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  • richardmitnick 9:17 pm on May 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How exoplanets could aid the search for dark matter", , , , , Dark Matter, ,   

    From DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (US): “How exoplanets could aid the search for dark matter” 

    From DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (US)

    May 12, 2021
    Nathan Collins

    Rebecca Leane and colleagues showed dark matter could heat planets in our galaxy to incredible temperatures. Here, she explains how that works and how it could pave the way for sensitive new searches for the mysterious substance.

    1
    Courtesy Rebecca Leane

    The hunt for Dark Matter is a tough one. Although it makes up around 85% of the matter in the universe, observations to date point to it being made up of elementary particles that likely interact only very weakly with ordinary matter. The only way we know that dark matter exists, in fact, is through puzzling observations that reveal dark matter’s gravitational influence on the way matter clumps together, on the way galaxies spin and so forth.

    So far, physicists have focused mainly on two broad ways to learn more: In ground-based experiments, they can try to capture the rare occasions on which dark matter interacts with ordinary matter, or, drawing on detailed observations of the sky, they can place limits on what kind of particles dark matter comprises. A third, somewhat more unusual approach is to search the heavens for signs that dark matter particles might be annihilating each other, creating gamma rays or other ordinary matter particles that then make their way to Earth.

    And then there is Rebecca Leane, a physicist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Leane, a postdoctoral fellow who will soon join SLAC’s fundamental physics group as a staff scientist, and Ohio State University (US) physicist Juri Smirnov proposed in Physical Review Letters that exoplanets – planets outside our solar system – could aid the search. According to their calculations, certain kinds of dark matter could drastically increase the temperatures of exoplanets near the center of our galaxy.

    Here, Leane talks about how dark matter could heat up exoplanets and how experiments already in the works could provide some of the best evidence to date on the existence and nature of dark matter.

    What happens when exoplanets interact with dark matter?

    We know we have exoplanets that are scattered throughout the galaxy, and we think there is a dark matter halo that extends throughout our galaxy.

    As exoplanets pass through the dark matter halo, the dark matter can scatter off them. If the dark matter particles scatter, they can lose energy and become gravitationally captured by the exoplanets.

    Over time, more and more dark matter particles can become captured, and once you start getting a lot of dark matter particles inside the exoplanet, they can start annihilating each other, if it’s the type of dark matter that annihilates. Then the energy from this annihilation can be absorbed by the planet, and if the energy is absorbed, the temperature increases.

    Where did the idea to look for exoplanet heating come from?

    Particularly recently, people had been speaking about how dark matter could heat up something called neutron stars, which are effectively just very dense balls predominantly made up of neutrons.

    It had been already pointed out that if you found a sufficiently close-by neutron star, you could use upcoming infrared telescopes, particularly the James Webb Space Telescope, to measure its temperature.

    So, people had already considered looking for dark matter heating in one object with this telescope.

    What we realized was that an exoplanet can be a thousand times bigger than a neutron star, and because they’re so big, you can see them from much farther away. And because you have lots of exoplanets between here and the center of the galaxy, we can potentially trace out the dark matter density in the galaxy.

    The giveaway would be you just see way too many planets that are way too hot, and their temperatures are correlated with dark matter density – they’re hotter in the center of the galaxy where there’s more dark matter, and their temperatures drop off farther out.

    What’s “way too hot”?

    It depends on the type of planet, but we could get temperatures in the ballpark of 1,000 kelvins [roughly 700°C or 1,300°F], compared to a prediction of only 200 kelvins [-73°C or -100°F] or so for planets without dark matter.

    Do the details of a planet’s geophysics matter?

    It does matter. For example, if you think about rocky planets like the Earth or Venus or Mars, they’re not ideal because they’re generally pretty small. Instead, the bigger the planet, the better a target it is. Bigger planets generally have more dark matter passing through them, so generally they get hotter, but you also want planets that are not naturally too hot themselves. For example, we think dark matter could be captured in the sun, but the sun’s already just so hot you’d never see any dark matter heat.

    The optimal sorts of candidates are jupiters or brown dwarfs. Jupiters are planets just like our Jupiter, and these are supposed to be pretty common. This also extends to super jupiters, which are like Jupiter but 10 times bigger. Brown dwarfs can be quite heavy, and if they’re quite old, they’re usually the size of Jupiter, which means they’re very dense, so they’re very good at capturing dark matter particles.

    What are the prospects for actually conducting this kind of search?

    The great thing is we can piggyback off other searches. Part of the James Webb Space Telescope mission is to measure the temperature of exoplanets, so this is already something people are going to do. And then there are lots of searches where people want to look at the center of the galaxy for other sorts of reasons.

    Another great thing about the search we’re proposing is that there’s supposed to be a lot of exoplanets out there, something like 300 billion in the galaxy. This means that there is just so much discovery potential for this search. We’re not going to find all of these exoplanets right away, and you have to find the right ones, but the Roman Telescope is expected to find at least a few hundred of the type of candidates that we want in the next few years. So that seems very promising.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.


    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.


    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The research was funded in part by the DOE Office of Science, the NASA Fermi Guest Investigator Program, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (US) originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is a United States Department of Energy National Laboratory operated by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and located in Menlo Park, California. It is the site of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, a 3.2 kilometer (2-mile) linear accelerator constructed in 1966 and shut down in the 2000s, which could accelerate electrons to energies of 50 GeV.

    Today SLAC research centers on a broad program in atomic and solid-state physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine using X-rays from synchrotron radiation and a free-electron laser as well as experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics, astroparticle physics, and cosmology.

    Founded in 1962 as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the facility is located on 172 hectares (426 acres) of Stanford University-owned land on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California—just west of the University’s main campus. The main accelerator is 3.2 kilometers (2 mi) long—the longest linear accelerator in the world—and has been operational since 1966.

    Research at SLAC has produced three Nobel Prizes in Physics

    1976: The charm quark—see J/ψ meson
    1990: Quark structure inside protons and neutrons
    1995: The tau lepton

    SLAC’s meeting facilities also provided a venue for the Homebrew Computer Club and other pioneers of the home computer revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    In 1984 the laboratory was named an ASME National Historic Engineering Landmark and an IEEE Milestone.

    SLAC developed and, in December 1991, began hosting the first World Wide Web server outside of Europe.

    In the early-to-mid 1990s, the Stanford Linear Collider (SLC) investigated the properties of the Z boson using the Stanford Large Detector.

    As of 2005, SLAC employed over 1,000 people, some 150 of whom were physicists with doctorate degrees, and served over 3,000 visiting researchers yearly, operating particle accelerators for high-energy physics and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) for synchrotron light radiation research, which was “indispensable” in the research leading to the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Stanford Professor Roger D. Kornberg.

    In October 2008, the Department of Energy announced that the center’s name would be changed to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The reasons given include a better representation of the new direction of the lab and the ability to trademark the laboratory’s name. Stanford University had legally opposed the Department of Energy’s attempt to trademark “Stanford Linear Accelerator Center”.

    In March 2009, it was announced that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory was to receive $68.3 million in Recovery Act Funding to be disbursed by Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    In October 2016, Bits and Watts launched as a collaboration between SLAC and Stanford University to design “better, greener electric grids”. SLAC later pulled out over concerns about an industry partner, the state-owned Chinese electric utility.

    Accelerator

    The main accelerator was an RF linear accelerator that accelerated electrons and positrons up to 50 GeV. At 3.2 km (2.0 mi) long, the accelerator was the longest linear accelerator in the world, and was claimed to be “the world’s most straight object.” until 2017 when the European x-ray free electron laser opened. The main accelerator is buried 9 m (30 ft) below ground and passes underneath Interstate Highway 280. The above-ground klystron gallery atop the beamline, was the longest building in the United States until the LIGO project’s twin interferometers were completed in 1999. It is easily distinguishable from the air and is marked as a visual waypoint on aeronautical charts.

    A portion of the original linear accelerator is now part of the Linac Coherent Light Source [below].

    Stanford Linear Collider

    The Stanford Linear Collider was a linear accelerator that collided electrons and positrons at SLAC. The center of mass energy was about 90 GeV, equal to the mass of the Z boson, which the accelerator was designed to study. Grad student Barrett D. Milliken discovered the first Z event on 12 April 1989 while poring over the previous day’s computer data from the Mark II detector. The bulk of the data was collected by the SLAC Large Detector, which came online in 1991. Although largely overshadowed by the Large Electron–Positron Collider at CERN, which began running in 1989, the highly polarized electron beam at SLC (close to 80%) made certain unique measurements possible, such as parity violation in Z Boson-b quark coupling.

    Presently no beam enters the south and north arcs in the machine, which leads to the Final Focus, therefore this section is mothballed to run beam into the PEP2 section from the beam switchyard.

    The SLAC Large Detector (SLD) was the main detector for the Stanford Linear Collider. It was designed primarily to detect Z bosons produced by the accelerator’s electron-positron collisions. Built in 1991, the SLD operated from 1992 to 1998.

    PEP

    PEP (Positron-Electron Project) began operation in 1980, with center-of-mass energies up to 29 GeV. At its apex, PEP had five large particle detectors in operation, as well as a sixth smaller detector. About 300 researchers made used of PEP. PEP stopped operating in 1990, and PEP-II began construction in 1994.

    PEP-II

    From 1999 to 2008, the main purpose of the linear accelerator was to inject electrons and positrons into the PEP-II accelerator, an electron-positron collider with a pair of storage rings 2.2 km (1.4 mi) in circumference. PEP-II was host to the BaBar experiment, one of the so-called B-Factory experiments studying charge-parity symmetry.

    Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

    SLAC plays a primary role in the mission and operation of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched in August 2008. The principal scientific objectives of this mission are:

    To understand the mechanisms of particle acceleration in AGNs, pulsars, and SNRs.
    To resolve the gamma-ray sky: unidentified sources and diffuse emission.
    To determine the high-energy behavior of gamma-ray bursts and transients.
    To probe dark matter and fundamental physics.


    KIPAC

    The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) is partially housed on the grounds of SLAC, in addition to its presence on the main Stanford campus.

    [/caption]

    The Stanford PULSE Institute (PULSE) is a Stanford Independent Laboratory located in the Central Laboratory at SLAC. PULSE was created by Stanford in 2005 to help Stanford faculty and SLAC scientists develop ultrafast x-ray research at LCLS.

    The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)[below] is a free electron laser facility located at SLAC. The LCLS is partially a reconstruction of the last 1/3 of the original linear accelerator at SLAC, and can deliver extremely intense x-ray radiation for research in a number of areas. It achieved first lasing in April 2009.

    The laser produces hard X-rays, 10^9 times the relative brightness of traditional synchrotron sources and is the most powerful x-ray source in the world. LCLS enables a variety of new experiments and provides enhancements for existing experimental methods. Often, x-rays are used to take “snapshots” of objects at the atomic level before obliterating samples. The laser’s wavelength, ranging from 6.2 to 0.13 nm (200 to 9500 electron volts (eV)) is similar to the width of an atom, providing extremely detailed information that was previously unattainable. Additionally, the laser is capable of capturing images with a “shutter speed” measured in femtoseconds, or million-billionths of a second, necessary because the intensity of the beam is often high enough so that the sample explodes on the femtosecond timescale.

    The LCLS-II [below] project is to provide a major upgrade to LCLS by adding two new X-ray laser beams. The new system will utilize the 500 m (1,600 ft) of existing tunnel to add a new superconducting accelerator at 4 GeV and two new sets of undulators that will increase the available energy range of LCLS. The advancement from the discoveries using this new capabilities may include new drugs, next-generation computers, and new materials.

    FACET

    In 2012, the first two-thirds (~2 km) of the original SLAC LINAC were recommissioned for a new user facility, the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET). This facility was capable of delivering 20 GeV, 3 nC electron (and positron) beams with short bunch lengths and small spot sizes, ideal for beam-driven plasma acceleration studies. The facility ended operations in 2016 for the constructions of LCLS-II which will occupy the first third of the SLAC LINAC. The FACET-II project will re-establish electron and positron beams in the middle third of the LINAC for the continuation of beam-driven plasma acceleration studies in 2019.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US) FACET-II upgrading its Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET) – a test bed for new technologies that could revolutionize the way we build particle accelerators.

    The Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator (NLCTA) is a 60-120 MeV high-brightness electron beam linear accelerator used for experiments on advanced beam manipulation and acceleration techniques. It is located at SLAC’s end station B

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US) LCLS-II Undulators The Linac Coherent Light Source’s new undulators each use an intricately tuned series of magnets to convert electron energy into intense bursts of X-rays. The “soft” X-ray undulator stretches for 100 meters on the left side of this hall, with the “hard” x-ray undulator on the right. Credit: Alberto Gamazo/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US).

    SSRL and LCLS are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

    Stanford University (US)

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members.

    Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in Stanford, California. Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford is consistently ranked as among the most prestigious and top universities in the world by major education publications. It is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Leland Stanford was a U.S. senator and former governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. The school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates’ entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.

    The university is organized around seven schools: three schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate level as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. All schools are on the same campus. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. It has gained 126 NCAA team championships, and Stanford has won the NACDA Directors’ Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals.

    As of October 2020, 84 Nobel laureates, 28 Turing Award laureates, and eight Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, roughly equivalent to the 7th largest economy in the world (as of 2020). Stanford is the alma mater of one president of the United States (Herbert Hoover), 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

    Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford’s previous Palo Alto farm.

    Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically Cornell University. Stanford opened being called the “Cornell of the West” in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates (either professors, alumni, or both) including its first president, David Starr Jordan, and second president, John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible, nonsectarian, and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.

    Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I. The Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US)(originally named the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), established in 1962, performs research in particle physics.

    Land

    Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km^2) campus, one of the largest in the United States. It is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.

    Stanford’s main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land (such as the Stanford Shopping Center and the Stanford Research Park) is within the city limits of Palo Alto. The campus also includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County (including the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve), as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park (Stanford Hills neighborhood), Woodside, and Portola Valley.

    Non-central campus

    Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.

    On the founding grant:

    Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy. It contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles (3.2 km) on 426 acres (172 ha) of land.
    Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university also has its own golf course and a seasonal lake (Lake Lagunita, actually an irrigation reservoir), both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander. As of 2012 Lake Lagunita was often dry and the university had no plans to artificially fill it.

    Off the founding grant:

    Hopkins Marine Station, in Pacific Grove, California, is a marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892.
    Study abroad locations: unlike typical study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a “mini-Stanford”.

    Redwood City campus for many of the university’s administrative offices located in Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.

    The Bass Center in Washington, DC provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.

    China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with Beijing University [北京大学](CN) (Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University(CN) (KIAA-PKU).

    Administration and organization

    Stanford is a private, non-profit university that is administered as a corporate trust governed by a privately appointed board of trustees with a maximum membership of 38. Trustees serve five-year terms (not more than two consecutive terms) and meet five times annually.[83] A new trustee is chosen by the current trustees by ballot. The Stanford trustees also oversee the Stanford Research Park, the Stanford Shopping Center, the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University Medical Center, and many associated medical facilities (including the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital).

    The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report. Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.

    As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of Humanities and Sciences (27 departments), Engineering (nine departments), and Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of Law, Medicine, Education and Business have graduate programs only. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators, but most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 55 elected representatives of the faculty.

    The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a ticket by the entire student body.

    Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.

    Endowment and donations

    The university’s endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $27.7 billion as of August 31, 2019. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21.8% of university expenses in the 2019 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only Harvard University(US), the University of Texas System(US), and Yale University(US) had larger endowments than Stanford.

    In 2006, President John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised a total of $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in “Seeking Solutions” to global problems, $1.61 billion for “Educating Leaders” by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for “Foundation of Excellence” aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; a new art museum; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.

    Research centers and institutes

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US)
    Stanford Research Institute, a center of innovation to support economic development in the region.
    Hoover Institution, a conservative American public policy institution and research institution that promotes personal and economic liberty, free enterprise, and limited government.
    Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, a multidisciplinary design school in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute of University of Potsdam [Universität Potsdam](DE) that integrates product design, engineering, and business management education).
    Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project.
    John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists
    Center for Ocean Solutions
    Together with UC Berkeley(US) and UC San Francisco(US), Stanford is part of the Biohub, a new medical science research center founded in 2016 by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician Priscilla Chan.

    Discoveries and innovation

    Natural sciences

    Biological synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) – Arthur Kornberg synthesized DNA material and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for his work at Stanford.
    First Transgenic organism – Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer were the first scientists to transplant genes from one living organism to another, a fundamental discovery for genetic engineering. Thousands of products have been developed on the basis of their work, including human growth hormone and hepatitis B vaccine.
    Laser – Arthur Leonard Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for his work on lasers.
    Nuclear magnetic resonance – Felix Bloch developed new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements, which are the underlying principles of the MRI.

    Computer and applied sciences

    ARPANETStanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes.

    Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken. Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.

    Frequency modulation synthesis – John Chowning of the Music department invented the FM music synthesis algorithm in 1967, and Stanford later licensed it to Yamaha Corporation.

    Google – Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford. They were working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). The SDLP’s goal was “to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal digital library” and it was funded through the National Science Foundation, among other federal agencies.

    Klystron tube – invented by the brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian at Stanford. Their prototype was completed and demonstrated successfully on August 30, 1937. Upon publication in 1939, news of the klystron immediately influenced the work of U.S. and UK researchers working on radar equipment.

    RISCARPA funded VLSI project of microprocessor design. Stanford and UC Berkeley are most associated with the popularization of this concept. The Stanford MIPS would go on to be commercialized as the successful MIPS architecture, while Berkeley RISC gave its name to the entire concept, commercialized as the SPARC. Another success from this era were IBM’s efforts that eventually led to the IBM POWER instruction set architecture, PowerPC, and Power ISA. As these projects matured, a wide variety of similar designs flourished in the late 1980s and especially the early 1990s, representing a major force in the Unix workstation market as well as embedded processors in laser printers, routers and similar products.
    SUN workstation – Andy Bechtolsheim designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation, which led to Sun Microsystems.

    Businesses and entrepreneurship

    Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies; it is often held up as a model for technology transfer. Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.

    The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often funded, to launch their own companies.

    Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world.

    Some companies closely associated with Stanford and their connections include:

    Hewlett-Packard, 1939, co-founders William R. Hewlett (B.S, PhD) and David Packard (M.S).
    Silicon Graphics, 1981, co-founders James H. Clark (Associate Professor) and several of his grad students.
    Sun Microsystems, 1982, co-founders Vinod Khosla (M.B.A), Andy Bechtolsheim (PhD) and Scott McNealy (M.B.A).
    Cisco, 1984, founders Leonard Bosack (M.S) and Sandy Lerner (M.S) who were in charge of Stanford Computer Science and Graduate School of Business computer operations groups respectively when the hardware was developed.[163]
    Yahoo!, 1994, co-founders Jerry Yang (B.S, M.S) and David Filo (M.S).
    Google, 1998, co-founders Larry Page (M.S) and Sergey Brin (M.S).
    LinkedIn, 2002, co-founders Reid Hoffman (B.S), Konstantin Guericke (B.S, M.S), Eric Lee (B.S), and Alan Liu (B.S).
    Instagram, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom (B.S) and Mike Krieger (B.S).
    Snapchat, 2011, co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy (B.S).
    Coursera, 2012, co-founders Andrew Ng (Associate Professor) and Daphne Koller (Professor, PhD).

    Student body

    Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women comprised 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.

    Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master’s degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university’s coterminal degree (or “coterm”) program, which allows students to earn a master’s degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.

    As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.

    Athletics

    As of 2016 Stanford had 16 male varsity sports and 20 female varsity sports, 19 club sports and about 27 intramural sports. In 1930, following a unanimous vote by the Executive Committee for the Associated Students, the athletic department adopted the mascot “Indian.” The Indian symbol and name were dropped by President Richard Lyman in 1972, after objections from Native American students and a vote by the student senate. The sports teams are now officially referred to as the “Stanford Cardinal,” referring to the deep red color, not the cardinal bird. Stanford is a member of the Pac-12 Conference in most sports, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in several other sports, and the America East Conference in field hockey with the participation in the inter-collegiate NCAA’s Division I FBS.

    Its traditional sports rival is the University of California, Berkeley, the neighbor to the north in the East Bay. The winner of the annual “Big Game” between the Cal and Cardinal football teams gains custody of the Stanford Axe.

    Stanford has had at least one NCAA team champion every year since the 1976–77 school year and has earned 126 NCAA national team titles since its establishment, the most among universities, and Stanford has won 522 individual national championships, the most by any university. Stanford has won the award for the top-ranked Division 1 athletic program—the NACDA Directors’ Cup, formerly known as the Sears Cup—annually for the past twenty-four straight years. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1912, winning 270 Olympic medals total, 139 of them gold. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 2016 Summer Olympics, Stanford won more Olympic medals than any other university in the United States. Stanford athletes won 16 medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics (12 gold, two silver and two bronze), and 27 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    Traditions

    The unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is Die Luft der Freiheit weht. Translated from the German language, this quotation from Ulrich von Hutten means, “The wind of freedom blows.” The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official.
    Hail, Stanford, Hail! is the Stanford Hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various University singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in Economics and later became associate professor of Sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
    “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman”: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the degree of “Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman” was created to recognize individuals who give rare and extraordinary service to the University. Technically, this degree is awarded by the Stanford Associates, a voluntary group that is part of the university’s alumni association. As Stanford’s highest honor, it is not conferred at prescribed intervals, but only when appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include Herbert Hoover, Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, Lucile Packard, and John Gardner.
    Big Game events: The events in the week leading up to the Big Game vs. UC Berkeley, including Gaieties (a musical written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society).
    “Viennese Ball”: a formal ball with waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed Stanford in Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
    “Full Moon on the Quad”: An annual event at Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the Junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
    “Band Run”: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at Main Quad.
    “Mausoleum Party”: An annual Halloween Party at the Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the “Mausoleum Party” was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
    Former campus traditions include the “Big Game bonfire” on Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered salamanders in the lake bed.

    Award laureates and scholars

    Stanford’s current community of scholars includes:

    19 Nobel Prize laureates (as of October 2020, 85 affiliates in total)
    171 members of the National Academy of Sciences
    109 members of National Academy of Engineering
    76 members of National Academy of Medicine
    288 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    19 recipients of the National Medal of Science
    1 recipient of the National Medal of Technology
    4 recipients of the National Humanities Medal
    49 members of American Philosophical Society
    56 fellows of the American Physics Society (since 1995)
    4 Pulitzer Prize winners
    31 MacArthur Fellows
    4 Wolf Foundation Prize winners
    2 ACL Lifetime Achievement Award winners
    14 AAAI fellows
    2 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 2:38 pm on April 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers Release New All-Sky Map of the Milky Way's Outer Reaches", , , , , Dark Matter, , ,   

    From Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US): “Astronomers Release New All-Sky Map of the Milky Way’s Outer Reaches” 

    From Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US)

    04.21.21

    1
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US)/European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/JPL-Caltech (US)/Conroy et. al. 2021.

    Astronomers using data from NASA and the ESA telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside the swirling spiral arms that form the Milky Way’s recognizable central disk and is sparsely populated with stars.

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

    Though the halo may appear mostly empty, it is also predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe.

    The data for the new map comes from ESA’s Gaia mission and NASA’s Near Earth Object Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or NEOWISE, which operated from 2009 to 2013 under the moniker WISE.

    The study, led by astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and published today in Nature, makes use of data collected by the spacecraft between 2009 and 2018.

    The new map reveals how a small galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) – so-named because it is the larger of two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way – has sailed through the Milky Way’s galactic halo like a ship through water, its gravity creating a wake in the stars behind it.

    The LMC is located about 160,000 light-years from Earth, and is less than one quarter the mass of the Milky Way. Though the inner portions of the halo have been mapped with a high level of accuracy, this is the first map to provide a similar picture of the halo’s outer regions, where the wake is found – about 200,000 light years to 325,000 light years from the galactic center. Previous studies have hinted at the wake’s existence, but the all-sky map confirms its presence and offers a detailed view of its shape, size, and location.


    Simulation of Dark Matter in the Milky Way Halo.

    This disturbance in the halo also provides astronomers with an opportunity to study something they can’t observe directly: dark matter. Though it doesn’t emit, reflect, or absorb light, the gravitational influence of dark matter has been observed across the universe. It is thought to create a scaffolding on which galaxies are built, such that without it, galaxies would fly apart as they spin. Dark matter is estimated to be five times more common in the universe than all the matter that emits or interacts with light, from stars to planets to gas clouds.

    While there are multiple theories about the nature of dark matter, all of them indicate that it should be present in the Milky Way’s halo. If that’s the case, then as the LMC sails through this region, it should leave a wake in the dark matter as well. The wake observed in the new star map is thought to be the outline of this dark matter wake; the stars are like leaves on the surface of this invisible ocean, their position shifting with the dark matter.

    The interaction between the dark matter and the Large Magellanic Cloud has big implications for our galaxy. As the LMC orbits the Milky Way, the dark matter’s gravity drags on the LMC and slows it down. This will cause the dwarf galaxy’s orbit to get smaller and smaller, until the galaxy finally collides with the Milky Way in about 2 billion years. These types of mergers might be a key driver in the growth of massive galaxies across the universe. In fact, astronomers think the Milky Way merged with another small galaxy about 10 billion years ago.

    “This robbing of a smaller galaxy’s energy is not only why the LMC is merging with the Milky Way but also why all galaxy mergers happen,” said Rohan Naidu, a graduate student in astronomy at Harvard University (US) and a co-author of the new paper. “The wake in our map is a really neat confirmation that our basic picture for how galaxies merge is on point!”

    A Rare Opportunity

    The authors of the paper also think the new map – along with additional data and theoretical analyses – may provide a test for different theories about the nature of dark matter, such as whether it consists of particles, like regular matter, and what the properties of those particles are.

    “You can imagine that the wake behind a boat will be different if the boat is sailing through water or through honey,” said study co-author Charlie Conroy, a professor at Harvard University and astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics. “In this case, the properties of the wake are determined by which dark matter theory we apply.”

    Conroy led the team that mapped the positions of over 1,300 stars in the halo. The challenge arose in trying to measure the exact distance from Earth to a large portion of those stars: It’s often impossible to figure out if a star is faint and close by or bright and far away. The team used data from ESA’s Gaia mission, which provides the location of many stars in the sky but cannot measure distances to the stars in the Milky Way’s outer regions.

    After identifying stars most likely located in the halo (because they were not obviously inside our galaxy or in the LMC), the team looked for stars that belong to a class of giant stars that have a specific light “signature” detectable by NEOWISE. Knowing the basic properties of the selected stars enabled the team to figure out their distance from Earth and create the new map. It charts a region starting about 200,000 light-years from the Milky Way’s center, or about where the LMC’s wake was predicted to begin, and extends about 125,000 light-years beyond that.

    Conroy and his colleagues were inspired to hunt for LMC’s wake after learning about a team of astrophysicists at the University of Arizona (US) in Tucson who make computer models predicting what dark matter in the galactic halo should look like. The two groups worked together on the new study. One of the models by the Arizona team, which is in the new study, predicted the general structure and specific location of the star wake revealed in the new map. Once the data had confirmed that the model was correct, the team was able to confirm what other investigations have also hinted at: that the LMC is likely on its first orbit around the Milky Way. If the smaller galaxy had already made multiple orbits, the shape and location of the wake would be significantly different from what has been observed. Astronomers think the LMC formed in the same environment as the Milky Way and another nearby galaxy, Messier 31, and was on a very long first orbit around our galaxy (about 13 billion years). Its next orbit will be much shorter due to its interaction with the Milky Way.

    Andromeda Galaxy Messier 31 with Messier 32 -a satellite galaxy. Credit: Terry Hancock.

    “Confirming our theoretical prediction with observational data tells us that our understanding of the interaction between these two galaxies, including the dark matter, is on the right track,” said University of Arizona doctoral student in astronomy Nicolás Garavito-Camargo, who led work on the model used in the paper.

    The new map also provides astronomers with a rare opportunity to test the properties of the dark matter (the notional water or honey) in our own galaxy. In the new study, Garavito-Camargo and colleagues used a popular dark matter theory called cold dark matter that fits the observed star map relatively well.

    Now the University of Arizona team is running simulations that use different dark matter theories, to see which one best matches the wake observed in the stars.

    “It’s a really special set of circumstances that came together to create this scenario that lets us test our dark matter theories,” said Gurtina Besla, a co-author of the study and an associate professor at the University of Arizona. “But we can only realize that test with the combination of this new map and the dark matter simulations that we built.”

    Launched in 2009, the WISE spacecraft was placed into hibernation in 2011 after completing its primary mission. In Sept. 2013, NASA reactivated the spacecraft with the primary goal of scanning for near-Earth objects, or NEOs, and the mission and spacecraft were renamed NEOWISE. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California managed and operated WISE for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The mission was selected competitively under NASA’s Explorers Program managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NEOWISE is a project of JPL, a division of Caltech, and the University of Arizona, supported by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.


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

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US) combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory(US) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(US) under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(US) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution(US), founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory, founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University(US), and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

    Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the CfA leads a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, Earth and space sciences, as well as science education. The CfA either leads or participates in the development and operations of more than fifteen ground- and space-based astronomical research observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum, including the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory(US), one of NASA’s Great Observatories.

    GMT

    Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) NOIRLab(US) NOAO(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    Hosting more than 850 scientists, engineers, and support staff, the CfA is among the largest astronomical research institutes in the world. Its projects have included Nobel Prize-winning advances in cosmology and high energy astrophysics, the discovery of many exoplanets, and the first image of a black hole. The CfA also serves a major role in the global astrophysics research community: the CfA’s Astrophysics Data System(ADS)(US), for example, has been universally adopted as the world’s online database of astronomy and physics papers. Known for most of its history as the “Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics”, the CfA rebranded in 2018 to its current name in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The CfA’s current Director (since 2004) is Charles R. Alcock, who succeeds Irwin I. Shapiro (Director from 1982 to 2004) and George B. Field (Director from 1973 to 1982).

    The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is not formally an independent legal organization, but rather an institutional entity operated under a Memorandum of Understanding between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. This collaboration was formalized on July 1, 1973, with the goal of coordinating the related research activities of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under the leadership of a single Director, and housed within the same complex of buildings on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The CfA’s history is therefore also that of the two fully independent organizations that comprise it. With a combined lifetime of more than 300 years, HCO and SAO have been host to major milestones in astronomical history that predate the CfA’s founding.

    History of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)

    Samuel Pierpont Langley, the third Secretary of the Smithsonian, founded the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on the south yard of the Smithsonian Castle (on the U.S. National Mall) on March 1,1890. The Astrophysical Observatory’s initial, primary purpose was to “record the amount and character of the Sun’s heat”. Charles Greeley Abbot was named SAO’s first director, and the observatory operated solar telescopes to take daily measurements of the Sun’s intensity in different regions of the optical electromagnetic spectrum. In doing so, the observatory enabled Abbot to make critical refinements to the Solar constant, as well as to serendipitously discover Solar variability. It is likely that SAO’s early history as a solar observatory was part of the inspiration behind the Smithsonian’s “sunburst” logo, designed in 1965 by Crimilda Pontes.

    In 1955, the scientific headquarters of SAO moved from Washington, D.C. to Cambridge, Massachusetts to affiliate with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO). Fred Lawrence Whipple, then the chairman of the Harvard Astronomy Department, was named the new director of SAO. The collaborative relationship between SAO and HCO therefore predates the official creation of the CfA by 18 years. SAO’s move to Harvard’s campus also resulted in a rapid expansion of its research program. Following the launch of Sputnik (the world’s first human-made satellite) in 1957, SAO accepted a national challenge to create a worldwide satellite-tracking network, collaborating with the United States Air Force on Project Space Track.

    With the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) the following year and throughout the space race, SAO led major efforts in the development of orbiting observatories and large ground-based telescopes, laboratory and theoretical astrophysics, as well as the application of computers to astrophysical problems.

    History of Harvard College Observatory (HCO)

    Partly in response to renewed public interest in astronomy following the 1835 return of Halley’s Comet, the Harvard College Observatory was founded in 1839, when the Harvard Corporation appointed William Cranch Bond as an “Astronomical Observer to the University”. For its first four years of operation, the observatory was situated at the Dana-Palmer House (where Bond also resided) near Harvard Yard, and consisted of little more than three small telescopes and an astronomical clock. In his 1840 book recounting the history of the college, then Harvard President Josiah Quincy III noted that “…there is wanted a reflecting telescope equatorially mounted…”. This telescope, the 15-inch “Great Refractor”, opened seven years later (in 1847) at the top of Observatory Hill in Cambridge (where it still exists today, housed in the oldest of the CfA’s complex of buildings). The telescope was the largest in the United States from 1847 until 1867. William Bond and pioneer photographer John Adams Whipple used the Great Refractor to produce the first clear Daguerrotypes of the Moon (winning them an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London). Bond and his son, George Phillips Bond (the second Director of HCO), used it to discover Saturn’s 8th moon, Hyperion (which was also independently discovered by William Lassell).

    Under the directorship of Edward Charles Pickering from 1877 to 1919, the observatory became the world’s major producer of stellar spectra and magnitudes, established an observing station in Peru, and applied mass-production methods to the analysis of data. It was during this time that HCO became host to a series of major discoveries in astronomical history, powered by the Observatory’s so-called “Computers” (women hired by Pickering as skilled workers to process astronomical data). These “Computers” included Williamina Fleming; Annie Jump Cannon; Henrietta Swan Leavitt; Florence Cushman; and Antonia Maury, all widely recognized today as major figures in scientific history. Henrietta Swan Leavitt, for example, discovered the so-called period-luminosity relation for Classical Cepheid variable stars, establishing the first major “standard candle” with which to measure the distance to galaxies. Now called “Leavitt’s Law”, the discovery is regarded as one of the most foundational and important in the history of astronomy; astronomers like Edwin Hubble, for example, would later use Leavitt’s Law to establish that the Universe is expanding, the primary piece of evidence for the Big Bang model.

    Upon Pickering’s retirement in 1921, the Directorship of HCO fell to Harlow Shapley (a major participant in the so-called “Great Debate” of 1920). This era of the observatory was made famous by the work of Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin, who became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College (a short walk from the Observatory). Payne-Gapochkin’s 1925 thesis proposed that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, an idea thought ridiculous at the time. Between Shapley’s tenure and the formation of the CfA, the observatory was directed by Donald H. Menzel and then Leo Goldberg, both of whom maintained widely recognized programs in solar and stellar astrophysics. Menzel played a major role in encouraging the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to move to Cambridge and collaborate more closely with HCO.

    Joint history as the Center for Astrophysics (CfA)

    The collaborative foundation for what would ultimately give rise to the Center for Astrophysics began with SAO’s move to Cambridge in 1955. Fred Whipple, who was already chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department (housed within HCO since 1931), was named SAO’s new director at the start of this new era; an early test of the model for a unified Directorship across HCO and SAO. The following 18 years would see the two independent entities merge ever closer together, operating effectively (but informally) as one large research center.

    This joint relationship was formalized as the new Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on July 1, 1973. George B. Field, then affiliated with UC Berkeley(US), was appointed as its first Director. That same year, a new astronomical journal, the CfA Preprint Series was created, and a CfA/SAO instrument flying aboard Skylab discovered coronal holes on the Sun. The founding of the CfA also coincided with the birth of X-ray astronomy as a new, major field that was largely dominated by CfA scientists in its early years. Riccardo Giacconi, regarded as the “father of X-ray astronomy”, founded the High Energy Astrophysics Division within the new CfA by moving most of his research group (then at American Sciences and Engineering) to SAO in 1973. That group would later go on to launch the Einstein Observatory (the first imaging X-ray telescope) in 1976, and ultimately lead the proposals and development of what would become the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra, the second of NASA’s Great Observatories and still the most powerful X-ray telescope in history, continues operations today as part of the CfA’s Chandra X-ray Center. Giacconi would later win the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his foundational work in X-ray astronomy.

    Shortly after the launch of the Einstein Observatory, the CfA’s Steven Weinberg won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on electroweak unification. The following decade saw the start of the landmark CfA Redshift Survey (the first attempt to map the large scale structure of the Universe), as well as the release of the Field Report, a highly influential Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey chaired by the outgoing CfA Director George Field. He would be replaced in 1982 by Irwin Shapiro, who during his tenure as Director (1982 to 2004) oversaw the expansion of the CfA’s observing facilities around the world, including the newly named Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(US), the Infrared Telescope (IRT) aboard the Space Shuttle, the 6.5-meter Multiple Mirror Telescope(US), the NASA SOHO satellite(US), and the launch of Chandra [above] in 1999.

    CfA Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(US) , located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    Multi-Mirror Telescope

    the 6.5-meter Multiple Mirror Telescope(US) at Arizona Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at the summit of Mount Hopkins near Tucson, Arizona, USA, Altitude 2,616 m (8,583 ft) n the Santa Rita Mountains.

    CfA-led discoveries throughout this period include canonical work on Supernova 1987A, the “CfA2 Great Wall” (then the largest known coherent structure in the Universe), the best-yet evidence for supermassive black holes, and the first convincing evidence for an extrasolar planet.

    The 1990s also saw the CfA unwittingly play a major role in the history of computer science and the internet: in 1990, SAO developed SAOImage, one of the world’s first X11-based applications made publicly available (its successor, DS9, remains the most widely used astronomical FITS image viewer worldwide). During this time, scientists at the CfA also began work on what would become the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), one of the world’s first online databases of research papers. By 1993, the ADS was running the first routine transatlantic queries between databases, a foundational aspect of the internet today.

    The CfA Today

    Research at the CfA

    Charles Alcock, known for a number of major works related to massive compact halo objects, was named the third director of the CfA in 2004. Today Alcock overseas one of the largest and most productive astronomical institutes in the world, with more than 850 staff and an annual budget in excess of $100M. The Harvard Department of Astronomy, housed within the CfA, maintains a continual complement of approximately 60 Ph.D. students, more than 100 postdoctoral researchers, and roughly 25 undergraduate majors in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard College. SAO, meanwhile, hosts a long-running and highly rated REU Summer Intern program as well as many visiting graduate students. The CfA estimates that roughly 10% of the professional astrophysics community in the United States spent at least a portion of their career or education there.

    The CfA is either a lead or major partner in the operations of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, the Submillimeter Array, MMT Observatory, the South Pole Telescope, VERITAS, and a number of other smaller ground-based telescopes. The CfA’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan includes the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope as a driving priority for the Center.

    CfA Submillimeter Array, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,080 m (13,390 ft).

    Observatory; the University of Colorado, Boulder; McGill(CA) University, The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: University of California, Davis; Ludwig Maximilians Universität München(DE); Argonne National Laboratory; and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation(US).[/caption]

    Along with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the CfA plays a central role in a number of space-based observing facilities, including the recently launched Parker Solar Probe, Kepler Space Telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and HINODE. The CfA, via the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, recently played a major role in the Lynx X-ray Observatory, a NASA-Funded Large Mission Concept Study commissioned as part of the 2020 Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (“Astro2020”). If launched, Lynx would be the most powerful X-ray observatory constructed to date, enabling order-of-magnitude advances in capability over Chandra.

    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker.

    NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory.

    JAXA/NASA HINODE spacecraft.

    SAO is one of the 13 stakeholder institutes for the Event Horizon Telescope Board, and the CfA hosts its Array Operations Center. In 2019, the project revealed the first direct image of a black hole.

    Messier 87*, The first image of the event horizon of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via JPL/ Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released on 10 April 2019.

    The result is widely regarded as a triumph not only of observational radio astronomy, but of its intersection with theoretical astrophysics. Union of the observational and theoretical subfields of astrophysics has been a major focus of the CfA since its founding.

    In 2018, the CfA rebranded, changing its official name to the “Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian” in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the CfA receives roughly 70% of its funding from NASA, 22% from Smithsonian federal funds, and 4% from the National Science Foundation. The remaining 4% comes from contributors including the United States Department of Energy, the Annenberg Foundation, as well as other gifts and endowments.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:03 pm on April 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Sensitive qubit-based technique to accelerate search for dark matter", , , , , Dark Matter, , ,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and From University of Chicago : “Sensitive qubit-based technique to accelerate search for dark matter” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    and

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    April 12, 2021
    Steve Koppes

    Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Chicago (US) have demonstrated a new technique based on quantum technology that will advance the search for dark matter, the invisible stuff that accounts for 85% of all matter in the universe.

    The collaboration has developed superconducting versions of devices called qubits that will be able to detect the weak signals emitted by two kinds of hypothetical subatomic particles that could reside in an invisible but ubiquitous part of the universe called the dark sector. One is called an axion, a leading dark matter candidate. The other is called a hidden photon, a particle that possibly interacts with the photons — particles of light — of the visible universe.

    1
    A qubit (the small rectangle) is set onto a sapphire substrate, which sits upon a fingertip to show scale. Fermilab and University of Chicago scientists used a qubit similar to this one to develop a technique that will speed up the search for axion dark matter and hidden photons. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

    The technique now demonstrated by the Fermilab-University of Chicago team is 36 times more sensitive to the particles than the quantum limit, a benchmark of conventional quantum measurements, enabling searches for dark matter to proceed 1,000 times faster.

    Using light to detect dark particles

    In the technique, the qubits are designed to detect the photons that would be produced when dark matter particles interact with an electromagnetic field. The benefit of using qubits as detectors instead of the conventional technology lies in the way they interact with photons.

    The key to the technique’s sensitivity is its ability to eliminate false-positive readings. Conventional techniques destroy the photons they measure. But the new technique can probe the photon without destroying it. Making repeated measurements of the same photon, over the course of its 500-microsecond lifetime, provides insurance against erroneous readings.

    “To make a measurement of the photon once with the qubit takes about 10 microseconds, so we can make about 50 repeated measurements of the same photon within its lifetime,” said Akash Dixit, a doctoral student in physics at the University of Chicago (US).

    Dixit and his co-authors, including Fermilab’s Aaron Chou, describe their technique in Physical Review Letters.

    “Experiments using conventional techniques were just nowhere near what they needed to be for us to be able to detect higher-mass axion dark matter,” Chou said. “The noise level is way too high.”

    There are two ways to make an experiment more sensitive to the subtle hints of new physics that the scientists are looking for. One is to boost the signal by making larger detectors. Another to reduce the noise levels that hide the target signals. The Fermilab-University of Chicago team did the latter.

    “It’s a much more clever and cheaper way to get the same large improvements in sensitivity,” Chou said. “Now, the level of the static noise has been reduced by so much that you have a chance to actually see the very first small wiggles in your measurements due to the very, very tiny signal.”

    The technique will benefit the search for any dark matter candidate because, when invisible particles convert into photons, they can be detected.

    “Where the conventional method may generate one photon of noise with every measurement, in our detector you get one photon of noise every thousand measurements you make,” Dixit said.

    Dixit and his colleagues adapted their technique from one developed by atomic physicist Serge Haroche, who shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics for his feat. Chou views the new technique as part of the progression that started with the development of nondemolition interaction in atomic physics and is now imported to the field of superconducting qubits.

    Ferreting out axions and hidden photons

    Physicists have made little progress in detecting axions since their existence was proposed more than 30 years ago.

    “We know that there’s a huge amount of mass all around us that isn’t made of the same stuff you and I are made of,” Chou said. “The nature of dark matter is a really compelling mystery that a lot of us are trying to solve.”

    Superconducting microwave cavities are vital to the new technique. The cavity used in the experiment is made of highly pure — 99.9999% — aluminum. At extremely low temperatures, the aluminum becomes superconducting, a property that extends the longevity of qubits, which by their nature are short-lived. The superconducting cavity provides a way to accumulate and store the signal photon. The qubit, an antenna inserted into the cavity, then measures the photon.

    2
    The blue cylinder in this diagram represents a superconducting microwave cavity used to accumulate a dark matter signal. The purple is the qubit used to measure the state of the cavity, either 0 or 1. The value refers to the number of photons counted. If the dark matter has successfully deposited a photon in the cavity, the output would measure 1. No deposition of a photon would measure 0. Image: Akash Dixit, University of Chicago.

    “The benefit we get is that, once you — or dark matter — puts a photon in the cavity, it’s able to hold the photon for a long time,” Dixit observed. “The longer the cavity holds the photon, the longer we have to make a measurement.”

    The same technique can find hidden photons and axions; the latter will require a high magnetic field to detect.

    If axions exist, the current experiment provides a one-in-10,000 chance that it would detect a photon produced by a dark matter interaction.

    “To further improve our ability to sense such a rare event, the temperature of the photons needs to be lowered,” said David Schuster, University of Chicago associate professor of physics and a co-author of the new paper. Lowering the photon temperature will further increase sensitivity to all dark matter candidates, including hidden photons.

    The photons in the experiment have been cooled to a temperature of approximately 40 millikelvins (minus 459.60 degrees Fahrenheit), just a touch above absolute zero. The researchers would like to go as low as the operating temperature of 8 millikelvins (minus 459.66 degrees Fahrenheit). At this point, the environment for searching for dark matter would be spotless, effectively free of background photons.

    “While there’s definitely still a ways to go, there’s reason to be optimistic,” said Schuster, whose research group will apply the same technology to quantum computing. “We’re using quantum information science to help the dark matter search, but the same kind of background photons are also a potential error source for quantum computations. So this research has uses beyond fundamental science.”

    Schuster said the project provides a nice example of the type of collaboration that makes sense to do between a university lab and a national lab.

    “Our university lab had the qubit technology, but in the long term by ourselves, we were not really able to do any kind of dark matter search at the level needed. That’s where the national-lab partnership plays an important role,” he said.

    The payoff from this cross-disciplinary effort could be huge.

    “There’s just no way to do these experiments without the new techniques that we developed,” Chou said.

    Funding for the experiment comes from the Heising-Simons Foundation and the DOE Office of Science through the High Energy Physics QuantISED program.

    See the full article here.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

    The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

    University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) and DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL)(US). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

    The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics; establishing revolutionary theories of economics; and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    In addition to high-energy collider physics, Fermilab hosts fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MicroBooNE (Micro Booster Neutrino Experiment), NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance) and SeaQuest. Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment). The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year. SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector. In 2017, the ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.
    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.
    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.
    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.
    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.
    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

    FNAL Icon

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Muon g-2 studio. As muons race around a ring at the Muon g-2 studio, their spin axes twirl, reflecting the influence of unseen particles.

    FNAL Don Lincoln.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA

     
  • richardmitnick 12:06 am on March 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Establishing the Origin of Solar-Mass Black Holes and the Connection to Dark Matter", A definitive confirmation of the existence of black holes was celebrated with the 2020 physics Nobel Prize awarded to Andrea Ghez; Reinhard Genzel; and Roger Penrose., , , , , , , Dark Matter, Dark matter comprises the majority of matter in the Universe but its nature remains unknown., From Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) [カブリ数物連携宇宙研](JP) at U Tokyo {東京大学;Tōkyō daigaku](JP), Multiple gravitational wave detections of merging black holes have been identified by LIGO commemorated with the 2017 physics Nobel Prize to Kip Thorne; Barry Barish; and Rainer Weiss., What is the origin of black holes and how is that question connected with another mystery-the nature of Dark Matter?   

    From Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) [カブリ数物連携宇宙研](JP) at U Tokyo {東京大学;Tōkyō daigaku](JP) : “Establishing the Origin of Solar-Mass Black Holes and the Connection to Dark Matter” 

    KavliFoundation

    From Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) [カブリ数物連携宇宙研](JP) at U Tokyo {東京大学;Tōkyō daigaku](JP)

    Kavli IPMU

    March 5, 2021

    Research Contacts:
    Volodymyr Takhistov
    Project Researcher / Kavli IPMU Fellow
    Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, The University of Tokyo
    volodymyr.takhistov@ipmu.jp

    George M. Fuller
    Distinguished Professor of Physics
    Director of Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
    Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego
    Email: gfuller@physics.ucsd.edu

    Alexander Kusenko
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy
    Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles,
    Visiting Senior Scientist
    Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, The University of Tokyo
    kusenko@ucla.edu

    Media contact:
    John Amari
    Press officer
    Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, The University of Tokyo
    press@ipmu.jp

    1
    Fig.1: [Left] A tiny primordial black hole being captured by a neutron star, subsequently devouring it and leaving a “transmuted” solar-mass black hole remnant behind. [Right] Expected mass distribution of “transmuted” solar-mass black holes following neutron stars formed as a result of a delayed or a rapid supernova. The LIGO GW190814 event with 2.6 solar-mass black hole candidate is also shown. Credit: Takhistov et. al.)

    What is the origin of black holes and how is that question connected with another mystery-the nature of Dark Matter*? Dark matter comprises the majority of matter in the Universe but its nature remains unknown.

    Multiple gravitational wave detections of merging black holes have been identified within the last few years by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) commemorated with the 2017 physics Nobel Prize to Kip Thorne; Barry Barish; and Rainer Weiss.

    3
    Left to right: Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, who have been awarded the 2017 Nobel prize in physics. Credit: Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images.

    Artist’s by now iconic conception of two merging black holes similar to those detected by LIGO. Credit: Caltech/MIT aLigo/Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project


    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    A definitive confirmation of the existence of black holes was celebrated with the 2020 physics Nobel Prize awarded to Andrea Ghez; Reinhard Genzel; and Roger Penrose. Understanding the origin of black holes has thus emerged as a central issue in physics.

    2
    Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez have won the the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics. (Courtesy: IOP Publishing/Tushna Commissariat; CC-BY-SA H Garching; UCLA/Christopher Dibble)

    Surprisingly, LIGO has recently observed a 2.6 solar-mass black hole candidate (event GW190814, reported in Astrophysical Journal Letters). Assuming this is a black hole, and not an unusually massive neutron star, where does it come from?

    Solar-mass black holes are particularly intriguing, since they are not expected from conventional stellar evolution astrophysics. Such black holes might arise in the early Universe (primordial black holes) or be “transmuted” from existing neutron stars. Some black holes could have formed in the early universe long before the stars and galaxies formed. Such primordial black holes could make up some part or all of dark matter. If a neutron star captures a primordial black hole, the black hole consumes the neutron star from the inside, turning it into a solar-mass black hole. This process can produce a population of solar mass black holes, regardless of how small the primordial black holes are. Other forms of dark matter can accumulate inside a neutron star causing its eventual collapse into a solar-mass black hole.

    A new study, published in Physical Review Letters, advances a decisive test to investigate the origin of solar-mass black holes. This work was led by the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) Fellow Volodymyr Takhistov and the international team included George M. Fuller, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Science at the University of California, San Diego(US), as well as Alexander Kusenko, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles(US) and a Kavli IPMU Visiting Senior Scientist.

    As the study discusses (see Fig. 1), “transmuted” solar-mass black holes remaining from neutron stars being devoured by dark matter (either tiny primordial black holes or particle dark matter accumulation) should follow the mass-distribution of the original host neutron stars. Since the neutron star mass distribution is expected to peak around 1.5 solar masses, it is unlikely that heavier solar-mass black holes have originated from dark matter interacting with neutron stars. This suggests that such events as the candidate detected by LIGO, if they indeed constitute black holes, could be of primordial origin from the early Universe and thus drastically affect our understanding of astronomy. Future observations will use this test to investigate and identify the origin of black holes.

    Previously (see Physical Review Letters ), the same international team of researchers also demonstrated that disruption of neutron stars by small primordial black holes can lead to a rich variety of observational signatures and can help us understand such long-standing astronomical puzzles as the origin of heavy elements (e.g. gold and uranium) and the 511 keV gamma-ray excess observed from the center of our Galaxy.

    *Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.


    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.


    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) [カブリ数物連携宇宙研](JP) at U Tokyo {東京大学;Tōkyō daigaku](JP) is an international research institute with English as its official language. The goal of the institute is to discover the fundamental laws of nature and to understand the Universe from the synergistic perspectives of mathematics, astronomy, and theoretical and experimental physics. The Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) was established in October 2007 under the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan with the University of Tokyo as the host institution. IPMU was designated as the first research institute within the University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study (UTIAS) in January 2011. It received an endowment from The Kavli Foundation and was renamed the “Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe” in April 2012. Kavli IPMU is located on the Kashiwa campus of the University of Tokyo, and more than half of its full-time scientific members come from outside Japan. http://www.ipmu.jp/

    The Kavli Foundation, based in Oxnard, California, is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work.

    The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:49 pm on March 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Will this solve the mystery of the expansion of the universe?", , , , , , Dark Matter, From the science paper: "We find the mean value of the present Hubble parameter in the NEDE model to be H0=71.4±1.0  km s−1 Mpc−1 (68% C.L.).", , Proposed "New early dark energy (NEDE)", South Danish University [Syddansk Universitet](DK)   

    From South Danish University [Syddansk Universitet](DK): “Will this solve the mystery of the expansion of the universe?” 

    From South Danish University [Syddansk Universitet](DK)

    Physicists’ new proposal that a new type of extra dark energy is involved is highlighted in scientific journal.

    3/2/2021
    Birgitte Svennevig

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

    The universe was created by a giant bang; the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and then it started to expand. The expansion is ongoing: it is still being stretched out in all directions like a balloon being inflated.

    Physicists agree on this much, but something is wrong. Measuring the expansion rate of the universe in different ways leads to different results.

    So, is something wrong with the methods of measurement? Or is something going on in the universe that physicists have not yet discovered and therefore have not taken into account?

    It could very well be the latter, according to several physicists, i.a. Martin S. Sloth, Professor of Cosmology at SDU.

    In a new scientific article, he and his SDU colleague, postdoc Florian Niedermannn, propose the existence of a new type of dark energy in the universe. If you include it in the various calculations of the expansion of the universe, the results will be more alike.

    – “A new type of dark energy can solve the problem of the conflicting calculations” says Martin S. Sloth.

    Conflicting measurements

    When physicists calculate the expansion rate of the universe, they base the calculation on the assumption that the universe is made up of dark energy, dark matter and ordinary matter. Until recently, all types of observations fitted in with such a model of the universe’s composition of matter and energy, but this is no longer the case.

    Conflicting results arise when looking at the latest data from measurements of supernovae and the cosmic microwave background radiation; the two methods quite simply lead to different results for the expansion rate.

    – “In our model, we find that if there was a new type of extra dark energy in the early universe, it would explain both the background radiation and the supernova measurements simultaneously and without contradiction” says Martin S. Sloth.

    From one phase to another

    – “We believe that in the early universe, dark energy existed in a different phase. You can compare it to when water is cooled and it undergoes a phase transition to ice with a lower density, he explains and continues:

    – “In the same way, dark energy in our model undergoes a transition to a new phase with a lower energy density, thereby changing the effect of the dark energy on the expansion of the universe”.

    According to Sloth and Niedermann’s calculations, the results add up if you imagine that dark energy thus underwent a phase transition triggered by the expansion of the universe.

    A very violent process

    – “It is a phase transition where many bubbles of the new phase suddenly appear, and when these bubbles expand and collide, the phase transition is complete. On a cosmic scale, it is a very violent quantum mechanical process” explains Martin S. Sloth.

    Today we know approx. 20 per cent of the matter that the universe is made of. It is the matter that you and I, planets and galaxies are made of. The universe also consists of Dark Matter, which no one knows what is.

    In addition, there is dark energy in the universe; it is the energy that causes the universe to expand, and it makes up approx. 70 pct. of the energy density of the universe.

    Science paper:
    New early dark energy
    Physical Review D

    See the full article here.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The South Danish University [Syddansk Universitet] is a university in Denmark that has campuses located in Southern Denmark and on Zealand.

    The university offers a number of joint programmes in co-operation with the Europe University of Flensburg [Universität Flensburg](DE) and the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel [Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel](DE). Contacts with regional industries and the international scientific community are strong.

    With its 29,674 enrolled students (as of 2016), the university is both the third-largest and, given its roots in Odense University, the third-oldest Danish university (fourth if one includes the Technical University of Denmark). Since the introduction of the ranking systems in 2012, the South Danish University has consistently been ranked as one of the top 50 young universities in the world by both the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of the Top 100 Universities Under 50 and the QS World University Rankings of the Top 50 Universities Under 50.

    The South Danish University was established in 1998 when Odense University, the Southern Denmark School of Business and Engineering and the South Jutland University Centre were merged. The University Library of Southern Denmark was also merged with the university in 1998. As the original Odense University was established in 1966, the South Danish University celebrated their 50-year anniversary on September 15, 2016.

    In 2006, the Odense University College of Engineering was merged into the university and renamed as the Faculty of Engineering. After being located in different parts of Odense for several years, a brand new Faculty of Engineering building physically connected to the main Odense Campus was established and opened in 2015. In 2007, the Business School Centre in Slagelse (Handelshøjskolecentret Slagelse) and the National Institute of Public Health (Statens Institut for Folkesundhed) were also merged into the South Danish University.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:23 pm on February 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Galactic Accelerometers Probe Milky Way’s Dark Side", , , , Binary pulsars, , Dark Matter,   

    From “Physics”: “Galactic Accelerometers Probe Milky Way’s Dark Side” 

    About Physics

    From “Physics”

    February 4, 2021
    Matteo Rini

    Binary pulsars can serve as sensitive accelerometers that probe the gravitational forces in our Galaxy, which could help in building a detailed picture of the Dark Matter distribution.

    1
    Fourteen binary pulsars in a 1-cubic-kiloparsec volume around the Solar System (shown in the inset) serve as sensitive sensors of galactic acceleration. Credit: Dana Berry/Institute for Advanced Study.

    Stars whiz through the Milky Way at hundreds of kilometers per second, but their velocities can slowly change under the gravitational pull of both visible bodies and dark matter structures. Such speed changes, however, are typically tiny: Over a year, they may amount to a few centimeters per second—about the pace of a crawling infant. A new study [The Astrophysical Journal Letters] shows that binary pulsars in our Galaxy can be used as accelerometers that are sufficiently sensitive to characterize such “baby” velocity drifts. And, by relating these accelerations to the gravitational forces that cause them, researchers might be able to build a detailed picture of the distribution of dark matter in our home Galaxy and beyond.

    The Universe is a violent arena, teeming with explosions, mergers, and cannibalistic galactic encounters. Most of what we know about these dynamics, however, comes from “snapshots” that capture the positions and velocities of astrophysical objects at a particular moment. From those data, astrophysicists can indirectly derive the objects’ accelerations. There’s a catch though. This derivation assumes that the system is in equilibrium. Take an isolated planetary system, for instance, where kinetic and potential energies are balanced, and all one needs to derive the planets’ accelerations are their positions and velocities.

    In general, however, this equilibrium assumption isn’t justified. “There are many signs that the Milky Way isn’t in equilibrium,” says Sukanya Chakrabarti of the Institute for Advanced Study, New Jersey, and Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, who presented the results at the 237th AAS meeting. A recent study she led suggests, for instance, that certain ripples in the Milky Way are “scars” from a past crash with a faint dwarf galaxy called Antlia 2 [The Astrophysical Journal].

    Chakrabarti and her collaborators thus set out to develop new, direct ways to measure accelerations. Their idea exploits pulsars, which are rapidly spinning neutron stars that emit radio-frequency beams from their poles. These beams, much like those of lighthouses, appear to us as intermittent flashes, timed at the pulsar’s spinning frequency. The extraordinary stability of this timing rivals that of atomic clocks, says Chakrabarti.

    The technique characterizes subtle shifts of this precise timing, occurring when the pulsar orbits around a companion—typically a white dwarf—in a binary system. The tidal influence of the companion modulates the pulsar signal at the orbital frequency. And, if the binary moves, a Doppler-like effect changes the apparent orbital period. Monitoring this shift over time yields a direct measurement of the system’s velocity change, or acceleration.

    Chakrabarti says that minuscule velocity changes can be directly extracted fr0m these measurements, using a simple model that doesn’t depend on hard-to-measure quantities like the pulsar’s magnetic fields. Thus, these pulsar binaries can serve as a network of accelerometers naturally embedded in our Galaxy as well as in other galaxies. For centuries, astronomers only had still images to work with, but this and other techniques allow galactic “movies” to be made, says Chakrabarti. “We are entering the era of real-time cosmology,” she says.

    In the first application of the method, the team picked a set of 14 binary pulsars, chosen because their orbital period is stable and has been previously characterized with exquisite precision. The pulsars are located within a volume of 1 cubic kiloparsec (1 kiloparsec = 3262 light years) straddling both below and above the galactic plane where our Sun sits.

    3
    Artist’s impression of a spherical dark matter halo (in blue) surrounding the thin disk of visible matter of a galaxy. Credit: John Kormendy/University of Texas at Austin.

    The method allowed the team to determine how the velocity of the 14 pulsars changed over a timescale of about ten years. From these measurements, the researchers inferred details of the gravitational forces acting in the Galaxy, deriving parameters that had previously been inferred from indirect acceleration measurements. They calculated, for instance, the average midplane density of matter and, by subtracting the contribution of visible matter, the average density of dark matter. The results hint at a possible discrepancy with previous estimates—a lower than expected dark matter density. “The discrepancy is tantalizing, but the error bars are still too large to claim there’s a serious conflict with most modern models,” says Chakrabarti.

    This, however, is only the first step of these kinds of studies, she says. The gravitational field of the 1-kiloparsec-wide volume in the current study is dominated by visible matter in the galactic disk. By probing pulsars lying 2–3 kiloparsec above or below the galactic plane, the researchers could start probing a region where the gravitational potential is much more strongly influenced by the dark matter in the spherical “halo” surrounding the Galaxy. “That’s when things would get really interesting,” says Chakrabarti.

    The method has “tremendous potential,” and could become the standard for measuring our Galaxy’s gravitational potential, says David Hogg, a physicist at New York University. “There are very few places in the Universe where we can see accelerations, but accelerations really are the window into where the mass is and where the forces are,” he says. The characterization of the galactic gravitational potential, derived from just 14 binary pulsars, aren’t better than previous estimates based on the observations of thousands of stars. But Hogg says that by measuring many more pulsars and by increasing the measurement time, the improvement over previous analyses could be dramatic.

    And that information could allow researchers to verify a fundamental prediction of cosmology that’s been extremely hard to test: According to the cold dark matter paradigm, the distribution of dark matter should be lumpy and chaotic—even more so than that of visible matter. “Starting to see that substructure would be incredibly exciting,” Hogg says.

    Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discovered pulsars with radio astronomy. Jocelyn Bell at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge University, taken for the Daily Herald newspaper in 1968. Denied the Nobel.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Physicists are drowning in a flood of research papers in their own fields and coping with an even larger deluge in other areas of physics. How can an active researcher stay informed about the most important developments in physics? Physics highlights a selection of papers from the Physical Review journals. In consultation with expert scientists, the editors choose these papers for their importance and/or intrinsic interest. To highlight these papers, Physics features three kinds of articles: Viewpoints are commentaries written by active researchers, who are asked to explain the results to physicists in other subfields. Focus stories are written by professional science writers in a journalistic style and are intended to be accessible to students and non-experts. Synopses are brief editor-written summaries. Physics provides a much-needed guide to the best in physics, and we welcome your comments (physics@aps.org).

     
  • richardmitnick 4:45 pm on January 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Quantum projects launched to solve universe’s mysteries", , , Dark Matter, Determination of Absolute Neutrino Mass using Quantum Technologies will be led by UCL., , Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics project led by the University of Nottingham., Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been awarded funding on four of the seven projects., STFC Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, The programme is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme., The Quantum Sensors for the Hidden Sector (QSHS) project led by the University of Sheffield has been awarded £4.8 million in funding., UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is supporting seven projects with a £31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics.   

    From Kavli Institute for Cosmology Cambridge (UK): “Quantum projects launched to solve universe’s mysteries” 

    KavliFoundation

    The Kavli Foundation

    From Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge (UK)

    Jan 13, 2021
    Sarah Collins
    sarah.collins@admin.cam.ac.uk
    Communications team

    Researchers will use cutting-edge quantum technologies to transform our understanding of the universe and answer key questions such as the nature of dark matter and black holes.

    1
    New Simulation Sheds Light on Spiraling Supermassive Black Holes. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is supporting seven projects with a £31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been awarded funding on four of the seven projects.

    Just as quantum computing promises to revolutionise traditional computing, technologies such as quantum sensors have the potential to radically change our approach to understanding our universe.

    The projects are supported through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The programme is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

    AION: A UK Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network has been awarded £7.2 million in funding and will be led by Imperial College London. The project will develop and use technology based on quantum interference between atoms to detect ultra-light dark matter and sources of gravitational waves, such as collisions between massive black holes far away in the universe and violent processes in the very early universe. The team will design a 10m atom interferometer, preparing the construction of the instrument in Oxford and paving the way for larger-scale future experiments to be located in the UK. Members of the AION consortium will also contribute to MAGIS, a partner experiment in the US.

    The Cambridge team on AION is led by Professor Valerie Gibson and Dr Ulrich Schneider from the Cavendish Laboratory, alongside researchers from the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, the Institute of Astronomy and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Dr Tiffany Harte will co-lead the development of the cold atom transport and final cooling sequences for AION, and Dr Jeremy Mitchell will co-lead the data readout and network capabilities for AION and MAGIS, and undertake data analysis and theoretical interpretation.

    “This announcement from STFC to fund the AION project, which alongside some seed funding from the Kavli Foundation, will allow us to target key open questions in fundamental physics and bring new interdisciplinary research to the University for the foreseeable future,” said Gibson.

    “Every physical effect, known or unknown, leaves its fingerprint on the phase evolution of a coherent quantum system such as cold atoms; it only requires sufficiently sensitive detectors,” said Schneider. “We are excited to contribute our cold-atom technology to this interdisciplinary endeavour and to develop atom interferometry into a powerful detector for fundamental physics.”

    The Quantum Sensors for the Hidden Sector (QSHS) project, led by the University of Sheffield, has been awarded £4.8 million in funding. The project aims to contribute to the search for axions, low-mass ‘hidden’ particles that are candidates to solve the mystery of dark matter. They will develop new quantum measurement technology for inclusion in the US ADMX experiment, which can then be used to search for axions in parts of our galaxy’s dark matter halo that have never been explored before.

    “The team will develop new electronic technology to a high level of sophistication and deploy it to search for the lowest-mass particles detected to date,” said Professor Stafford Withington from the Cavendish Laboratory, Co-Investigator and Senior Project Scientist on QSHS. “These particles are predicted to exist theoretically, but have not yet been discovered experimentally. Our ability to probe the particulate nature of the physical world with sensitivities that push at the limits imposed by quantum uncertainty will open up a new frontier in physics.

    “This new window will allow physicists to explore the nature of physical reality at the most fundamental level, and it is extremely exciting that the UK will be playing a major international role in this new generation of science.”

    Professor Withington is also involved in the Determination of Absolute Neutrino Mass using Quantum Technologies, which will be led by UCL. The project aims to harness recent breakthroughs in quantum technologies to solve one of the most important outstanding challenges in particle physics – determining the absolute mass of neutrinos. One of the universe’s most abundant particles neutrinos are a by-product of nuclear fusion within stars, therefore being key to our understanding of the processes within stars and the makeup of the universe. Moreover, knowing the value of the neutrino mass is critical to our understanding of the origin of matter and evolution of the universe. They are poorly understood however, and the researchers aim to develop pioneering new spectroscopy technology capable to precisely measure the mass of this elusive but important particle.

    Professor Zoran Hadzibabic has received funding as part of the Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics project, led by the University of Nottingham. The project aims to develop quantum simulators capable of providing insights into the physics of the very early universe and black holes. The goals include simulating aspects of quantum black holes and testing theories of the quantum vacuum that underpin ideas on the origin of the universe.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge (UK)

    For centuries, the University of Cambridge (UK) has been pushing back the frontiers of knowledge about the Universe. Joining this rich tradition of inquiry is the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, founded in 2006 as the first member of the Kavli network in the UK.

    Cambridge’s long history as a center for astronomy and cosmology includes Isaac Newton’s discovery of the law of gravitation and, in modern times, the discovery of pulsars and crucial contributions to the development of the Big Bang model of the Universe. The Kavli Institute is helping to continue this work by creating a single site at which the University’s cosmologists and astrophysicists from different academic departments can share knowledge and work together on major projects. In particular, KICC brings together scientists from the University’s Institute of Astronomy, the Cavendish Laboratory (the Department of Physics) and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

    The Institute started operations in 2008, thanks to an endowment from the Kavli Foundation, and now has about 50 researchers working on the following themes:

    Cosmic Microwave Background and the Early Universe
    Large Scale Structures and Precision Cosmology
    Epoch of Cosmic Reionization
    Formation and Evolution of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes
    Evolution of the Intergalactic Medium
    Gravitational Waves
    The institute offers these scientists the benefit of close interaction as well as advanced technologies, including access to giant telescopes and space satellites. Meanwhile, the Institute’s fellowships program host promising scholars from around the globe for stays of up to five years. They are free to pursue their own independent research as well as taking part in the world-class flagship projects led by distinguished Cambridge scientists.

    The Kavli Foundation, based in Oxnard, California, is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work.

    The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:09 am on January 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Science of Matter; Energy; Space and Time", , , Dark Matter, , , , Strandard Model,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: “Science of Matter, Energy, Space and Time” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    05/01/2014 [Brought forward today-always useful]

    What is the world made of?

    1

    The building blocks

    Physicists have identified 13 building blocks that are the fundamental constituents of matter. Our everyday world is made of just three of these building blocks: the up quark, the down quark and the electron. This set of particles is all that’s needed to make protons and neutrons and to form atoms and molecules. The electron neutrino, observed in the decay of other particles, completes the first set of four building blocks.

    For some reason nature has elected to replicate this first generation of quarks and leptons to produce a total of six quarks and six leptons, with increasing mass. Like all quarks, the sixth quark, named top, is much smaller than a proton (in fact, no one knows how small quarks are), but the top is as heavy as a gold atom!

    Although there are reasons to believe that there are no more sets of quarks and leptons, theorists speculate that there may be other types of building blocks, which may partly account for the dark matter implied by astrophysical observations. This poorly understood matter exerts gravitational forces and manipulates galaxies. It will take Earth-based accelerator experiments to identify its fabric.

    The forces

    Scientists distinguish four elementary types of forces acting among particles: strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational force.

    The strong force is responsible for quarks “sticking” together to form protons, neutrons and related particles.
    The electromagnetic force binds electrons to atomic nuclei (clusters of protons and neutrons) to form atoms.
    The weak force facilitates the decay of heavy particles into smaller siblings.
    The gravitational force acts between massive objects. Although it plays no role at the microscopic level, it is the dominant force in our everyday life and throughout the universe.

    Particles transmit forces among each other by exchanging force-carrying particles called bosons. These force mediators carry discrete amounts of energy, called quanta, from one particle to another. You could think of the energy transfer due to boson exchange as something like the passing of a basketball between two players.

    Each force has its own characteristic bosons:

    The gluon mediates the strong force; it “glues” quarks together.
    The photon carries the electromagnetic force; it also transmits light.
    The W and Z bosons represent the weak force; they introduce different types of decays.

    Physicists expect that the gravitational force may also be associated with a boson particle. Named the graviton, this hypothetical boson is extremely hard to observe since, at the subatomic level, the gravitational force is many orders of magnitude weaker than the other three elementary forces.

    Table of particle discoveries: who, when, where?

    The Higgs boson

    The Higgs boson is a particle associated with the Higgs field, the mechanism through which elementary particles gain mass. Without the Higgs field, or something similar, atoms would not form, and there would be no chemistry, no biology and no life.

    The Higgs field is like a giant vat of molasses spread throughout the universe. Most of the known types of particles that travel through it stick to the molasses, which slows them down and makes them heavier. The Higgs boson is a particle that helps transmit the mass-giving Higgs force field, similar to the way a particle of light, the photon, transmits the electromagnetic field.

    The ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, announced the discovery of the Higgs particle in July 2012.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event May 27, 2012.


    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event
    June 12, 2012.

    Antimatter

    Although it is a staple of science fiction, antimatter is as real as matter. For every particle, physicists have discovered a corresponding antiparticle, which looks and behaves in almost the same way. Antiparticles, though, have the opposite properties of their corresponding particles. An antiproton, for example, has a negative electric charge while a proton is positively charged.

    In the mid-1990s, physicists at CERN (1995) and Fermilab (1996) created the first anti-atoms. To learn more about the properties of the antimatter world, they carefully added a positron (the antiparticle of an electron) to an antiproton. The result: antihydrogen.

    CERN map

    FNAL/Tevatron map

    Storing antimatter is a difficult task. As soon as an antiparticle and a particle meet, they annihilate, disappearing in a flash of energy. Using electromagnetic force fields, physicists are able to store antimatter inside vacuum vessels for a limited amount of time.

    WIMPS and Dark Matter

    No one has ever directly observed dark matter, but two clues led astronomers to suspect its existence. First, when researchers measured the masses of all the stars and planets that make up galaxies, they discovered that the gravity of those objects alone would not be great enough to hold them together. Something they could not see must have been contributing mass and therefore gravitational pull. Second, they observed in space the kind of distortions of light usually caused by large masses in areas that seemed empty.

    The composition of dark matter is unknown, and its existence shows that the Standard Model of particle physics is incomplete.

    Several theories of particle physics, such as supersymmetry, predict that weakly interacting massive particles, WIMPs, exist with properties suitable for explaining dark matter.

    Standard Model of Supersymmetry via DESY (DE).

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu.

    Dark Energy

    In the 20th century, astronomers first discovered that the universe was getting bigger. They found this by observing something similar to the Doppler effect in the light coming from distant galaxies. The Doppler effect is what causes a car horn to change in pitch from high to low as it approaches and passes. This happens because the sound waves are compressed as the car moves toward you, resulting in a higher pitch, and are stretched as it recedes, resulting in a lower pitch. As an object approaches you, the light waves coming from it compress. Astronomers call this blueshift. When light waves stretch as an object moves farther away, astronomers call it redshift.

    By measuring the spectrum of an astronomical object, astronomers can tell how much the space between the object and observer has stretched as the light traveled through it. When astronomer Vesto Slipher measured light coming from other galaxies, he found that almost all were redshifted, or moving away. He found that those that seemed dimmer and farther away had even higher redshifts. The universe was expanding. This led astronomers to the idea of the big bang.

    Astronomers assumed, however, that the force of gravity from all of the matter in the universe would slow the expansion. They were in for a surprise in 1998 when they discovered that the expansion was actually speeding up. Astronomers discovered this when they measured the brightness of the light coming from a certain type of supernova that always explodes with roughly the same energy. The dimmer the light from the supernova, the farther the distance it had traveled to Earth. They discovered that the supernovae were farther away than their redshift measurements predicted. The universe was expanding at an accelerating rate.

    Some particle astrophysicists think this is happening because a force with a repulsive gravity is pushing the universe apart. They call this force Dark Energy.

    Dark Energy Survey


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam at an altitude of 7200 feet

    Timeline of the Inflationary Universe WMAP

    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. DES began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called dark energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    DES is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the DES collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.

    The Standard Model

    Standard Model of Particle Physics via http://www.plus.maths.org .

    Standard Model of Particle Fever via “Particle Fever” movie.

    Physicists call the theoretical framework that describes the interactions between elementary building blocks (quarks and leptons) and the force carriers (bosons) the Standard Model. Gravity is not yet part of this framework, and a central question of 21st-century particle physics is the search for a quantum formulation of gravity that could be included in the Standard Model.

    Though still called a model, the Standard Model is a fundamental and well-tested physics theory. Physicists use it to explain and calculate a vast variety of particle interactions and quantum phenomena. High-precision experiments have repeatedly verified subtle effects predicted by the Standard Model.

    So far, the biggest success of the Standard Model is the unification of the electromagnetic and the weak forces into the so-called electroweak force. The consolidation is a milestone comparable to the unification of the electric and the magnetic forces into a single electromagnetic theory by J.C. Maxwell in the 19th century. Physicists think it is possible to describe all forces with a Grand Unified Theory.

    See the full here.


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    FNAL Icon

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

     
  • richardmitnick 3:02 pm on December 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Site Acceptance Test: Important detector part for FAIR experiment pillar CBM successfully handed over", Dark Matter, GSI Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren] (DE), PSD will be able to detect particles from the interaction of relativistic heavy ions with a target., The focus is on the investigation of highly compressed nuclear matter as it exists in neutron stars and in the center of supernova explosions with unprecedented precision and over a very wide density   

    From GSI Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren] (DE): “Site Acceptance Test: Important detector part for FAIR experiment pillar CBM successfully handed over” 

    From GSI Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres [Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren] (DE)

    14.12.2020 [Just now in social media]

    1
    Manipulator for the PSD detector. Credit: GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

    An important component for the future CBM experiment, one of the four central pillars of the FAIR research program, has successfully performed the Site Acceptance Test (SAT) on the GSI/FAIR campus. On behalf of a team from the Nuclear Physics Institute (NPI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) and from the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU), Dr. Petr Chudoba (NPI) handed over the manipulator for PSD detector, an in-kind contribution for FAIR. For CBM, this is the first in-kind contribution of a foreign partner delivered to Germany.

    The Czech Republic is a partner state of the FAIR project and joined FAIR as an “Aspirant Partner” in spring 2019. At that time, the partnership could already build on a long-standing and very good working cooperation between Czech research institutions and GSI/FAIR. Czech scientists are involved, for example, in the large detector HADES as well as in nuclear astrophysics and are active in all four FAIR research pillars, including CBM.

    2
    HADES searches for Dark Matter.

    Here, they are significantly contributing to research, development and construction of the PSD detector (Projectile Spectator Detector), which is part of the experimental setup of CBM.

    The Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment is one of the key experiments at FAIR and aims to explore the QCD phase diagram in the region of high baryon densities.

    3
    Compressed Baryonic Matter Experiment at FAIR.

    The focus is on the investigation of highly compressed nuclear matter, as it exists in neutron stars and in the center of supernova explosions, with unprecedented precision and over a very wide density range. The Projectile Spectator Detector (PSD) serves for measuring the geometry of heavy ion collisions at the CBM experiment. The now delivered component, the manipulator, is the movable part of this detector.

    PSD will be able to detect particles from the interaction of relativistic heavy ions with a target. Therefore, it will be located at a distance of about 8 to 12 meters from the interaction point around beam pipe. As the beam pipe is movable, also the detector has to be movable in several directions as well as able to rotate in the range of several degrees. The weight of PSD is about 25 tons, so it was a demanding task to design and build a corresponding support frame, the PSD manipulator.

    The Czech team successfully achieved this complex requirement. The manipulator of PSD now allows horizontal and vertical movement with the precision of millimeters as well as rotation of the whole PSD detector. After installation, it will be able to support about 25 tons of calorimeter modules. After successful testing, the detector part is stored at GSI/FAIR until installation in the CBM cave. (BP)

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Helmholtz Zentrum München (DE) by numbers.

    The Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres ( Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren) is the largest scientific organization in Germany. It is a union of 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centers. The official mission of the Association is “solving the grand challenges of science, society and industry”. Scientists at Helmholtz therefore focus research on complex systems which affect human life and the environment. The namesake of the association is the German physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz.
    The annual budget of the Helmholtz Association amounts to €4.56 billion, of which about 72% is raised from public funds. The remaining 28% of the budget is acquired by the 19 individual Helmholtz Centres in the form of contract funding. The public funds are provided by the federal government (90%) and the rest by the States of Germany (10%).
    The Helmholtz Association was ranked #8 in 2015 and #7 in 2017 by the Nature Index, which measures the largest contributors to papers published in 82 leading journals.

    The laboratory performs basic and applied research in physics and related natural science disciplines. Main fields of study include plasma physics, atomic physics, nuclear structure and reactions research, biophysics and medical research. The lab is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:40 am on December 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SURF formally creates research user association", , , , , , Dark Matter, , , , , ,   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF: “SURF formally creates research user association” 

    SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA.


    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    Homestake Mining, Lead, South Dakota, USA.


    Homestake Mining Company

    December 21, 2020
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    1
    Researchers explore the fields particle physics, earth and life sciences at Sanford Lab.
    Photo credits: by Nick Hubbard and Matthew Kapust.

    User association fosters communication between users and SURF, promotes the case for underground science on the world stage.

    As the nation’s deepest underground laboratory, Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) serves as a touchstone for the scientific community. Under nearly a mile of rock, physicists shield their sensitive experiments from the cacophony of cosmic rays from the Sun. Biologists hike through miles of drifts to far-off collection sites, gathering samples of water swimming with microscopic life forms called extremophiles. And geologists get the coveted experience of scrutinizing deep rock layers face-to-face.

    This year, SURF formally created the SURF User Association (Association) to bring these researchers together. The Association, which currently has 288 active members, aims to promote open discussion between users and SURF management and foster community between users of diverse disciplines.

    “As a research institution, it’s important that we have a vehicle to connect with researchers on a consistent basis,” said Jaret Heise, science director at SURF. Heise noted that communication channels existed previously, but the creation of a formal user association invites even greater participation from users.

    The Association also encourages users to act as ambassadors for underground science at SURF on the world stage.

    “As science communities define their priorities for the next decade, SURF and the scientists that perform research at our facility have a voice in that strategic planning,” Heise said. “Our users can advocate for the importance of underground science, and in particular they can advocate for the SURF facility as a location for future underground science.”

    In December, the Association selected nine members to serve on the Executive Committee, which will conduct day-to-day business. The Executive Committee includes early career researchers, as well as representatives from physics, earth and life sciences, and six experiments operating at SURF.

    Megan Smith, an earth scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a member of the Association’s inaugural Executive Committee. Smith studies the Earth’s deep subsurface to better understand the potential of geothermal energy. In her field, direct access to deep underground rock is extremely valuable.

    “As geologists, we only get a tiny, tiny sampling of what’s under the surface of the earth. We have to use small data points to make inferences about processes that occur at different depths and pressures,” Smith said. “The ability to examine the subsurface is invaluable. It hugely expands our capabilities to test our models of the Earth.”

    As a member of EGS Collab/SIGMA-V, Smith has traveled to SURF multiple times since 2017. On Smith’s first trip, the team found a promising location for their experiment. On subsequent expeditions underground, they lined the drift with sensitive instruments to track how water travels through small pathways in the rock. Over the years, these tests have been instrumental in analyzing and refining the group’s models of the subsurface, informing future geothermal energy projects.

    Smith recognized the importance of acting as an ambassador for underground science facilities.

    “Working at SURF is an incredible opportunity. There are so many cool science questions that can only be answered in this type of space,” Smith said.

    Ralph Massarczyk, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), is also a member of the SURF User Association’s Executive Committee. He began traveling to SURF six years ago, when he was a postdoc helping with the early construction of the Majorana Demonstrator [below].

    Now a staff scientist at LANL, Massarczyk describes the growth he has seen at SURF: “From a researcher’s standpoint, things have become more user-friendly through the years. This Association will help users, especially the younger researchers, to have a point of contact to ask questions about how things work at SURF.”

    Massarczyk said he looks forward to sharing research opportunities at SURF with colleagues in Europe, who may not know much about the facility. “SURF is getting more and more international, and this association is a nice podium for me to help spread out the word,” Massarczyk said.

    Massarczyk noted that SURF is garnering local attention, too.

    “The first time I came to Lead, I remember going to a restaurant and talking with locals. When they heard I worked at the lab, they would tell me which level they used to work on when it was a mine,” Massarczyk recalls. “Now, when I talk with people, they ask which experiment I’m with, and when I say ‘Majorana,’ they know the name. They’re familiar with the experiments. I would say the lab has helped shaped the town. It went from a mining town to people being excited about the science.”

    Moving forward, the SURF User Association aims to connect and support our research communities, whether they are studying subatomic particles, microscopic extremophiles, vibrations in the rock and other questions for which the underground environment is a unique window.

    For more information about the SURF User Association, visit our website: https://www.sanfordlab.org/researchers

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.

    LBNL LZ project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA, will replace LUX at SURF

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment, also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

    LUX’s mission was to scour the universe for WIMPs, vetoing all other signatures. It would continue to do just that for another three years before it was decommissioned in 2016.

    In the midst of the excitement over first results, the LUX collaboration was already casting its gaze forward. Planning for a next-generation dark matter experiment at Sanford Lab was already under way. Named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), the next-generation experiment would increase the sensitivity of LUX 100 times.

    SLAC physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.
    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”
    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

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


    LBNE

    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF

    The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with GERDA for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.

    CASPAR at SURF.

    CASPAR experiment target at SURF.

    CASPAR is a low-energy particle accelerator that allows researchers to study processes that take place inside collapsing stars.

    The scientists are using space in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, to work on a project called the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). CASPAR uses a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. If successful, their findings could help complete our picture of how the elements in our universe are built. “Nuclear astrophysics is about what goes on inside the star, not outside of it,” said Dan Robertson, a Notre Dame assistant research professor of astrophysics working on CASPAR. “It is not observational, but experimental. The idea is to reproduce the stellar environment, to reproduce the reactions within a star.”

     
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