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  • richardmitnick 5:35 pm on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN, , , , ,   

    From University of Toronto: “U of T staff (ethically) hack CERN, world’s largest particle physics lab” 

    U Toronto Bloc

    University of Toronto

    1
    CERN, the international lab near Geneva, is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator (photo by Claudia Marcelloni/CERN).
    U of T staff (ethically) hack CERN, world’s largest particle physics lab.
    In Geneva, where U of T scientists are on the frontier of physics with world’s largest particle accelerator.

    It takes 22 member states, more than 10,000 scientists and state-of-the-art technology for CERN to investigate the mysteries of the universe. But no matter how cutting-edge a system is, it can have vulnerabilities – and last year University of Toronto employees helped CERN find theirs.

    CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, asked for help to hack its digital infrastructure last year, organizing the White Hat Challenge. Allan Stojanovic and David Auclair from U of T’s ITS Information Security Enterprise and Architecture department, along with a group of security professionals, were more than willing to answer the call.

    Passionate advocates for information security, Stojanovic and Auclair say regular testing is essential for any organization.

    “Vulnerabilities are not created, they are discovered,” says Stojanovic. “Just because something has been working, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a flaw in it all along.”

    Their director, Mike Wiseman, supported their participation in the challenge. “This competition was an opportunity to bring experts together to exercise their skill as well as give CERN a valuable test of their infrastructure.”

    Stojanovic first heard about the challenge during a presentation at a Black Hat digital security conference. He jumped at the opportunity, immediately approaching the presenter, Stefan Lüders, CERN’s security manager.

    Stojanovic put together a group of eight industry professionals (pen testers, consultants, Computer Information Systems administrators and programmers), set goals for the test and created a ten-day timeline.

    Any penetration test involves three main stages: scoping, reconnaissance and scanning. Before the scanning stage begins, testers are not allowed to interact with the system directly, but try to learn everything they can about it.

    During the “scoping” stage, testers define what is “in scope” and specify what IP spaces and domains they can and cannot probe during the testing. The “recon” stage is exactly what it sounds like: reconnaissance. The testers try to find out everything they can about the domains that are in scope, helping guide them towards potential weaknesses.

    With scoping and recon complete, the team was able to officially begin the scanning stage. Scanning is like a huge treasure hunt, beginning with a broad search and gradually narrowing it down, burrowing deeper and deeper into the most interesting areas and letting go of the others.

    This went on for nine days. It was a gruelling process – the team would find a tiny foothold, investigate it, but nothing significant would emerge. This happened again and again.

    Finally, Stojanovic was woken up one day by a short message, “I got it!” Someone on the team had solved the puzzle – a breakthrough generated by multiple late nights of patient analysis.

    Details of the breakthrough are kept secret due to a confidentiality agreement with CERN. But after more than two weeks of work, the team revealed weaknesses in CERN’s security infrastructure and provided important recommendations on how to improve it.

    CERN’s security group was then able to roll out fixes and address the identified vulnerabilities before U of T’s formal report even hit their desks.

    Stojanovic hopes that his team’s success will encourage educators to use penetration testing as a pedagogical tool. “It’s a lot of really fantastic experience,” he says, adding that these are the hands-on skills that new security professionals are going to need in the fast-growing information security industry.

    Stojanovic hopes that other institutions, including U of T, will follow CERN’s lead in opening themselves up to testing of this nature.

    And this won’t be the last CERN will see of U of T – Lüders has already asked for round two.

    The U of T at CERN

    Working on a small piece of the world’s largest experiment, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.

    Kyle Cormier, a University of Toronto grad student in particle physics, is a member of U of T’s research group at CERN, the sprawling international lab on the French-Swiss border that is home to the largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider.

    His job? Researching a silicon microchip for a planned upgrade to the 7,000-tonne Atlas detector, one of four major experiments at the LHC. He has designed, tested and redesigned the chip to withstand extreme cold and radiation exposure – all so that it can read data from proton collisions without needing a tune-up for at least a decade.

    It may not sound glamorous, but it’s the type of precise, exacting work that led CERN researchers to the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle that had been theorized in the 1960s.

    “If you’re on a big hike up a mountain, you’re stepping over root branches working your way up,” Cormier says.

    2
    Professor Pekka Sinervo and U of T students, including Vincent Pascuzzi, Joey Carter, Laurelle Veloce, Kyle Cormier (seated right), at CERN outside Geneva (photo by Geoffrey Vendeville)

    At first glance, CERN, a collection of low-slung concrete buildings on the outskirts of Geneva, doesn’t look like a state-of-the-art, multibillion-dollar research facility. But deep underground, the accelerator races protons around a 27-kilometre ring until they are travelling nearly the speed of light and then smashes them together. Like crash scene investigators looking for clues in rubble, scientists analyze the debris from the collisions, which send subatomic particles flying in every direction.

    CERN scientists used this method to detect the Higgs boson in 2012, a particle explaining why others have mass. Now they’re digging even deeper, investigating questions such as the nature of dark matter.

    The mysterious type of matter, which makes up more than a quarter of the universe, has puzzled scientists since the first clues about its existence arose in the 1930s through astronomical observation and calculations.

    “We’re at the point where we’ve looked where the light’s brightest,” says Pekka Sinervo, a professor of experimental high energy physics at U of T. “Now we’re looking in all the dark corners that are hard to investigate.”

    3

    Researchers may still be a long way off from answering the dark matter riddle, but some breakthrough is just a matter of time, says Laurelle Veloce, who is also studying particle physics at U of T and working at CERN.

    “You just put one foot in front of the other and eventually you know someone will find something,” she says.

    The U of T research group is the largest Canadian team working on the Atlas experiment, with 17 graduate students, four postdocs and six faculty members. Over the summer, undergraduate students can take a summer course at CERN.

    Olivier Arnaez, now a U of T postdoc, spent years searching for the Higgs. When CERN researchers had gathered enough statistical evidence to confirm the discovery of a new particle, there was no eureka moment, he recalls – just relief.

    “We were happy because we knew we could sleep soon,” he says, “which didn’t happen because we then had to investigate more properties of the Higgs.” The celebrations involved litres of champagne and Nobel prizes for the theorists who proposed the Higgs mechanism decades earlier.

    Years of research at CERN haven’t been without setbacks, however. Only nine days after the first successful beam tests in 2008, a soldering error caused an accident that put the project behind schedule by more than 18 months. And last year, researchers who thought they had discovered another new particle admitted they had misinterpreted the data.

    But researchers are still hopeful and morale remains high, says Sinervo.

    “We’re trying to do things every day that nobody has ever done before,” he says.

    Engineering a microchip to work for 10 years without the need for repair, as his student Cormier is doing, is no small feat, he adds. “That’s like how you build spaceships for a moonshot.

    “We know that there is going to be some discovery over the horizon,” Sinervo says. “How far do we have to go to reach it? That’s something we don’t know.”

    See the full article here .

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    U Toronto Campus

    Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth on any other Canadian campus.

    Established in 1827, the University of Toronto has one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in depth and breadth on any other Canadian campus.

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  • richardmitnick 2:32 pm on March 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN, , , , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “Complex complexes” 

    Symmetry Mag
    Symmetry

    03/23/18
    Lauren Biron

    1
    Illustration by Fermilab

    These two-minute animations break down the accelerator systems at Fermilab and CERN.

    Curious how scientists can deliver particles to particle physics experiments? Two new animations from Fermilab and CERN will help you visualize how it works.

    This animation from the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory shows the path particles take through the accelerator complex.

    It all starts at the proton source. The beam of particles moves through various systems such as the linear accelerator, booster and main injector. The beams can generate a variety of particles, including protons, neutrons, muons, pions and neutrinos, which are then studied in experiments and in research programs.

    You can learn about the components in even more detail here.

    Then there’s CERN’s animation, which focuses on their newest linear accelerator: Linac4. It’s scheduled to be connected to the next accelerator in the chain, the Proton Synchrotron Booster, in 2019, and should supply all of the protons at CERN starting in 2021.

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 7:59 am on March 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN, , , , , SEEIIST-South-East Europe International Institute for Sustainable Technologies   

    From CERN: Opinion- “Shaping science in South-East Europe” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    20 Mar 2018
    Harriet Kim Jarlett

    In the autumn of 2016, at a meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia, trustees of the World Academy of Art and Science discussed a proposal to create a large international research institute for South-East Europe. The facility would promote the development of science and technology and help mitigate tensions between countries in the region, following the CERN model of “science for peace”. A platform for internationally competitive research in South-East Europe would stimulate the education of young scientists, transfer and reverse the brain drain, and foster greater cooperation and mobility in the region.

    The South-East Europe initiative received first official support by the government of Montenegro, independent of where the final location would be, thanks to the engagement of Montenegro science minister Sanja Damjanovic, who is also a physicist with a long tradition working at CERN.

    On 25 October last year at a meeting at CERN, ministers of science or their representatives from countries in the region signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to establish a South-East Europe International Institute for Sustainable Technologies (SEEIIST) with the above objectives. The initial signatories were Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo*, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Croatia agreed in principle, while Greece participated as an observer. CERN’s role was to provide a neutral and inspirational venue for the meeting.

    The signature of the DOI was followed by a scientific forum on 25–26 January at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, held under the auspices of UNESCO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Physical Society. The forum attracted more than 100 participants ranging from scientists and engineers at universities to representatives of industry, government agencies and international organisations including ESFRI and the European Commission. Its aim was to present two scientific options for SEEIIST: a fourth-generation synchrotron light source that would offer users intense beams from infrared to X-ray wavelengths; and a state-of-the-art patient treatment facility for cancer using protons and heavy ions, also with a strong biomedical research programme. The concepts behind each proposal were worked out by two groups of international experts.

    With SEEIIST’s overarching goal to be a world-class research infrastructure, the training of scientists, engineers and technicians is essential. Whichever project is selected, it will require several years of effort, during which people will be trained for the operation of the machines and user communities will also be formed. Capacity-building and technology-transfer activities will further trigger developments for the whole region, such as the development of powerful digital networks and big-data handling.

    Reports and discussions from the ICTP forum have provided an important basis for the next steps. Representatives of IAEA declared an interest in helping with the training programme, while European Union (EU) representatives are also looking favourably at the project – potentially providing resources to support the preparation of a detailed conceptual design and eventual concrete proposal.

    The initiative is gathering momentum. On 30 January the first meeting of the SEEIIST steering committee, chaired initially by the Montenegro science minister, took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia was chosen at the invitation of Bulgaria since it currently holds the EU presidency, and the meeting was introduced by Bulgarian president Rumen Radew, who expressed strong interest in SEEIIST and promised to support the initiative. Officials have underlined that a decision between the two scientific options should be taken as soon as possible – a task that we are now working towards.

    SEEIIST wouldn’t be the first organisation to be inspired by the CERN model. The European Southern Observatory, European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the recently operational SESAME facility in Jordan – a third-generation light source governed by a council made up of representatives from eight members in the Middle East and surrounding region – each demonstrate the power of fundamental science to advance knowledge and bring people and countries together.

    Herwig Schopper is the proponent of the SEEIIST initiative. He was Director-General of CERN from 1981–1988 and first president of the SESAME Council from 2004–2008.

    This article was originally published as a viewpoint in the CERN Courier.
    More like this

    A global lab with a global mission 21 Jun 2016
    Science: a model for collaboration? 29 Feb 2016

    See the full article here.

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    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

    OTHER PROJECTS AT CERN

    CERN AEGIS

    CERN ALPHA

    CERN ALPHA

    CERN AMS

    CERN ACACUSA

    CERN ASACUSA

    CERN ATRAP

    CERN ATRAP

    CERN AWAKE

    CERN AWAKE

    CERN CAST

    CERN CAST Axion Solar Telescope

    CERN CLOUD

    CERN CLOUD

    CERN COMPASS

    CERN COMPASS

    CERN DIRAC

    CERN DIRAC

    CERN ISOLDE

    CERN ISOLDE

    CERN LHCf

    CERN LHCf

    CERN NA62

    CERN NA62

    CERN NTOF

    CERN TOTEM

    CERN UA9

     
  • richardmitnick 5:26 pm on March 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CERN, ELENA, , ISOLDE, Making antimatter transportable, , , , PUMA   

    From CERN: “Making antimatter transportable” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    7 Mar 2018
    Cristina Agrigoroae

    1
    Panoramic view of the low energy beam lines in the ISOLDE hall (Image: Samuel Morier-Genoud/CERN)

    2
    ELENA ring prior to the start of first beam in 2016(Image: CERN)

    Antimatter vanishes instantly when it meets matter. But researchers have developed ways to trap it and increase its lifespan in order to use it to study matter. A new project called PUMA (antiProton Unstable Matter Annihilation) aims to trap a record one billion antiprotons at CERN’s GBAR experiment at the ELENA facility and keep them for several weeks.

    Such a long storage time would allow the trapped antiprotons to be loaded into a van and transported to the neighbouring ISOLDE ion-beam facility located a few hundred metres away. At ISOLDE, the antiprotons would then be collided with radioactive ions so that exotic nuclear phenomena could be studied.

    To trap the antiprotons for long enough for them to be transported and used at ISOLDE, PUMA plans to use a 70-cm-long “double-zone” trap inside a one-tonne superconducting solenoid magnet and keep it under an extremely high vacuum (10-17 mbar) and at cryogenic temperature (4 K). The so-called storage zone of the trap will confine the antiprotons, while the second zone will host collisions between the antiprotons and radioactive nuclei that are produced at ISOLDE but decay too rapidly to be transported and studied elsewhere.

    The project hopes to study the properties of radioactive nuclei by measuring the pion particles emitted in the collisions between the nuclei and the antiprotons. Such measurements would help determine how often the antiprotons annihilate with the nuclei’s protons or neutrons, and, therefore, their relative densities at the surface of the nucleus. The relative densities would then indicate whether the nuclei have exotic properties, such as thick neutron skins, which correspond to a significantly higher density of neutrons than protons at the nuclear surface, and extended halos of protons or neutrons around the nuclear core.

    3
    Antimatter’s journey between the ELENA and ISOLDE facilities (Image: CERN)

    Today, CERN is the only place in the world where low-energy antiprotons are produced, but “this project might lead to the democratisation of the use of antimatter”, says Alexandre Obertelli, a physicist from the Darmstadt technical university ( (link is external)TU Darmstadt (link is external)) (link is external) who is leading the project. He plans to build and develop the solenoid, trap and detector in the coming two years, with the aim of producing the first collisions at CERN in 2022.

    Obertelli was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council and the five-year PUMA project was launched in January this year. Along with researchers from RIKEN in Japan and CEA Saclay and IPN Orsay in France, he has submitted a letter of intent to CERN’s experiment committee to pave the way towards PUMA becoming a CERN-recognised experiment.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    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

    Quantum Diaries

     
  • richardmitnick 11:52 am on February 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CERN, Evangelia Gousiou, , , Jeny Teheran, , , , Sima Baymani,   

    From CERN and FNAL: Women in STEM- “Coding has no gender” Sima Baymani, Jeny Teheran, Evangelia Gousiou 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    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.

    5 Feb 2018
    Kate Kahle
    Lauren Biron

    1
    Sima Baymani: “You can work all over the world, because programming is the same everywhere. The choices you have are endless.”

    With 11 February marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, female physicists, engineers and computer scientists from CERN and from Fermilab share their experiences of building a career in science.

    Sima Baymani: “There is a lot of collaboration, and this, for me, is part of the joy of programming”


    Computer science engineer, Sima Baymani, talks about the freedom, creativity and collaboration of computer programming. (Video: Jacques Fichet/CERN)

    Computer science engineer, Sima Baymani was born in Iran before her family fled war when she was young to start a new life in Sweden. Her parents were academics, and Sima and her sisters were always encouraged to learn more about everything. Her mother, a physicist, had to restart her career in Sweden and chose to pursue database management and programming. Her enjoyment of her job, coupled with an inspiring Danish mathematics teacher, were two factors that helped lead Sima towards studying computer science.

    “In school I was interested in almost all subjects. But I can see that the IT boom in Sweden had an effect on me, and on other women, because when we started university it was one of the peaks of women studying computer science.” At university, Sima wanted to understand how computers worked, so she specialised in hardware and embedded systems. After graduation she worked as an independent consultant for 10 years before joining CERN.

    She has encountered challenges in fighting gender and ethnic stereotypes, and often felt that she had to work harder to prove herself. Yet part of her joy of programming is collaborating with colleagues to find creative solutions to complex problems and to develop new products or new functionality. “Technology is everywhere in our society; the problems and solutions you can work with creatively are endless,” she enthuses.

    Jeny Teheran: “What I love the most is to work with teams around the world.”


    Jeny Teheran shares the best parts of being a security analyst and cybersecurity researcher at Fermilab. (Video: Fermilab)

    Jeny Teheran is a security analyst and cybersecurity researcher at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. That means keeping up with and taking care of hardware and software vulnerabilities so that the experiments can carry out their science in a secure manner. It’s a fast-paced job where you have to come up with the best solution you can put in place, right in the moment.

    “I would recommend this job because it challenges you. It pushes you to be on top of your game. You have to improve your analytical skills; you have to react fast; you have to communicate better.” – Jeny Teheran

    Jeny came to Fermilab from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. She grew up in a house with few toys but lots of books, and says she has always felt close to science. With a degree in systems and computing engineering, she arrived at Fermilab four years ago as an intern to work in the offline production team for neutrino experiments. A year later, she was hired as a security analyst. “And I’m loving it,” she says.

    Evangelia Gousiou: “Nothing beats the rush you get when something that you designed works for the first time.”


    Electronics engineer, Evangelia Gousiou, talks about what led her to a career in engineering. (Video: Jacques Fichet/CERN)

    Electronics engineer, Evangelia Gousiou, began her career studying IT and Electronics in Athens, Greece, before beginning an internship at a manufacturing plant in Thailand. She came to CERN for a one-year position, and now, ten years later is still at CERN enjoying a job that is never boring.

    “Work is never repetitive, which makes it very rewarding. I usually follow a project through all its stages from conception of the architecture, to the coding and the delivery to the users of a product that I have built to be useful for them. So I see the full picture and that keeps me engaged.” – Evangelia Gousiou

    For Evangelia, to be a good electronics engineer means knowing a range of disciplines, from software to mechanics. There is also the human aspect, as she works daily with people from many different cultures.

    At school, her favourite subjects were maths and physics, as she enjoyed finding out how things worked, yet Evangelia never dreamt of being an engineer when she grew up. When the time came to choose what to study, she felt that engineering would be something interesting and future-proof, and then she got hooked and now can’t imagine doing anything else. “I would recommend engineering professions for their intellectual challenge and the empowerment that they bring,” she beams.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    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

    Quantum Diaries

     
  • richardmitnick 2:27 pm on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN, , , , ,   

    From STFC: “UK builds vital component of global neutrino experiment” 


    STFC

    16 January 2018
    Becky Parker-Ellis
    becky.parker-ellis@stfc.ac.uk
    Tel: +44(0)1793 444564
    Mob: +44(0)7808 879294

    1
    The APA being prepped for shipment at Daresbury Laboratory. (Credit: STFC)

    The UK has built an essential piece of the globally-anticipated DUNE experiment, which will study the differences between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos in a bid to understand how the Universe came to be made up of matter.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA


    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF


    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford



    SURF building in Lead SD USA

    Vital components of the DUNE detectors have been constructed in the UK and have now been shipped to CERN for initial testing, marking a significant milestone for the experiment’s progress.

    DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) is a flagship international experiment run by the United States Department of Energy’s Fermilab [FNAL] that involves over 1,000 scientists from 31 countries. Various elements of the experiment are under construction across the world, with the UK taking a major role in contributing essential expertise and components to the experiment and facility.

    Using a particle accelerator, an intense beam of neutrinos will be fired 800 miles through the earth from Fermilab in Chicago to the DUNE experiment in South Dakota. There the incoming beam will be studied using DUNE’s liquid-argon detector.

    The DUNE project aims to advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the universe. One aspect of study is the behaviour of particles called neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos. This could provide insight as to why we live in a matter-dominated universe and inform the debate on why the universe survived the Big Bang.

    A UK team has just completed their first prototype Anode Plane Assembly (APA), the largest component of the DUNE detector, to be used in the protoDUNE detector at CERN.

    2
    First APA (Anode Plane Assembly) ready to be installed in the protoDUNE-SP detector Photograph: Ordan, Julien Marius

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    The APA, which was built at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory, is the first such anode plane to ever have been built in the UK.

    The APAs are large rectangular steel frames covered with approximately 4000 wires that are used to read the signal from particle tracks generated inside the liquid-argon detector. At 2.3m by 6.3m, the impressive frames are roughly as large as five full-size pool tables led side-by-side.

    Dr Justin Evans of the University of Manchester, who is leading the protoDUNE APA-construction project in the UK, said: “This shipment marks the culmination of a year of very hard work by the team, which has members from STFC Daresbury and the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Lancaster. Constructing this anode plane has required relentless attention to detail, and huge dedication to addressing the challenges of building something for the first time. This is a major milestone on our way to doing exciting physics with the protoDUNE and DUNE detectors.”

    These prototype frames were funded through an STFC grant. The 150 APAs that the UK will produce for the large-scale DUNE detector will be paid for as part of the £65million investment by the UK in the UK-US Science and Technology agreement, which was announced in September last year.

    Mechanical engineer Alan Grant has led the organisation of the project on behalf of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory. He said: “This is an exciting milestone for the UK’s contribution to the DUNE project.

    “The planes are a vital part of the liquid-argon detectors and are one of the biggest component contributions the UK is making to DUNE, so it is thrilling to have the first one ready for shipping and testing.

    “We have a busy few years ahead of us at the Daresbury Laboratory as we are planning to build 150 panels for one of DUNE’s modules, but we are looking forward to meeting the challenge.”

    3
    The ProtoDUNE core installation team members at CERN, in front of the truck from Daresbury. (Credit: University of Liverpool)

    The UK’s first complete APA began the long journey to CERN by road on Friday (January 12), and arrived in Geneva today (January 16). Once successfully tested on the protoDUNE experiment at CERN, a full set of panels will be created and eventually be installed one-mile underground at Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) in the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

    This is the first such plane to be delivered by the UK to CERN for testing, with the second and third panels set to be shipped in spring. It is expected to take two to three years to produce the full 150 APAs for one module.

    Professor Alfons Weber, of STFC and Oxford University, is the overall Principal Investigator of DUNE UK. He said: “We in the UK are gearing up to deliver several major components for the DUNE experiment and the LBNF facility, which also include the data acquisition system, accelerator components and the neutrino production target. These prototype APAs, which will be installed and tested at CERN, are one of the first major deliveries that will make this exciting experiment a reality.”

    The DUNE APA consortium is led by Professor Stefan Söldner-Rembold of the University of Manchester, with contributions from several other North West universities including Liverpool, Sheffield and Lancaster.

    Professor Söldner-Rembold said: “Each one of the four final DUNE modules will contain 17,000 tons of liquid argon. For a single module, 150 APAs will need to be built which represents a major construction challenge. We are working with UK industry to prepare this large construction project. The wires are kept under tension and we need to ensure that none of the wires will break during several decades of detector operation as the inside of the detector will not be accessible. The planes will now undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are up for the job.

    “Physicists across the world are excited to see what DUNE will be capable of, as unlocking the secrets of the neutrino will help us understand more about the structure of the Universe.

    “Although neutrinos are the second most abundant particle in the Universe, they are enormously difficult to catch as they have very nearly no mass, are not charged and rarely interact with other particles. This is why DUNE is such an exciting experiment and why we are celebrating this milestone in its construction.”

    Christos Touramanis, from the University of Liverpool and co-spokesperson for the protoDUNE project, said: “ProtoDUNE is the first CERN experiment which is a prototype for an experiment at Fermilab, a demonstration of global strategy and coordination in modern particle physics. We in the UK have been instrumental in setting up protoDUNE and in addition to my role we provide leadership in the data acquisition sub-project, and of course anode planes.”

    DUNE will also watch for neutrinos produced when a star explodes, which could reveal the formation of neutron stars and black holes, and will investigate whether protons live forever or eventually decay, bringing us closer to fulfilling Einstein’s dream of a grand unified theory.

    See the full article here .

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    STFC Hartree Centre

    Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

    We are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Our strength comes from our distinct but interrelated functions:

    Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
    Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
    National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
    Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

    We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

    STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder – much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills – choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.

    Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.

    They are used by scientists across a huge variety of science disciplines ranging from the physical and heritage sciences to medicine, biosciences, the environment, energy, and more. These facilities provide a massive productivity boost for UK science, as well as unique capabilities for UK industry.

    Our two Campuses are based around our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire – each of which offers a different cluster of technological expertise that underpins and ties together diverse research fields.

    The combination of access to world-class research facilities and scientists, office and laboratory space, business support, and an environment which encourages innovation has proven a compelling combination, attracting start-ups, SMEs and large blue chips such as IBM and Unilever.

    We think our science is awesome – and we know students, teachers and parents think so too. That’s why we run an extensive Public Engagement and science communication programme, ranging from loans to schools of Moon Rocks, funding support for academics to inspire more young people, embedding public engagement in our funded grant programme, and running a series of lectures, travelling exhibitions and visits to our sites across the year.

    Ninety per cent of physics undergraduates say that they were attracted to the course by our sciences, and applications for physics courses are up – despite an overall decline in university enrolment.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:56 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN, , Lithuania becomes Associate Member State of CERN, , ,   

    From CERN: “Lithuania becomes Associate Member State of CERN” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    8 Jan 2018
    Harriet Kim Jarlett

    1
    CERN Director General, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and the President of the Republic of Lithuania at the signing of the agreement (Image: Robertas Dačkus/Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania).

    Today, the Republic of Lithuania became an Associate Member State of CERN. This follows official notification to CERN that the Republic of Lithuania has completed its internal approval procedures, as required for the entry into force of the Agreement, signed in June 2017, granting that status to the country.

    Lithuania’s relationship with CERN dates back to 2004, when an International Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Organization and the government of the Republic of Lithuania setting priorities for the further development of scientific and technical cooperation between CERN and Lithuania in high-energy physics. One year later, in 2005, a Protocol to this Agreement was signed, paving the way for the participation of Lithuanian universities and scientific institutions in high-energy particle physics experiments at CERN.

    Lithuania has contributed to the CMS experiment since 2007 when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed marking the beginning of Lithuanian scientists’ involvement in the CMS collaboration. Lithuania has also played an important role in database development at CERN for CMS data mining and data quality analysis. Lithuania actively promoted the BalticGrid in 2005.

    In addition to its involvement in the CMS experiment, Lithuania is part of two collaborations that aim to develop detector technologies to address the challenging upgrades needed for the High-Luminosity LHC.

    Since 2004, CERN and Lithuania have also successfully collaborated on many educational activities aimed at strengthening the Lithuanian particle physics community. Lithuania has been participating in the CERN Summer Student programme and 53 Lithuanian teachers have taken part in CERN’s high-school teachers programme.

    The associate membership of Lithuania strengthens the long-term partnership between CERN and the Lithuanian scientific community. Associate Membership allows Lithuania to take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Finance Committee and Scientific Policy Committee). It also makes Lithuanian scientists eligible for staff appointments. Finally, Lithuanian industry is henceforth entitled to bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

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    CERN CMS New

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  • richardmitnick 6:41 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CERN, , SKA signs Big Data cooperation agreement with CERN   

    From SKA: “SKA signs Big Data cooperation agreement with CERN” 


    SKA

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    14 July 2017 [Just now in social media.]

    William Garnier
    Director of Communications, Outreach and Education
    SKA Organisation
    Mob: +447814908932
    Email: w.garnier@skatelescope.org

    Arnaud Marsollier
    Head of Press
    CERN
    Email: Arnaud.Marsollier@cern.ch

    1
    Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General, and Prof. Philip Diamond, SKA Director-General, signing a cooperation agreement between the two organisations on Big Data. © 2017 CERN

    SKA Organisation and CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, yesterday signed an agreement formalising their growing collaboration in the area of extreme-scale computing.

    The agreement establishes a framework for collaborative projects that addresses joint challenges in approaching Exascale* computing and data storage, and comes as the LHC will generate even more data in the coming decade and SKA is preparing to collect a vast amount of scientific data as well.

    Around the world, countries are engaged in efforts to cope with a leap in the demands of Information and Communication Technology. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, the world’s largest radio telescope when built, and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator, famous for discovering the Higgs Boson, will contribute in driving the required technological developments.

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    “The signature of this collaboration agreement between two of the largest producers of science data on the planet shows that we are really entering a new era of science worldwide”, said Prof. Philip Diamond, SKA Director-General. “Both CERN and SKA are and will be pushing the limits of what is possible technologically, and by working together and with industry, we are ensuring that we are ready to make the most of this upcoming data and computing surge.”

    “The LHC computing demands are tackled by the Worldwide LHC computing grid which employs more than half a million computing cores around the globe interconnected by a powerful network. As our demands increase with the planned intensity upgrade of the LHC we want to expand this concept by using common ideas and infrastructure, into a scientific cloud. SKA will be an ideal partner in this endeavour.” said Prof. Eckhard Elsen, CERN Director of Research and Computing.

    CERN and SKA have identified the acquisition, storage, management, distribution, and analysis of scientific data as particularly burning topics to meet the technological challenges.

    In the case of the SKA, it is expected that phase 1 of the project – representing approximately 10% of the whole SKA – will generate around 300 PB (petabytes) of data products every year. This is ten times more than today’s biggest science experiments.

    CERN has just surpassed the 200 PB limit for raw data collected by the experiments at the LHC over the past seven years. A layered (tiered) system provides for data storage in the remote centres. The High-Luminosity LHC is estimated to exceed this level every year.

    “This in itself will be a challenge for both CERN and SKA given the step change in the amounts of data we will have to handle in the next 5-10 years”, explains Miles Deegan, High-Performance Computing Specialist for the SKA. “Transferring an average dataset will take days on the SKA’s ultra-fast fibre optic networks, which are 300 times faster than your average broadband connection, so storing or even downloading this data at home or even at your local university is clearly impractical.”

    As is already the case at CERN, SKA data will also be analysed by scientific collaborations distributed across the planet. There will be common computational and storage resource needs by both institutions and their respective researchers, with a shared challenge of taking this volume of data and turning them into science that can be published, understood, explained, reproduced, preserved and presented.

    “Processing such volumes of complex data to extract useful science is an exciting challenge that we face”, adds Antonio Chrysostomou, Head of Science Operations Planning for the SKA. “Our aim is to provide that processing capability through an alliance of regional centres located across the world in SKA member countries. Using cloud-based solutions, our scientific community will have access to the equivalent of today’s 35 biggest supercomputers to do the intensive processing needed to extract scientific results. In short, we need to fundamentally change how science is done.”

    “CERN has proposed the concept of the Federated Open Science Cloud with other EIROForum members. This agreement is an important step in this direction.” said Ian Bird, responsible at CERN for the World-wide LHC Computing Grid. “Essentially, we will provide a giant cloud-based, Dropbox-like, facility to science users around the world, where they will be able to not only access incredibly large files, but will also be able to do extremely intensive processing on those files to extract the science.”

    As part of the agreement, CERN and SKA will hold regular meetings to monitor progress and discuss the strategic direction of their collaboration. They will organise collaborative workshops on specific technical areas of mutual interest and propose demonstrator projects or prototypes to investigate concepts for managing and analysing Exascale data sets in a globally distributed environment. The agreement also includes the exchange of experts in the field of Big Data as well as joint publications.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II


    SKA ASKAP Pathefinder Telescope

    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA


    SKA Meerkat Telescope

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)


    SKA Murchison Wide Field Array
    About SKA

    The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The total collecting area will be approximately one square kilometre giving 50 times the sensitivity, and 10 000 times the survey speed, of the best current-day telescopes. The SKA will be built in Southern Africa and in Australia. Thousands of receptors will extend to distances of 3 000 km from the central regions. The SKA will address fundamental unanswered questions about our Universe including how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang, how dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the Universe, the role of magnetism in the cosmos, the nature of gravity, and the search for life beyond Earth. Construction of phase one of the SKA is scheduled to start in 2016. The SKA Organisation, with its headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK, was established in December 2011 as a not-for-profit company in order to formalise relationships between the international partners and centralise the leadership of the project.

    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.

    Already supported by 10 member countries – Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom – SKA Organisation has brought together some of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers and more than 100 companies and research institutions across 20 countries in the design and development of the telescope. Construction of the SKA is set to start in 2018, with early science observations in 2020.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:17 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN, DarkSide Dark Matter Experiment at INFN Gran Sasso,   

    From CERN: “A 350-metre-tall tower to purify argon” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    30 Nov 2017
    Stefania Pandolfi

    1
    On Friday, 24 November, ARIA’s top and bottom modules plus one standard module were brought to Building 180 and lined up to precisely test their alignment and interconnections. (Image: Max Brice/CERN)

    CERN is taking part in a project, called ARIA, for the construction of a 350-metre-tall distillation tower that will be used to purify liquid argon (LAr) for scientific and, in a second phase, medical use.

    The full tower, composed of 28 identical modules plus a top (condenser) and a bottom (re-boiler) special module, will be installed in a disused mine site in Sardinia, Italy. The project is led by the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and was initiated to supply the purest argon possible to the international dark matter experiment DarkSide at INFN’s Gran Sasso National Laboratories.

    DarkSide is a dual-phase liquid-argon time-projection chamber that aims to detect the possible passage of a dark matter particle in the form of a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) when it hits the argon nuclei contained in the detector. Since this WIMP-nuclei interaction is predicted to be extremely rare, the detector must contain only the purest argon possible, so as not to accidentally produce a spurious signal.

    2
    DarkSide experiment at INFN Gran Sasso

    ARIA has been designed to produce this extra-pure argon. Atmospheric argon contains many “impurities” such as water, oxygen, krypton and argon-39, an isotope of argon, which are all sources of unwanted signals. Argon from underground sources is already depleted from the argon-39 isotope by a factor of 1400, but this is still not enough for dark-matter research. ARIA is designed to purify underground argon by a further factor of 100, leaving only the radio-stable argon-40 isotope, by harnessing a very simple physical principle: the two isotopes have different volatility, which means that argon-39 will vaporise faster than argon-40 because it has one less nucleon in its nucleus.

    The argon gas is injected at the top of the column, where the condenser transforms it into liquid argon. The liquefied argon starts falling through a series of filters distributed along the column, where it is progressively purified. At the bottom, the boiler transforms the liquid argon back into gas and through a series of tubes brings it back to the condenser, where the process begins again. As the distillation occurs at cryogenic temperatures, the whole process takes place within a vacuum-insulated cryostat.

    ARIA’s modules are being built at Polaris, a company on the outskirts of Milan, Italy. The modules are then brought to CERN, where, one by one, they are being leak tested by the Vacuum, Surfaces and Coatings (VSC) group of the Technology Department. On Friday, 24 November, the top and bottom modules plus one standard module were brought to Building 180 and lined up to precisely check their alignment, geometry and interconnection interfaces, prior to welding. After this, the three modules will be taken to Sardinia, where they will be assembled vertically, initially above ground, to start operating and to test their functionality before assembling the complete column in the mine shaft.

    ARIA is expected to be fully assembled by the end of 2018 and to start operations in 2019. Once the technique is proven, many other air components, such as oxygen-18, nitrogen-15 and carbon-13, could be distilled by applying the same process. These elements have important applications in many fields of research and technology, including diagnostic techniques for the detection of cancer.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN LHC Map
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    CERN LHC particles

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  • richardmitnick 3:06 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN, , Super pure Argon Modules   

    From CERN: “How to produce the purest argon ever?” The ARIA project 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    30 Nov 2017
    Stefania Pandolfi

    1
    ARIA’s modules are being leak-tested at CERN before travelling to Sardinia, Italy. The top, bottom and one standard column module have now been lined up horizontally to test their alignment. (Image: J. Ordan/CERN)

    Producing the purest argon ever made is no mean feat, in fact it needs a column 26 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower.

    CERN is part of a project, called ARIA, to construct a 350-metre-tall distillation tower that will be used to purify liquid argon for scientific and, in a second phase, medical use.

    The full tower, composed of 28 identical modules plus a top (condenser) and a bottom (re-boiler) special module, will be installed in a disused mine site in Sardinia, Italy.

    The project is was initiated to supply the purest argon possible to the international dark matter experiment DarkSide at INFN’s Gran Sasso National Laboratories.

    3
    DarkSide Dark Matter Experiment at INFN’s Gran Sasso National Laboratories

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

    DarkSide is a dual-phase liquid-argon time-projection chamber that aims to detect the possible passage of a dark matter particle in the form of a Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP) when it hits the argon nuclei contained in the detector. Since this WIMP-nuclei interaction is predicted to be extremely rare, the detector must contain only the purest argon possible, so as not to accidentally produce a spurious signal.

    ARIA has been designed to produce this extra-pure argon. Atmospheric argon contains many “impurities” such as water, oxygen, krypton and argon-39, an isotope of argon, which are all sources of unwanted signals. Argon from underground sources is already depleted from the argon-39 isotope by a factor of 1400, but this is still not enough for dark-matter research. ARIA is designed to purify underground argon by a further factor of 100.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    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

    Quantum Diaries

     
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