spectrum.

    Due to the large radiative losses during their travel in space, high-energy cosmic electrons are expected to originate from regions relatively close to Earth (of the order of a few thousand light-years). Yet their origin is still unknown. The shape of the spectrum and the anisotropy in the arrival direction might contain crucial information as to where and how electrons are accelerated. It could also provide a clue on possible signatures of dark matter – for example, the presence of a peak in the spectrum might tell us about a possible dark-matter decay or annihilation with an electron or positron in the final state – and shed light on the intriguing electron and positron spectra reported by AMS-02 (CERN Courier December 2016 p26).

    To pinpoint possible spectral features on top of the overall power-law energy dependence of the spectrum, CALET was designed to measure the energy of the incident particle with very high resolution and with a large proton rejection power, well into the TeV energy region. This is provided by a thick homogeneous calorimeter preceded by a high-granularity pre-shower with imaging capabilities with a total thickness of 30 radiation length at normal incidence. The calibration of the two instruments is the key to control the energy scale and this is why CALET – a CERN-recognised experiment – performed several calibration tests at CERN.

    The first data from CALET concern a measurement of the inclusive electron and positron spectrum in the energy range from 10 GeV to 3 TeV, based on about 0.7 million candidates (1.3 million in full acceptance). Above an energy of 30 GeV the spectrum can be fitted with a single power law with a spectral index of –3.152±0.016. A possible structure observed above 100 GeV requires further investigation with increased statistics and refined data analysis. Beyond 1 TeV, where a roll-off of the spectrum is expected and low statistics is an issue, electron data are now being carefully analysed to extend the measurement. CALET has been designed to measure electrons up to around 20 TeV and hadrons up to an energy of 1 PeV.

    CALET is a powerful space observatory with the ability to identify cosmic nuclei from hydrogen to elements heavier than iron. It also has a dedicated gamma-ray-burst instrument (CGBM) that so far has detected bursts at an average rate of one every 10 days in the energy range of 7 KeV–20 MeV. The search for electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves (GWs) detected by the LIGO and Virgo observatories proceeds around the clock thanks to a special collaboration agreement with LIGO and Virgo. Upper limits on X-ray and gamma-ray counterparts of the GW151226 event were published and further research on GW follow-ups is being carried out. Space-weather studies relative to the relativistic electron precipitation (REP) from the Van Allen belts have also been released.

    With more than 500 million triggers collected so far and an expected extension of the observation time on the ISS to five years, CALET is likely to produce a wealth of interesting results in the near future.

    Further reading

    CALET Collaboration. 2017 Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 181101

    See the full article here .

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    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

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    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
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    CMS
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  • richardmitnick 4:16 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN Courier, CLEAR, , ,   

    From CERN Courier: “CLEAR prospects for accelerator research” 


    CERN Courier

    Oct 13, 2017

    1
    CLEAR’s plasma-lens experiment will test ways to drive strong currents through a plasma for particle-beam transverse focusing.
    Image credit: M Volpi.

    A new user facility for accelerator R&D, the CERN Linear Electron Accelerator for Research (CLEAR), started operation in August and is ready to provide beam for experiments. CLEAR evolved from the former CTF3 test facility for the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC), which ended a successful programme in December 2016. Following approval of the CLEAR proposal, the necessary hardware modifications started in January and the facility is now able to host and test a broad range of ideas in the accelerator field.

    CLEAR’s primary goal is to enhance and complement the existing accelerator R&D programme at CERN, as well as offering a training infrastructure for future accelerator physicists and engineers. The focus is on general accelerator R&D and component studies for existing and possible future accelerator applications. This includes studies of high-gradient acceleration methods, such as CLIC X-band and plasma technologies, as well as prototyping and validation of accelerator components for the high-luminosity LHC upgrade.

    The scientific programme for 2017 includes: a combined test of critical CLIC technologies, continuing previous tests performed at CTF3; measurements of radiation effects on electronic components to be installed on space missions in a Jovian environment and for dosimetry tests aimed at medical applications; beam instrumentation R&D; and the use of plasma for beam focusing. Further experiments, such as those exploring THz radiation for accelerator applications and direct impedance measurements of equipment to be installed in CERN accelerators, are also planned.

    The experimental programme for 2018 and beyond is still open to new and challenging proposals. An international scientific committee is currently being formed to prioritise proposals, and a user request form is available at the CLEAR website: http://clear.web.cern.ch/.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

     
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