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  • richardmitnick 2:04 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NA61/SHINE gives neutrino experiments a helping hand", , , CERN, , ,   

    From CERN: “NA61/SHINE gives neutrino experiments a helping hand” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    How particle measurements made by the NA61/SHINE experiment at CERN are helping neutrino experiments in the US and Japan

    1
    Inside the NA61/SHINE experiment at CERN (Image: CERN)

    Neutrinos are the lightest of all the known particles that have mass. Yet their behaviour as they travel could help answer one of the greatest puzzles in physics: why the present-day universe is made mostly of matter when the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. In two recent papers, the NA61/SHINE collaboration reports particle measurements that are crucial for accelerator-based experiments studying such neutrino behaviour.

    Neutrinos come in three types, or “flavours”, and neutrino experiments are measuring with ever increasing detail how they and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, “oscillate” from one flavour to another while they travel. If it turns out that neutrinos and antineutrinos oscillate in a different way from one another, this may partially account for the present-day matter–antimatter imbalance.

    Accelerator-based neutrino experiments look for neutrino oscillations by producing a beam of neutrinos of one flavour and measuring the beam after it has travelled a long distance. The neutrino beams are typically produced by firing a beam of high-energy protons into long, thin carbon or beryllium targets. These proton–target interactions produce hadrons, such as pions and kaons, which are focused using magnetic aluminium horns and directed into long tunnels, in which they transform into neutrinos and other particles.

    To get a reliable measurement of the neutrino oscillations, the researchers working on these experiments need to estimate the number of neutrinos in the beam before oscillation and how this number varies with the energy of the particles. Estimating this “neutrino flux” is hard, because neutrinos interact very weakly with other particles and cannot be measured easily. To get around this, researchers estimate instead the number of hadrons. But measuring the number of hadrons is also challenging, because there are too many of them to measure precisely.

    This is where experiments such as NA61/SHINE at CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron come in. NA61/SHINE can reproduce the proton–target interactions that generate the hadrons that transform into neutrinos. It can also reproduce subsequent interactions that protons and hadrons undergo in the targets and focusing horns. These subsequent interactions can produce additional neutrino-yielding hadrons.

    The NA61/SHINE collaboration has previously measured hadrons generated in experiments at 31 GeV/c proton energy (where c is the speed of light) to help predict the neutrino flux in the Tokai-to-Kamioka (T2K) neutrino-oscillation experiment in Japan. The collaboration has also been gathering data at 60 and 120 GeV/c energies to benefit the MINERνA, NOνA and DUNE experiments at Fermilab in the US. The analysis of these datasets is progressing well and has most recently led to two papers: one describing measurements of interactions of protons with carbon, beryllium and aluminium, and another reporting measurements of interactions of pions with carbon and beryllium.

    “These results are crucial for Fermilab’s neutrino experiments,” says Laura Fields, an NA61/SHINE collaboration member and co-spokesperson for MINERνA. “To predict the neutrino fluxes for these experiments, researchers need an extremely detailed simulation of the entire beamline and all of the interactions that happen within it. For that simulation we need to know the probability that each type of interaction will happen, the particles that will be produced, and their properties. So interaction measurements such as the latest ones will be vital to make these simulations much more accurate,” she explains.

    “Looking into the future, NA61/SHINE will focus on measurements for the next generation of neutrino-oscillation experiments, including DUNE and T2HK in Japan, to enable these experiments to produce high-precision results in neutrino physics,” Fields concludes.

    See also this Experimental Physics newsletter article.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on November 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The plot thickens for a hypothetical “X17” particle", , Additional evidence of an unknown particle from a Hungarian lab, CERN, , , , , ,   

    From CERN: “The plot thickens for a hypothetical “X17” particle” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    27 November, 2019
    Ana Lopes

    Additional evidence of an unknown particle from a Hungarian lab gives a new impetus to NA64 searches.

    CERN NA64


    The NA64 experiment at CERN (Image: CERN)

    Fresh evidence of an unknown particle that could carry a fifth force of nature gives the NA64 collaboration at CERN a new incentive to continue searches.

    In 2015, a team of scientists spotted [Physical Review Letters] an unexpected glitch, or “anomaly”, in a nuclear transition that could be explained by the production of an unknown particle. About a year later, theorists suggested [Physical Review Letters] that the new particle could be evidence of a new fundamental force of nature, in addition to electromagnetism, gravity and the strong and weak forces. The findings caught worldwide attention and prompted, among other studies, a direct search [Physical Review Letters] for the particle by the NA64 collaboration at CERN.

    A new paper from the same team, led by Attila Krasznahorkay at the Atomki institute in Hungary, now reports another anomaly, in a similar nuclear transition, that could also be explained by the same hypothetical particle.

    The first anomaly spotted by Krasznahorkay’s team was seen in a transition of beryllium-8 nuclei. This transition emits a high-energy virtual photon that transforms into an electron and its antimatter counterpart, a positron. Examining the number of electron–positron pairs at different angles of separation, the researchers found an unexpected surplus of pairs at a separation angle of about 140º. In contrast, theory predicts that the number of pairs decreases with increasing separation angle, with no excess at a particular angle. Krasznahorkay and colleagues reasoned that the excess could be interpreted by the production of a new particle with a mass of about 17 million electronvolts (MeV), the “X17” particle, which would transform into an electron–positron pair.

    The latest anomaly reported by Krasznahorkay’s team, in a paper [.pdf above] that has yet to be peer-reviewed, is also in the form of an excess of electron–positron pairs, but this time the excess is from a transition of helium-4 nuclei. “In this case, the excess occurs at an angle 115º but it can also be interpreted by the production of a particle with a mass of about 17 MeV,” explained Krasznahorkay. “The result lends support to our previous result and the possible existence of a new elementary particle,” he adds.

    Sergei Gninenko, spokesperson for the NA64 collaboration at CERN, which has not found signs of X17 in its direct search, says: “The Atomki anomalies could be due to an experimental effect, a nuclear physics effect or something completely new such as a new particle. To test the hypothesis that they are caused by a new particle, both a detailed theoretical analysis of the compatibility between the beryllium-8 and the helium-4 results as well as independent experimental confirmation is crucial.”

    The NA64 collaboration searches for X17 by firing a beam of tens of billions of electrons from the Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator onto a fixed target.

    The Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), CERN’s second-largest accelerator

    If X17 did exist, the interactions between the electrons and nuclei in the target would sometimes produce this particle, which would then transform into an electron–positron pair. The collaboration has so far found no indication that such events took place, but its datasets allowed them to exclude part of the possible values for the strength of the interaction between X17 and an electron. The team is now upgrading their detector for the next round of searches, which are expected to be more challenging but at the same time more exciting, says Gninenko.

    Among other experiments that could also hunt for X17 in direct searches are the LHCb experiment and the recently approved FASER experiment, both at CERN.

    CERN/LHCb detector

    CERN FASER experiment schematic

    Jesse Thaler, a theoretical physicist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says: “By 2023, the LHCb experiment should be able to make a definitive measurement to confirm or refute the interpretation of the Atomki anomalies as arising from a new fundamental force. In the meantime, experiments such as NA64 can continue to chip away at the possible values for the hypothetical particle’s properties, and every new analysis brings with it the possibility (however remote) of discovery.”

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 2:25 pm on November 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "LHCf gears up to probe birth of cosmic-ray showers", , CERN, , , ,   

    From CERN: “LHCf gears up to probe birth of cosmic-ray showers” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    11 November, 2019
    Ana Lopes


    CERN LHCf

    1
    One of the LHCf experiment’s two detectors, LHCf Arm2, seen here during installation into a particle absorber that surrounds the LHC’s beam pipe. (Image: Lorenzo Bonechi)

    Cosmic rays are particles from outer space, typically protons, travelling at almost the speed of light. When the most energetic of these particles strike the atmosphere of our planet, they interact with atomic nuclei in the atmosphere and produce cascades of secondary particles that shower down to the Earth’s surface. These extensive air showers, as they are known, are similar to the cascades of particles that are created in collisions inside particle colliders such as CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In the next LHC, run starting in 2021, the smallest of the LHC experiments – the LHCf experiment – is set to probe the first interaction that triggers these cosmic showers.

    Observations of extensive air showers are generally interpreted using computer simulations that involve a model of how cosmic rays interact with atomic nuclei in the atmosphere. But different models exist and it’s unclear which one is the most appropriate. The LHCf experiment is in an ideal position to test these models and help shed light on cosmic-ray interactions.

    In contrast to the main LHC experiments, which measure particles emitted at large angles from the collision line, the LHCf experiment measures particles that fly out in the “forward” direction, that is, at small angles from the collision line. These particles, which carry a large portion of the collision energy, can be used to probe the small angles and high energies at which the predictions from the different models don’t match.

    Using data from proton–proton LHC collisions at an energy of 13 TeV, LHCf has recently measured how the number of forward photons and neutrons varies with particle energy at previously unexplored high energies. These measurements agree better with some models than others, and they are being factored in by modellers of extensive air showers.

    In the next LHC run, LHCf should extend the range of particle energies probed, due to the planned higher collision energy. In addition, and thanks to ongoing upgrade work, the experiment should also increase the number and type of particles that are detected and studied.

    What’s more, the experiment plans to measure forward particles emitted from collisions of protons with light ions, most likely oxygen ions. The first interactions that trigger extensive air showers in the atmosphere involve mainly light atomic nuclei such as oxygen and nitrogen. LHCf could therefore probe such an interaction in the next run, casting new light on cosmic-ray interaction models at high energies.

    Find out more in the Experimental Physics newsletter article.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 2:23 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN, CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti as the Organization’s next Director-General for her second term of office., , , ,   

    From CERN: “CERN Council appoints Fabiola Gianotti for second term of office as CERN Director General” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    6 November, 2019

    At its 195th Session today, the CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti, as the Organization’s next Director-General, for her second term of office.

    1
    President of the CERN Council, Ursula Bassler and Director-General of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti (Image: CERN)

    At its 195th Session today, the CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti, as the Organization’s next Director-General, for her second term of office. The appointment will be formalised at the December Session of the Council, and Gianotti’s new five-year term of office will begin on 1 January 2021. This is the first time in CERN’s history that a Director-General has been appointed for a full second term.

    “I congratulate Fabiola Gianotti very warmly for her reappointment as Director-General for another five-year term of office. With her at the helm, CERN will continue to benefit from her strong leadership and experience, especially for important upcoming projects such as the High-Luminosity LHC, implementation of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, and the construction of the Science Gateway,” said President of the CERN Council, Ursula Bassler. “During her first term, she excelled in leading our diverse and international scientific organisation, becoming a role model, especially for women in science”.

    “I am deeply grateful to the CERN Council for their renewed trust. It is a great privilege and a huge responsibility,” said CERN Director-General, Fabiola Gianotti. “The following years will be crucial for laying the foundations of CERN’s future projects and I am honoured to have the opportunity to work with the CERN Member States, Associate Member States, other international partners and the worldwide particle physics community.”

    Gianotti has been CERN’s Director-General since 1 January 2016. She received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Milano in 1989 and has been a research physicist at CERN since 1994. She was the leader of the ATLAS experiment’s collaboration from March 2009 to February 2013, including the period in which the LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS announced the discovery of the Higgs boson. The discovery was recognised in 2013 with the Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to theorists François Englert and Peter Higgs. Gianotti is a member of many international committees, and has received numerous prestigious awards. She was the first woman to become the Director-General of CERN.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 3:49 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Medipix: Two decades of turning technology into applications", CERN   

    From CERN: “Medipix: Two decades of turning technology into applications” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    18 October, 2019

    The story of how detector components ended up in medical imaging, in art restoration and even in space.

    1
    The Timepix3 chip developed by the Medipix3 collaboration (Image: CERN)

    How could microchips developed for detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) be used beyond high-energy physics? This was a question that led to the Medipix and Timepix families of pixel-sensor chips. Researchers saw many possible applications for this technology, and for the last 20 years these chips have been used in medical imaging, in spotting forgeries in the art world, in detecting radioactive material and more. A recent CERN symposium commemorated the two decades since the Medipix2 collaboration was established, in 1999.

    Pixel-sensor chips are used in detectors at the LHC to trace the paths of electrically charged particles. When a particle hits the sensor, it deposits a charge that is processed by the electronics. This is similar to light hitting pixels in a digital camera, but instead they register particles up to 40 million times a second.

    In the late 1990s, engineers and physicists at CERN were developing integrated circuits for pixel technologies. They realised that adding a counter to each pixel and counting the number of particles hitting the sensors could allow the chips to be used for medical imaging. The Medipix2 chip was born. Later, the Timepix chip added the ability to record either the arrival time of the particles or the energy deposited within a pixel.

    As the chips evolved from Medipix2 to Medipix3, their growing use in medical imaging led to the first colour X-ray of parts of the human body in 2018, with the first clinical trials now beginning in New Zealand. In addition, the versatile chips have gone beyond medicine, for example, a start-up called InsightART allows researchers to use Medipix3 chips to peer through the layers of works of art and study the composition of materials to determine the authenticity of pieces attributed to renowned artists.

    The team behind InsightART, based in Prague, recently scanned an alleged Van Gogh, concluding that the work was most likely to have been produced by the Dutch master, having observed an underlying sketch very similar to other figures Van Gogh painted at the time. The work will be sent to the Van Gogh Museum to be vetted with this evidence, and it might be that not one but two Van Goghs have been found in the same piece.

    Timepix-based detectors have been aboard the International Space Station since 2012 to measure the radiation dose to which astronauts and equipment are exposed, and in 2015, high-school students from the UK sent their own Timepix-based detector to the ISS with astronaut Tim Peake. The ability of the chips to detect gamma rays has been exploited to help with the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and is being evaluated for the detection of thyroid cancer with greater resolution than before and with a lower radiation dose to the patient.

    The Medipix and Timepix chips, developed by three collaborations involving around 32 institutes in total, have been remarkable examples of knowledge transfer from CERN to wider society.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 2:51 pm on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "LS2 Report: renovation of the electrical infrastructure", BE1 and BE2 substations, CERN   

    From CERN: “LS2 Report: renovation of the electrical infrastructure” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    15 October, 2019
    Anaïs Schaeffer

    1
    The BE1 input station in Prévessin is currently undergoing maintenance and consolidation work (Image: CERN)

    You arrive at your office, switch on the lights and pick up the phone, while your computer hums into life. Without electricity, the scenario is slightly different… CERN’s electrical network is so reliable that we forget what’s going on behind the scenes.

    The Laboratory’s electrical infrastructure – which plays an essential role in the excellent performance of our experiments and accelerators, and of all CERN facilities – is anything but trivial. In its nominal configuration, it comprises two substations (BE1 and BE2) with an input voltage of 400 kilovolts (kV), supplied by the French electrical grid. Downstream, these are connected to another substation that lowers the voltage to 66 kV. Part of this network supplies facilities several kilometres away (notably in the LHC), while the other undergoes a further conversion to 18 kV in order to supply the nearby Meyrin and Prévessin sites, as well as the SPS. To provide redundancy, CERN’s electrical infrastructure is also connected to the Swiss grid, ensuring that a reduced power supply continues in the event of a problem with the French grid or CERN’s internal network. The switchover to the Swiss grid happens automatically thanks to an “auto-transfer” system.

    During LS2, due to the major renovation and maintenance work under way, CERN’s electrical network is working somewhat differently. “At the beginning of July, the BE1 input station was disconnected. We are now consolidating its protection system because, since this station dates from the 1970s, some of its equipment had reached the end of its life,” says Davide Bozzini, technical coordinator in the Electrical Engineering (EN-EL) group. During the course of the work, which should finish some time in November, the BE2 substation is therefore supplying the entire Laboratory alone.

    2
    CERN’s newest and biggest power transformer, for the new BE2 electrical substation, was installed in September 2018 to reinforce CERN’s electrical network (Image: CERN)

    In mid-September, Meyrin’s main substation, ME9, which has supplied the site with 18 kV since the 1960s, was “unplugged”. It is being completely renovated and should come back into operation at the end of April 2020. In parallel, the auto-transfer system will also be entirely renovated. While these two renovations are taking place, the connection to the Swiss grid has also had to be suspended. This enables the EN-EL group to carry out important work on the ME9 substation, but also deprives CERN’s general network of one of its sources, which could, in rare cases, lead to temporary power cuts*.

    Major work is also under way on the SPS, where five of the seven 18 kV substations located at the seven SPS surface points are being renovated. Work on four of them required new buildings to be constructed, which meant that the EN-EL group could start work before LS2 began, while the accelerator was still running.

    The EN-EL group is also working on the LHC Injectors Upgrade (LIU) project. “Our LIU activities are very varied, just like the needs of our clients,” says Davide Bozzini. “In the PS Booster and the PS, for example, we have replaced several electrical boards and low-voltage switch boxes dating from the 1970s, as well as the lighting systems, which were antiquated and have now been replaced with new radiation-resistant lights. The latter were developed by the EN-EL group in collaboration with manufacturers.”

    Many other activities, notably maintenance, are also under way in preparation for future runs: maintenance of several hundred transformers and circuit breakers, replacement of the batteries of critical supply systems in the LHC, updating of network status control systems, etc. Currently, more than 200 people (personnel from CERN and from external companies) are working on the consolidation, maintenance and operation of CERN’s electrical infrastructure, on which depend all the activities carried out at the Laboratory.

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 1:35 pm on October 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CERN, CLOUD Experiment   

    From CERN: “From cosmic rays to clouds” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    10 October, 2019
    Ana Lopes

    A new run of the CLOUD experiment examines the direct effect of cosmic rays on clouds.

    1
    The CLOUD experiment in the CERN East Hall at the start of the CLOUDy run, on 23 September 2019. The chamber is enclosed inside a thermal housing that precisely controls the temperature between -65 °C and +40 °C. Instruments surrounding the chamber continuously sample and analyse its contents. (Image: CERN)

    CERN’s colossal complex of accelerators is in the midst of a two-year shutdown for upgrade work. But that doesn’t mean all experiments at the Laboratory have ceased to operate. The CLOUD experiment, for example, has just started a data run that will last until the end of November.

    The CLOUD experiment studies how ions produced by high-energy particles called cosmic rays affect aerosol particles, clouds and the climate. It uses a special cloud chamber and a beam of particles from the Proton Synchrotron to provide an artificial source of cosmic rays. For this run, however, the cosmic rays are instead natural high-energy particles from cosmic objects such as exploding stars.

    “Cosmic rays, whether natural or artificial, leave a trail of ions in the chamber,” explains CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby, “but the Proton Synchrotron provides cosmic rays that can be adjusted over the full range of ionisation rates occurring in the troposphere, which comprises the lowest ten kilometres of the atmosphere. That said, we can also make progress with the steady flux of natural cosmic rays that make it into our chamber, and this is what we’re doing now.”

    In its 10 years of operation, CLOUD has made several important discoveries on the vapours that form aerosol particles in the atmosphere and can seed clouds. Although most aerosol particle formation requires sulphuric acid, CLOUD has shown that aerosols can form purely from biogenic vapours emitted by trees, and that their formation rate is enhanced by cosmic rays by up to a factor 100.

    Most of CLOUD’s data runs are aerosol runs, in which aerosols form and grow inside the chamber under simulated conditions of sunlight and cosmic-ray ionisation. The run that has just started is of the “CLOUDy” type, which studies the ice- and liquid-cloud-seeding properties of various aerosol species grown in the chamber, and direct effects of cosmic-ray ionisation on clouds.

    The present run uses the most comprehensive array of instruments ever assembled for CLOUDy experiments, including several instruments dedicated to measuring the ice- and liquid-cloud-seeding properties of aerosols over the full range of tropospheric temperatures. In addition, the CERN CLOUD team has built a novel generator of electrically charged cloud seeds to investigate the effects of charged aerosols on cloud formation and dynamics.

    “Direct effects of cosmic-ray ionisation on the formation of fair-weather clouds are highly speculative and almost completely unexplored experimentally,” says Kirkby. “So this run could be the most boring we’ve ever done – or the most exciting! We won’t know until we try, but by the end of the CLOUD experiment, we want to be able to answer definitively whether cosmic rays affect clouds and the climate, and not leave any stone unturned.”

    See the full article here.


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  • richardmitnick 11:28 am on September 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN, , In 2018 the NA62 team reported finding one candidate event for the K+ → π+ ν ν decay in a dataset recorded in 2016 that comprised about 100 billion K+ decays., , , , , The NA62 experiment produces positively charged kaons (K+) and other particles by hitting a beryllium target with protons from the Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator., The transformation or “decay” of a positively charged variant of a particle known as kaon into a positively charged pion and a neutrino–antineutrino pair.   

    From CERN : “NA62 spots two potential instances of rare particle decay” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    23 September, 2019
    Ana Lopes

    The NA62 experiment has detected two candidate events for the decay of a positively charged kaon into a pion and a neutrino–antineutrino pair.

    CERN NA62

    CERN NA62

    CERN NA62 innards

    Are there new, unknown particles that can explain dark matter and other mysteries of the universe? To try to answer this question, particle physicists typically sift through the myriad of particles that are produced in particle collisions. But they also have an indirect but powerful way of looking for new particles, which is to measure processes that are both rare and precisely predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. A slight discrepancy between the Standard Model prediction and a high-precision measurement would be a sign of new particles or phenomena never before observed.

    One such process is the transformation, or “decay”, of a positively charged variant of a particle known as kaon into a positively charged pion and a neutrino–antineutrino pair. In a seminar that took place today at CERN, the NA62 collaboration reported two potential instances of this ultra-rare kaon decay. The result, first presented at the International Conference on Kaon Physics, shows the experiment’s potential to make a precise test of the Standard Model.

    The Standard Model predicts that the odds of a positively charged kaon decaying into a positively charged pion and a neutrino–antineutrino pair (K+ → π+ ν ν) are only about one in ten billion, with an uncertainty of less than ten percent. Finding a deviation, even if small, from this prediction would indicate new physics beyond the Standard Model.

    The NA62 experiment produces positively charged kaons (K+) and other particles by hitting a beryllium target with protons from the Super Proton Synchrotron accelerator. It then uses several types of detector to identify and measure the K+ kaons and the particles into which they decay.

    In 2018, the NA62 team reported finding one candidate event for the K+ → π+ ν ν decay in a dataset recorded in 2016 that comprised about 100 billion K+ decays. In its new study, the collaboration analysed an approximately 10-fold larger dataset recorded in 2017 and spotted two candidate events. By combining this result with the previous result, the team finds that the relative frequency (known as “branching ratio”) of the K+ → π+ ν ν decay would be at most 24.4 in 100 billion K+ decays. This combined result is compatible with the Standard Model prediction and allowed the team to put limits on beyond-Standard-Model theories that predict frequencies larger than this upper bound.

    “This is a great achievement and one we will build upon. Having clearly established our experimental technique, we’ll now explore ways to perfect it using a dataset that we took in 2018,” says spokesperson Cristina Lazzeroni. “The 2018 dataset is twice as large as the 2017 dataset, so it should allow us to find more events and make a more precise test of the Standard Model.”

    For a detailed account of the results, see the recording of the CERN seminar and the EP newsletter article.

    See the full article here.


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    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

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    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS


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    CERN/ALICE Detector


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  • richardmitnick 12:45 pm on September 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN, , , , ,   

    From Penn Today: “Can neutrinos help explain what’s the matter with antimatter?” 


    From Penn Today

    September 23, 2019
    Erica K. Brockmeier

    Results of a new study will help physicists establish a cutting-edge neutrino research facility to study some of the most abundant yet least understood particles in the universe.

    1
    The Main Injector is a powerful particle accelerator at Fermilab near Chicago. It is also the source of the world’s highest-energy neutrino beams that will be used in the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), an international flagship neutrino experiment involving researchers at Penn. (Image: Peter Ginter/Fermilab)

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

    In physics, antimatter is simply the “opposite” of matter. Antimatter particles have the same mass as their counterparts but with other properties flipped; for example, protons in matter have a positive charge while antiprotons are negative. Antimatter can be made in a lab using high-energy particle collisions, but these events almost always create equal parts of both antimatter and matter and, when two opposing particles come in contact with one another, both are destroyed in a powerful wave of pure energy.

    What puzzles physicists is that most everything in the universe, people included, is made of matter, not of equal parts matter and antimatter. While looking for insights that could explain what kept the universe from creating separate matter and antimatter galaxies, or exploding into nothingness, researchers found some evidence that the answer could be hiding in very common yet poorly understood particles known as neutrinos.

    A team of researchers led by Christopher Mauger published results from the first set of experiments that can help answer these and other questions in fundamental physics. As part of the Cryogenic Apparatus for Precision Tests of Argon Interactions with Neutrino (CAPTAIN) program, their results, published in Physical Review Letters, are an important first step towards building the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), an experimental facility for neutrino science and particle physics research.

    Particle colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, do experiments on quarks, one type of elementary particle.

    LHC

    CERN map


    CERN LHC Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan


    CERN LHC particles

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS

    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    These experiments found some evidence that explains matter-antimatter symmetry, but only part of it. Experiments on another type of elementary particle, leptons, hints that these particles could more fully explain this universal asymmetry. Previous research on neutrinos, a type of lepton, found unexpected patterns in the three neutrino “flavors,” results which physicists believe might also mean that their asymmetry might be larger than expected.

    2
    The outer structures (red) for two prototype DUNE detectors that are currently being evaluated at CERN. (Image: CERN)

    But the challenge with studying neutrinos is that they rarely interact with other particles; a single neutrino can pass through a light-year of lead without doing anything. Finding these rare interactions means that researchers need to study a large number of neutrinos for long periods of time. As an added challenge, the steady stream of muons produced by cosmic ray interactions in the upper atmosphere can make it difficult to spot the infrequent interactions that researchers are more interested in seeing.

    The solution? Go 5,000 feet underground, build four 10-kiloton detectors filled with liquid argon, and fire a beam of neutrinos made in a particle accelerator that’s 800 miles away. This is the eventual goal of DUNE, an international neutrino research facility run by Fermilab, a particle physics and accelerator laboratory near Chicago. Excavations for the detector, which will be installed at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota, are underway, and researchers are now busy with experiments before the first detector is installed in 2022.

    3
    Los Alamos National Lab staff member Charles Taylor prepares the Mini-CAPTAIN detector. (Image: Christopher Mauger)

    As the first publication to come from CAPTAIN, researchers addressed a key technical challenge: How to handle measurements on other particle interactions. For example, when a neutrino interacts with argon, the neutrino picks up a charge and kicks out neutrons. A large fraction of the energy from the interaction will go into the neutron, but it has not been possible to determine the amount. “We must understand argon-neutron interactions if we want to properly do the experiment that’s going to impact our understanding of matter and antimatter asymmetry,” says Mauger.

    He and his team built a 400-kilogram prototype of the DUNE detector, known as Mini-CAPTAIN, and collected data from a neutron beam at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Former Penn postdoc Jorge Chaves, who worked as the analysis leader for this research, says that the bulk of the work involved reconstructing the signals from the detector into meaningful insights about the properties that they are interested in studying further.

    Cern ProtoDune


    CERN Proto Dune

    As the first-ever dataset on neutron interactions in liquid argon at the energy ranges that will be used in DUNE, Chaves says that he is encouraged by the results obtained so far, even though they still need to get additional data. “Before, there was no measurement of this interaction cross-section, but now we have provided actual experimental results,” he says. “With more data of the same quality, we would be able to make an even more precise measurement.”

    In the near-term, the CAPTAIN team will focus on refining the methods developed for this paper as well as on running other experiments before DUNE begins collecting data in 2026. Once the project officially kicks off, researchers hope to be able to use this facility to help answer questions from the fields of particle physics, nuclear physics, and even astrophysics.

    Mauger considers the ongoing efforts of CAPTAIN and other projects as “Physics R&D,” work that will help researchers collect important measurements and study phenomena in a way never done before. The many lofty goals of DUNE will take decades to complete, but Mauger says that what they are trying to achieve makes the effort worthwhile.

    “Neutrinos are so hard to measure, sort of enigmatic, and there’s some kind of allure in trying to understand how they work. Studying this really interesting particle that’s all around us, and yet is so hard to measure, that could hold the key to understanding why we’re here at all, is exciting—and I get to do this for a living,” says Mauger.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Penn campus

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 1:36 pm on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Sensor used at CERN could help gravitational-wave hunters", Advanced Virgo detector, CERN, Compared to weight–spring seismometers the PLI can detect angular motion in addition to translational motion (up-and-down and side-to-side)., JINR- Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna Russia, PLI-Precision laser inclinometer, The PLI can pick up low-frequency motion with a very high precision.   

    From CERN: “Sensor used at CERN could help gravitational-wave hunters” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event


    From CERN

    30 August, 2019
    Ana Lopes

    A new seismic device developed by CERN and JINR is now being tested at the Advanced Virgo detector.

    2
    Aerial view of the Advanced Virgo detector, where a precision laser interferometer used at CERN was installed and is being tested (Image: Virgo collaboration)

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    It started with a relatively simple goal: create a prototype for a new kind of device to monitor the motion of underground structures at CERN. But the project – the result of a collaboration between CERN and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia – quickly evolved. The prototype turned into several full-blown devices that can potentially serve as early warning systems for earthquakes and can be used to monitor other seismic vibrations. What’s more, the devices, called precision laser inclinometers, can be used at CERN and beyond.

    2

    The researchers behind the project are now testing one device at the Advanced Virgo detector, which recently detected gravitational waves – tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time that were predicted by Einstein a century ago. If all goes to plan, this device could help gravitational-wave hunters minimize the noise that seismic events have on the waves’ signal.

    Unlike traditional seismometers, which detect ground motions through their effect on weights hanging from springs, the precision laser inclinometer (PLI) measures their effect on the surface of a liquid. The measurement is done by pointing laser light at a liquid and seeing how it is reflected. Compared to weight–spring seismometers, the PLI can detect angular motion in addition to translational motion (up-and-down and side-to-side), and it can pick up low-frequency motion with a very high precision.

    “The PLI is extremely sensitive, it can even detect the waves on Lake Geneva on windy days,” says principal investigator Beniamino Di Girolamo from CERN. “It can pick up seismic motion that has a frequency between 1 mHz and 12.4 Hz with a sensitivity of 2.4 × 10−5 μrad/Hz½,” explains co-principal investigator Julian Budagov from JINR. “This is equivalent to measuring a vertical displacement of 24 picometres (24 trillionth of a metre) over a distance of 1 metre,” adds co-principal investigator Mikhail Lyablin, also from JINR.

    The team assembled and tested the PLI prototype at JINR and at CERN’s TT1 tunnel. It performed so well that it showed potential to be a helpful early warning seismic system for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) and other machines and experiments. The Large Hadron Collider and its proton beams are extremely robust to seismic activity, but the HL-LHC will use narrower beams to increase the number of proton–proton collisions and as a result the potential for particle-physics discoveries. This means beams are more likely to go off centre in the event of a high-magnitude earthquake with an epicentre relatively close to CERN. PLIs located at several points along the machine could serve as early warning systems for such events.

    3
    The PLI (bottom two plots) picked up the same signals as devices already installed at Virgo (top two plots) for an earthquake in Northern Italy on 17 August (Image: Beniamino Di Girolamo/CERN)

    Given the PLI’s potential, the HL-LHC project has supported the team to construct several new PLIs. One PLI is already installed at the Garni Seismic Observatory in Armenia and another has been deployed with the support of CERN’s Knowledge Transfer group and Italy’s INFN institute to the European Gravitational Observatory, Italy, where Advanced Virgo is located. The Virgo PLI is the result of a collaboration that started after the APPEC conference in November 2018, triggered by the JINR Director-General and encouraged by CERN management. The collaboration went so smoothly that, less than a year after, the Virgo PLI was tested.

    The results from the first tests are encouraging. With just 15 minutes of data taken on 6 August, the PLI picked up the same signals as devices already installed at Virgo, and from that day onwards it started running continuously and detected several small-magnitude earthquakes. The Virgo and PLI teams are now setting up the flow of data from the PLI to the Virgo data system. This will make it easier to compare data from different seismic devices and to assess the PLI’s potential impact on Virgo’s operation and detection of gravitational waves. “Virgo and the two LIGO detectors in the US have recently began another search for gravitational waves, one that will reach deeper into the universe than previous searches,” says former Virgo spokesperson Fulvio Ricci from La Sapienza University, Rome. “We’re confident that the PLI can play a part in this important search,” he added.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries
    QuantumDiaries

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    CERN ATLAS Image Claudia Marcelloni CERN/ATLAS


    ALICE

    CERN/ALICE Detector


    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

     
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