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  • richardmitnick 4:07 pm on January 20, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Going beyond the exascale", , , Classical computers have been central to physics research for decades., , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), , Fermilab has used classical computing to simulate lattice quantum chromodynamics., , , , Planning for a future that is still decades out., Quantum computers could enable physicists to tackle questions even the most powerful computers cannot handle., , Quantum computing is here—sort of., , Solving equations on a quantum computer requires completely new ways of thinking about programming and algorithms., , , The biggest place where quantum simulators will have an impact is in discovery science.   

    From Symmetry: “Going beyond the exascale” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    01/20/22
    Emily Ayshford

    1
    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova.

    Quantum computers could enable physicists to tackle questions even the most powerful computers cannot handle.

    After years of speculation, quantum computing is here—sort of.

    Physicists are beginning to consider how quantum computing could provide answers to the deepest questions in the field. But most aren’t getting caught up in the hype. Instead, they are taking what for them is a familiar tack—planning for a future that is still decades out, while making room for pivots, turns and potential breakthroughs along the way.

    “When we’re working on building a new particle collider, that sort of project can take 40 years,” says Hank Lamm, an associate scientist at The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US). “This is on the same timeline. I hope to start seeing quantum computing provide big answers for particle physics before I die. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t interesting physics to do along the way.”

    Equations that overpower even supercomputers.

    Classical computers have been central to physics research for decades, and simulations that run on classical computers have guided many breakthroughs. Fermilab, for example, has used classical computing to simulate lattice quantum chromodynamics. Lattice QCD is a set of equations that describe the interactions of quarks and gluons via the strong force.

    Theorists developed lattice QCD in the 1970s. But applying its equations proved extremely difficult. “Even back in the 1980s, many people said that even if they had an exascale computer [a computer that can perform a billion billion calculations per second], they still couldn’t calculate lattice QCD,” Lamm says.

    Depiction of ANL ALCF Cray Intel SC18 Shasta Aurora exascale supercomputer, to be built at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US).

    Depiction of ORNL Cray Frontier Shasta based Exascale supercomputer with Slingshot interconnect featuring high-performance AMD EPYC CPU and AMD Radeon Instinct GPU technology , being built at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US).

    But that turned out not to be true.

    Within the past 10 to 15 years, researchers have discovered the algorithms needed to make their calculations more manageable, while learning to understand theoretical errors and how to ameliorate them. These advances have allowed them to use a lattice simulation, a simulation that uses a volume of a specified grid of points in space and time as a substitute for the continuous vastness of reality.

    Lattice simulations have allowed physicists to calculate the mass of the proton—a particle made up of quarks and gluons all interacting via the strong force—and find that the theoretical prediction lines up well with the experimental result. The simulations have also allowed them to accurately predict the temperature at which quarks should detach from one another in a quark-gluon plasma.

    Quark-Gluon Plasma from BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider (US).

    DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory(US) RHIC Campus

    The limit of these calculations? Along with being approximate, or based on a confined, hypothetical area of space, only certain properties can be computed efficiently. Try to look at more than that, and even the biggest high-performance computer cannot handle all of the possibilities.

    Enter quantum computers.

    Quantum computers are all about possibilities. Classical computers don’t have the memory to compute the many possible outcomes of lattice QCD problems, but quantum computers take advantage of quantum mechanics to calculate differently.

    Quantum computing isn’t an easy answer, though. Solving equations on a quantum computer requires completely new ways of thinking about programming and algorithms.

    Using a classical computer, when you program code, you can look at its state at all times. You can check a classical computer’s work before it’s done and trouble-shoot if things go wrong. But under the laws of quantum mechanics, you cannot observe any intermediate step of a quantum computation without corrupting the computation; you can observe only the final state.

    That means you can’t store any information in an intermediate state and bring it back later, and you cannot clone information from one set of qubits into another, making error correction difficult.

    “It can be a nightmare designing an algorithm for quantum computation,” says Lamm, who spends his days trying to figure out how to do quantum simulations for high-energy physics. “Everything has to be redesigned from the ground up. We are right at the beginning of understanding how to do this.”

    Just getting started

    Quantum computers have already proved useful in basic research. Condensed matter physicists—whose research relates to phases of matter—have spent much more time than particle physicists thinking about how quantum computers and simulators can help them. They have used quantum simulators to explore quantum spin liquid states [Science] and to observe a previously unobserved phase of matter called a prethermal time crystal [Science].

    “The biggest place where quantum simulators will have an impact is in discovery science, in discovering new phenomena like this that exist in nature,” says Norman Yao, an assistant professor at The University of California-Berkeley (US) and co-author on the time crystal paper.

    Quantum computers are showing promise in particle physics and astrophysics. Many physics and astrophysics researchers are using quantum computers to simulate “toy problems”—small, simple versions of much more complicated problems. They have, for example, used quantum computing to test parts of theories of quantum gravity [npj Quantum Information] or create proof-of-principle models, like models of the parton showers that emit from particle colliders [Physical Review Letters] such as the Large Hadron Collider.

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN].

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    CERN LHC tube in the tunnel. Credit: Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan.

    SixTRack CERN LHC particles.

    “Physicists are taking on the small problems, ones that they can solve with other ways, to try to understand how quantum computing can have an advantage,” says Roni Harnik, a scientist at Fermilab. “Learning from this, they can build a ladder of simulations, through trial and error, to more difficult problems.”

    But just which approaches will succeed, and which will lead to dead ends, remains to be seen. Estimates of how many qubits will be needed to simulate big enough problems in physics to get breakthroughs range from thousands to (more likely) millions. Many in the field expect this to be possible in the 2030s or 2040s.

    “In high-energy physics, problems like these are clearly a regime in which quantum computers will have an advantage,” says Ning Bao, associate computational scientist at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US). “The problem is that quantum computers are still too limited in what they can do.”

    Starting with physics

    Some physicists are coming at things from a different perspective: They’re looking to physics to better understand quantum computing.

    John Preskill is a physics professor at The California Institute of Technology (US) and an early leader in the field of quantum computing. A few years ago, he and Patrick Hayden, professor of physics at Stanford University (US), showed that if you entangled two photons and threw one into a black hole, decoding the information that eventually came back out via Hawking radiation would be significantly easier than if you had used non-entangled particles. Physicists Beni Yoshida and Alexei Kitaev then came up with an explicit protocol for such decoding, and Yao went a step further, showing that protocol could also be a powerful tool in characterizing quantum computers.

    “We took something that was thought about in terms of high-energy physics and quantum information science, then thought of it as a tool that could be used in quantum computing,” Yao says.

    That sort of cross-disciplinary thinking will be key to moving the field forward, physicists say.

    “Everyone is coming into this field with different expertise,” Bao says. “From computing, or physics, or quantum information theory—everyone gets together to bring different perspectives and figure out problems. There are probably many ways of using quantum computing to study physics that we can’t predict right now, and it will just be a matter of getting the right two people in a room together.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 9:15 pm on November 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Particle accelerator magnet sets record using high-temperature superconductor", , , Cost- and energy-efficient rapid cycling magnets for particle accelerators are critical for particle physics research., DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), Fermilab just demonstrated the world’s fastest magnetic ramping rates for particle accelerator magnets., , , , , The “high-temperature” superconducting material known as YBCO., The development of fast-cycling magnets is critical for future neutrino research.   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US): “Particle accelerator magnet sets record using high-temperature superconductor” 

    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 worldwide.

    November 30, 2021
    Vladimir Shiltsev
    Alexander Zlobin

    Cost- and energy-efficient rapid cycling magnets for particle accelerators are critical for particle physics research. Their performance determines how frequently a circular particle accelerator can receive a bunch of particles, propel them to higher energy, send them to an experiment or target station, and then repeat all over again.

    A small team of physicists, engineers and technicians at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Particle Accelerator Laboratory, led by Henryk Piekarz, just demonstrated the world’s fastest magnetic ramping rates for particle accelerator magnets. Noteworthy, they achieved this record by using magnets made with energy-efficient, high-temperature superconducting material.

    What is the best conductor?

    Despite the many attractive features of superconducting wire, the fastest-ramping high-energy particle accelerators still use magnets with copper conductors operating at room temperature. Examples include the 3 GeV proton ring at J-PARC|Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex, which features a magnetic field that changes at a rate of 70 tesla per second (T/s) and reaches a peak magnetic field of 1.1 tesla, and the 8 GeV Booster ring at Fermilab, which achieves a ramping rate of 30 T/s and a peak field of 0.7 tesla.

    1
    Henryk Piekarz of Fermilab’s Accelerator Division controls the flow of cryogens in the high-temperature superconductor magnet prototype. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    Most of the powerful superconducting magnets employed in modern-day particle accelerators are relatively slow when it comes to increasing the magnetic field. Their main goal is to ramp up to a high peak magnetic field to steer particles around a ring while electric fields propel the particles to higher and higher energy. The higher the energy, the stronger the magnetic field must be to keep the particles in their track as they go around the ring.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron [below] accelerator was the first machine based on superconducting steering magnets. The ramping of the 4.4 tesla magnets to full magnetic strength took more than a minute and a half, while electric fields increased the energy of the particles to 1 TeV. Today, the world’s most powerful accelerator, the CERN Large Hadron Collider(CH), uses superconducting steering magnets that ramp up to almost 8 tesla in approximately 20 minutes, while the accelerator propels particles to 6.5 TeV.

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire (CH) map.

    This corresponds to a ramping rate of about 0.006 T/s and is much slower than the ramping rate of conventional accelerator magnets operating at room temperature.

    Now, a superconducting accelerator test magnet is taking the ramping rate lead as Fermilab’s high-temperature superconductor test magnet has yielded rates of up to 290 T/s, while achieving a peak magnetic field strength of about 0.5 tesla. The results have been published reported at the 27th International Conference on Magnet Technology by the IEEE Council on Superconductivity this month. Piekarz and his colleagues hope to achieve even higher magnetic field strength by increasing the electrical current running through the magnet, while maintaining the superior ramping rate.

    The solution: high-temperature superconductor

    Two major problems are limiting the magnetic ramping rate in “low-temperature” superconducting accelerator magnets now in common use. The first one is the heating of the superconductor during ramping, due to eddy currents that can create large heat depositions in the superconductor. This heating rapidly increases with the increase of field amplitude and the ramping rate. The second one is the very small margin for temperature variation in the traditional low-temperature superconductors, such as niobium-titanium and niobium-tin, which are used in most modern superconducting accelerator magnets. Even a small increase in temperature can lead to the undesirable transition of a superconducting magnet into its normal conducting, resistive state.

    2
    A dual-aperture, high-temperature superconductor accelerator magnet test set-up. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    The solution to these problems is to employ the unique properties of “high-temperature” superconducting material known as YBCO. Using this material, Piekarz and his team designed a magnet and operated it at temperatures between 6 and 20 K and up to 1,000 amps of electrical current.

    The peak strength of the magnetic field achieved during the record-setting ramping tests was limited by the electrical current provided by the power supply used in the test. Piekarz and his team plan to expand the power supply capabilities in the future, possibly achieving even higher rates, as they will carry out further studies on the ultimate capabilities of this advanced magnet technology.

    The development of these fast-cycling magnets is critical for future neutrino research, featuring rapid-cycling proton synchrotrons, particle injectors for the proposed Future Circular Collider, and the design of pulsed muon colliders.

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Wilson Hall (US.)

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a Department of Energy (US) 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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) campus .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) DAMIC | Fermilab Cosmic Physics Center.

    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..

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Mu2e solenoid

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US).

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US) Argon tank at Sanford Underground Research Facility(US)

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) MicrobooNE

    FNAL MicroBooNE’s time projection chamber

    FNAL Don Lincoln.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) MINOS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Cryomodule Testing Facility.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) MINOS Far Detector.

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

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] (CH) ProtoDune.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US)/NOvA experiment map.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) NOvA Near Detector at Batavia IL, USA .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICARUS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Holometer.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US)LArIAT.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICEBERG particle detector.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 8:43 pm on November 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Fermilab sees record performance from next-generation accelerator component", DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Facility (US), , , , SLAC LCLS-II-HE, Superconducting radio-frequency cryomodules, Undulators for LCLS-II   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “Fermilab sees record performance from next-generation accelerator component” 

    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 worldwide.

    November 3, 2021
    Lauren Biron
    Mary Magnuson

    For several years, three U.S. Department of Energy national labs have worked together to further improve state-of-the-art particle accelerator technology. First tests of a prototype built at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory show the effort has paid off, with a new component setting records.

    The technology under development is called a superconducting radio-frequency cryomodule, a high-tech piece of equipment that efficiently speeds up particles. It is a key building block of modern particle accelerators and X-ray lasers. All supported by the DOE Office of Science, Fermilab, DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Facility (US) and DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (US) have pooled their expertise for research and development on cryomodules that will enhance SLAC’s X-ray laser, known as the Linac Coherent Light Source.

    SLAC LCLS

    1
    Assembly of vCM cold mass prior to insertion into the cryomodule vacuum vessel. Photo: APS-TD process engineering group.

    LCLS produces very bright X-ray beams used to provide researchers insights into the atomic structures of cells, materials and biochemical pathways. An upgrade of LCLS to LCLS-II is currently underway.

    SLAC LCLS-II

    The cryomodules now in development will be part of a future high-energy update, called LCLS-II-HE, that will enable even more precise atomic X-ray mapping.

    Researchers in biomedical and materials science fields can use LCLS-II and LCLS-II-HE, for example, to study how energy flows in tiny molecules and biochemical systems; how light penetrates and interacts with synthetic materials; and how materials might behave in extreme environments. Importantly, scientists also can use LCLS technology to study the properties of electric fields and how factors such as pressure and magnetism might govern particle interactions.

    2
    vCM in the cantilever fixture for insertion of the coldmass into the vacuum vessel. Photo: APS-TD process engineering group.

    To produce X-rays, LCLS-II accelerates electrons using superconducting radio-frequency technology. After reaching close to the speed of light, the electrons fly through a series of magnets, called an undulator, which forces them to travel a zigzag path and give off energy in the form of X-rays that are then used for research.

    Magnets called undulators stretch roughly 100 meters down a tunnel at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with one side (right) producing hard x-rays and the other soft x-rays.Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    From prototype to production

    The high-energy upgrade of LCLS-II is the solution to a seemingly impossible task. Researchers wanted to double the energy of the X-ray laser, but the upgrade has to be squeezed into a relatively small area between the existing accelerator and another experiment. Current state-of-the-art technology would have required too much room — so the teams had to invent a way to pack more particle punch into their equipment.

    Accelerator experts improved the cryomodules in several ways. They used a process called “nitrogen doping” to optimize the molecular makeup of the walls of the superconducting accelerator cavities, the components that accelerate the particle beam. They also developed new procedures to assemble and finish the components. Improving the cleanliness reduces unwanted effects from any contamination on the surface, including errant dust particles.

    Fermilab’s prototype is a “verification cryomodule.” It’s proof that the design works as expected, the improved cryomodules will successfully fit in the constrained space, and that final production can begin. It’s a strong start to the upgrade that will take place over the next several years and will require 24 new cryomodules: 13 produced at Fermilab and 11 at Jefferson Lab. Researchers improved the cryomodules far beyond current specifications, and the new equipment should result in a 30 percent improvement to LCLS-II’s performance.

    “Structurally, if you’re looking at the cryomodules from the outside, you won’t be able to tell the difference,” said John Hogan, senior team lead at Jefferson Lab. “But if we’re able to maintain that test performance throughout the whole production, it will give the machine much more energy.”

    Experts pay attention to quality factor, called Q0, which measures a cryomodule’s efficiency — basically, how much excess heat it generates. Superconducting cavities generate about 10,000 times less heat than normal conducting cavities made out of copper. But they have to be kept at cryogenic temperatures (usually around 2 Kelvin, or negative 456 degrees Fahrenheit), requiring a cryogenic plant. To keep the cryogenic requirements reasonable, many accelerators are operated in a “pulsed mode,” with pauses between pulses to reduce the cryogenic load. The nitrogen doping process increases the Q0 so much that it allows the cryomodules in LCLS-II to operate at full tilt without stopping, a feature called “continuous wave mode.”

    The verification cryomodule achieved a record in this continuous mode; electrons passing through the module will have their energy increased by an incredible 200 million electronvolts. The rapid acceleration within a single cryomodule is what will enable the high-energy LCLS-II to reach higher energies in a shorter distance while using fewer cryomodules. The team was also able to maintain the high-quality factor, meaning faster acceleration with minimal excess heat.

    Fermilab senior team lead Tug Arkan said the prime focus of the high-energy upgrade is quality and performance, building on the labs’ experience working together. “For LCLS-II, we designed; we procured parts; we assembled the parts into the cryomodules; we tested the cryomodules; and then we successfully delivered them to SLAC,” said Arkan. “We are starting LCLS-II-HE with the proven success from LCLS-II experience. We will leverage from our successes and also from our unwanted outcomes and adapt the lessons learned to LCLS-II-HE.”

    Jefferson Lab and Fermilab are now assembling the needed cryomodules, which should be complete in 2024. The equipment will be shipped to SLAC and stored until scientists are ready to move them into their positions at the end of the LCLS-II accelerator chain.

    3
    The vCM at the Fermilab Cryomodule Test Facility. Photo: APS-TD process engineering group.

    Once the team at SLAC installs and commissions the LCLS-II-HE, researchers in everything from biomedical science and molecular physics to renewable energy will find the facility useful.

    “LCLS-II-HE will enable higher X-ray energies and better tools and capabilities for the science community,” said Greg Hays, the LCLS-II-HE project director at SLAC. “Increased gradient with reduced heat loads will cut the number of required liquid helium refrigeration plants in half and reduced the length of the overall accelerator, allowing it more than double the energy of LCLS-II by making it only 50 percent longer.”

    The advances in cryomodule fabrication, installation and operation will also be useful for future particle accelerators both big and small. Many particle accelerators use the same superconducting radio-frequency technology as LCLS-II to accelerate particles, so applying the engineering principles from the LCLS-II-HE upgrade will allow other research teams to create high-performing accelerator cryomodules that create little excess heat and can operate efficiently.

    “Higher-gradient performance with lower heat generation will dramatically improve future particle accelerators,” Hays said. “It translates to lower construction and operation costs.”

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a Department of Energy (US) 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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) campus .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) DAMIC | Fermilab Cosmic Physics Center.

    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..

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Mu2e solenoid

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US).

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US) Argon tank at Sanford Underground Research Facility(US)

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) MicrobooNE

    FNAL MicroBooNE’s time projection chamber

    FNAL Don Lincoln.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINOS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Cryomodule Testing Facility.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) MINOS Far Detector.

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

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] (CH) ProtoDune.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/NOvA experiment map .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) NOvA Near Detector at Batavia IL, USA .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICARUS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Holometer.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) LArIAT.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICEBERG particle detector.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on October 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Spot Rare Neutrino Signal for Big Physics Finding", , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), , , LArTPC: liquid-argon time projection chamber, , , , The MicroBooNE experiment at Fermilab, Wire-Cell: a software package that processes neutrino events and automatically reconstructs them in 3D.   

    From DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) : “Scientists Spot Rare Neutrino Signal for Big Physics Finding” 

    From DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US)

    October 27, 2021
    Stephanie Kossman
    skossman@bnl.gov

    Brookhaven Lab scientists developed a software toolkit that reconstructs and isolates neutrino data in 3D, led a key analysis that uncovered a major finding from the MicroBooNE experiment.

    1
    This is a still image of a 3D reconstruction of MicroBooNE data processed by Wire-Cell. Electron-neutrino interaction tracks and other activities (black) paired with the corresponding light signals from photomultiplier tubes (red circles) stand out clearly from tracks produced by cosmic rays (dimmed color tracks). Image courtesy of the MicroBooNE experiment.

    Did you feel the trillions of neutrinos that just flew through your body? Probably not, because these subatomic particles rarely interact with matter. Neutrinos can travel through a lightyear’s worth of lead without ever disturbing a single atom. Understanding these ghost-like particles could unlock mysteries of the universe, but how can scientists study neutrinos if they are seemingly undetectable?

    Ironically, to study tiny neutrinos, scientists need massive experiments, like the MicroBooNE experiment at the DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US). At the heart of MicroBooNE is a 170-ton liquid-argon time projection chamber (LArTPC), a type of detector that captures the signatures of neutrinos as they pass through a vat of frigid liquid argon kept at -303 degrees Fahrenheit.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) MicrobooNE experiment.

    Building an experiment that can operate at such extreme temperatures was no small feat, requiring the expertise of nearly 30 institutions. Scientists, engineers, and technicians from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory played crucial roles in the development of MicroBooNE, from proposing the initial idea of the experiment to designing its mechanical structure and crafting cold microelectronics that live inside the LArTPC. But the effort wasn’t complete once MicroBooNE was operational.

    Just like a personal computer requires software to be accessed, physicists need software to decipher the neutrino events captured by MicroBooNE’s LArTPC. That’s why a team of scientists from Brookhaven developed Wire-Cell: a software package that processes neutrino events and automatically reconstructs them in 3D.

    “Wire-Cell works like the 3D image reconstruction software in a computed tomography (CT) machine,” said Brookhaven physicist Xin Qian, leader of Brookhaven’s MicroBooNE physics group. “The detector provides a bunch of flat pictures and then the software reconstructs a 3D object layer by layer.”

    Wire-Cell starts by processing 2D projective snapshots from the LArTPC into high-resolution images. Then, these images are “sliced” into several layers that correspond to a specific moment in time. By combining all the timestamped layers, Wire-Cell creates an interactive 3D model of the LArTPC data.

    Building out the Wire-Cell components that produce these 3D renderings was a years-long effort. The project required Brookhaven scientists to solve a chain of technical challenges and create software tools entirely from scratch.

    “When the first MicroBooNE image came out six years ago, the quality was not good enough to perform analyses, so we had to develop a whole set of image processing software just to improve the image quality,” said Chao Zhang, a leading member of the Wire-Cell team. “After that, we carried out the original concept of Wire-Cell: to build a 3D object based on 2D pictures. Then, we adjusted the software so it could identify interesting information from the original event, and that was the first time the Wire-Cell group finally saw a very clear neutrino interaction from the MicroBooNE detector.”

    2
    Wire-Cell 3D Pattern Recognition: a) Selected neutrino activity; b) Track/Shower separation; c) Particle-level sub-clustering; d) 3D dQ/dx displayed with PID capability; e) Particle flow starting from neutrino vertex.

    MicroBooNE’s exquisite sensitivity enables the experiment to capture elusive neutrino signals, but it also records many unwanted signals, such as those from cosmic rays. Brookhaven Goldhaber fellow Hanyu Wei led the Wire-Cell team in an effort to filter out these signals, leaving a clear picture of a neutrino event. But still, another challenge remained.

    “Once Wire-Cell was able to isolate neutrino events, our new goal became to select a particular type of neutrino out,” said Xiangpan Ji, a post-doc in the Wire-Cell group. “Only about 0.5 percent of the events captured by the LArTPC are what we care about—the so-called electron-neutrino interaction. That’s the signal we’re after.”

    Extracting this incredibly rare signal from a wealth of data is like searching for a needle in a haystack. To simplify the process, the Wire-Cell team added new tools to the software package, including a type of artificial intelligence called “deep learning.”

    “The new tools are a set of software mostly focused on pattern recognition,” said Brett Viren, lead developer of the Wire-Cell toolkit. “The event we are looking for has a unique feature called an electromagnetic shower, which manifests as a particular topology.” First, the topology needs to look like an electron. Second, the topology needs to connect with the neutrino interaction vertex. Haiwang Yu, a post-doc in the Wire-Cell team, developed the deep learning algorithm to sort through all the possible candidates and locate these patterns.

    The new capabilities added to Wire-Cell enabled MicroBooNE to achieve a remarkable 46% efficiency in selecting the electron-neutrino interaction signal with minimal background left in the image. This efficiency directly enabled the latest scientific finding from MicroBooNE, in which physicists announced the experiment detected no evidence of a “sterile neutrino.”


    Imaging Neutrinos in MicroBooNE with WireCell.

    The latest MicroBooNE result, announced today by Fermilab follows up on an intriguing finding made by an earlier version of the experiment called MiniBooNE.

    FNAL/MiniBooNE

    MiniBooNE researchers detected an anomaly that hinted towards the existence of the sterile neutrino, a yet-to-be-discovered particle that is theorized to only interact with gravity. Discovering a sterile neutrino would lead to a paradigm shift in the Standard Model, the theory that physicists currently use to describe all the universe’s elementary particles and how they interact.

    “Researchers at MiniBooNE observed anomalous events that could not be explained,” Qian said. “The previous detector that was used was unable to differentiate between electrons and photons, so that’s when the MicroBooNE experiment was proposed to dive deeper into this anomaly. Now, the MicroBooNE detector can distinguish between them using the LArTPC’s enhanced detection capabilities. As such, through four complementary analyses, the MicroBooNE collaboration determined that the data is consistent with the Standard Model.” The Wire-Cell team at Brookhaven Lab led one of the four analyses—the most sensitive analysis of the electron-neutrino interaction. Some components of the Wire-Cell toolkit were also used in the other three analyses.

    In addition to following up on the results from MiniBooNE, MicroBooNE is serving as a steppingstone for a much larger neutrino experiment, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE).

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

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) Caverns at Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    Currently under construction, DUNE will consist of two detectors separated by 800 miles—one at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois and a second, much larger detector at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota.

    FNAL DUNE Near Detector

    FNAL Dune Far Detector

    As an intense beam of neutrinos travels underground between these two detectors, researchers will study the particles’ behavior. Brookhaven Lab is also a leading collaborator on DUNE and the Wire-Cell team has kept this in mind from the start.

    “We have always been aiming for DUNE as the final goal of our activities,” said Mary Bishai, a senior scientist at Brookhaven Lab. “Our work in MicroBooNE is currently state-of-the-art in the field of neutrino research and has moved us much closer towards the performance required to achieve the physics goals of DUNE.” Brookhaven post-docs Wenqiang Gu and Nitish Nayak are leading efforts to deploy and further develop Wire-Cell in DUNE.

    In the meantime, MicroBooNE research is ongoing. Brookhaven continues to make key contributions to the experiment, including physics analyses on new findings.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the DOE(US) Office of Science, DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University(US), the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle(US), a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5,300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission(US) and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University(US) and Battelle Memorial Institute(US). From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) (US), but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) to have a facility near Boston, Massachusettes(US). Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University(US), Cornell University(US), Harvard University(US), Johns Hopkins University(US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Pennsylvania(US), University of Rochester(US), and Yale University(US).

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS)

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source (US) operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II (US) [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source (US).

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider(CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, It was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility [Jlab] (US) as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC) in the United States.

    Brookhaven Lab Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) (US) to be built inside the tunnel that currently houses the RHIC.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II(US), Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY (US).

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

    European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire)(EU) [CERN] map

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire](CH)CERN ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the SNS accumulator ring in partnership with Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US), Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory(US) Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II(US).

    BNL NSLS II (US).

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider (US) Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:10 am on October 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "MicroBooNE experiment’s first results show no hint of a sterile neutrino", , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US),   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “MicroBooNE experiment’s first results show no hint of a sterile neutrino” 

    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 worldwide.

    October 27, 2021
    Tracy Marc, Fermilab
    media@fnal.gov
    224-290-7803

    New results from the MicroBooNE experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory deal a blow to a theoretical particle known as the sterile neutrino. For more than two decades, this proposed fourth neutrino has remained a promising explanation for anomalies seen in earlier physics experiments. Finding a new particle would be a major discovery and a radical shift in our understanding of the universe.

    However, four complementary analyses released by the international MicroBooNE collaboration and presented during a seminar today all show the same thing: no sign of the sterile neutrino. Instead, the results align with the Standard Model of Particle Physics, scientists’ best theory of how the universe works. The data is consistent with what the Standard Model predicts: three kinds of neutrinos—no more, no less.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics, Quantum Diaries

    1
    The international MicroBooNE experiment uses a 170-ton detector placed in Fermilab’s neutrino beam. The experiment studies neutrino interactions and has found no hint of a theorized fourth neutrino called the sterile neutrino. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

    “MicroBooNE has made a very comprehensive exploration through multiple types of interactions, and multiple analysis and reconstruction techniques,” said Bonnie Fleming, physics professor at Yale University and co-spokesperson for MicroBooNE. “They all tell us the same thing, and that gives us very high confidence in our results that we are not seeing a hint of a sterile neutrino.”

    MicroBooNE is a 170-ton neutrino detector roughly the size of a school bus that has operated since 2015. The international experiment has close to 200 collaborators from 36 institutions in five countries. They used cutting-edge technology to record spectacularly precise 3D images of neutrino events and examine particle interactions in detail—a much-needed probe into the subatomic world.

    Neutrinos are one of the fundamental particles in nature. They’re neutral, incredibly tiny, and the most abundant particle with mass in our universe—though they rarely interact with other matter. They’re also particularly intriguing to physicists, with a number of unanswered questions surrounding them. These puzzles include why their masses are so vanishingly small and whether they are responsible for matter’s dominance over antimatter in our universe. This makes neutrinos a unique window into exploring how the universe works at the smallest scales.

    MicroBooNE’s new results are an exciting turning point in neutrino research. With sterile neutrinos further disfavored as the explanation for anomalies spotted in neutrino data, scientists are investigating other possibilities. These include things as intriguing as light created by other processes during neutrino collisions or as exotic as dark matter, unexplained physics related to the Higgs boson, or other physics beyond the Standard Model.

    3
    MicroBooNE’s advanced liquid argon technology enables researchers to capture detailed images of particle tracks. This electron neutrino event shows an electron shower and a proton track. Image: MicroBooNE collaboration.

    First hints of sterile neutrinos

    Neutrinos come in three known types—the electron, muon and tau neutrino—and can switch between these flavors in a particular way as they travel. This phenomenon is called “neutrino oscillation.” Scientists can use their knowledge of oscillations to predict how many neutrinos of any kind they expect to see when measuring them at various distances from their source.

    Neutrinos are produced by many sources, including the sun, the atmosphere, nuclear reactors and particle accelerators. Starting around two decades ago, data from two particle beam experiments threw researchers for a loop.

    In the 1990s, the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector experiment at DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory saw more particle interactions than expected.

    Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector experiment at DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (US) and The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (US)

    In 2002, the follow-up MiniBooNE experiment at Fermilab began gathering data to investigate the LSND result in more detail.

    FNAL/MiniBooNE

    MiniBooNE scientists also saw more particle events than calculations predicted. These strange neutrino beam results were followed by reports of missing electron neutrinos from radioactive sources and reactor neutrino experiments.

    Sterile neutrinos emerged as a popular candidate to explain these odd results. While neutrinos are already tricky to detect, the proposed sterile neutrino would be even more elusive, responding only to the force of gravity. But because neutrinos flit between the different types, a sterile neutrino could impact the way neutrinos oscillate, leaving its signature in the data.

    But studying the smallest things in nature isn’t straightforward. Scientists never see neutrinos directly; instead, they see the particles that emerge when a neutrino hits an atom inside a detector.

    The MiniBooNE detector had a particular limitation: It was unable to tell the difference between electrons and photons (particles of light) close to where the neutrino interacted. This ambiguity painted a muddled picture of what particles were emerging from collisions. You can think of it like having a box of chocolates—MiniBooNE could tell you it contains a dozen pieces, but MicroBooNE could tell you which ones have almonds, and which have caramel.

    If MiniBooNE were truly seeing more electrons than predicted, it would indicate extra electron neutrinos causing the interactions. That would mean something unexpected was happening in the oscillations that researchers hadn’t accounted for: sterile neutrinos. But if photons were causing the excess, it would likely be a background process rather than oscillations gone wild and a new particle.

    It was clear that researchers needed a more nuanced detector. In 2007, the idea for MicroBooNE was born.

    MicroBooNE: precision detector

    The MicroBooNE detector is built on state-of-the-art techniques and technology. It uses special light sensors and more than 8,000 painstakingly attached wires to capture particle tracks. It’s housed in a 40-foot-long cylindrical container filled with 170 tons of pure liquid argon. Neutrinos bump into the dense, transparent liquid, releasing additional particles that the electronics can record. The resulting pictures show detailed particle paths and, crucially, distinguish electrons from photons.

    3
    Workers install a component of MicroBooNE’s precision detector (called a time projection chamber) into the cylindrical container, or cryostat. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

    MicroBooNE’s first three years of data show no excess of electrons—but they also show no excess of photons from a background process that might indicate an error in MiniBooNE’s data.

    “We’re not seeing what we would have expected from a MiniBooNE-like signal, neither electrons nor the most likely of the photon suspects,” said Fermilab scientist Sam Zeller, who served as MicroBooNE co-spokesperson for eight years. “But that earlier data from MiniBooNE doesn’t lie. There’s something really interesting happening that we still need to explain.”

    MicroBooNE ruled out the most likely source of photons as the cause of MiniBooNE’s excess events with 95% confidence and ruled out electrons as the sole source with greater than 99% confidence, and there is more to come.

    MicroBooNE still has half of its data to analyze and more ways yet to analyze it. The granularity of the detector enables researchers to look at particular kinds of particle interactions. While the team started with the most likely causes for the MiniBooNE excess, there are additional channels to investigate—such as the appearance of an electron and positron, or different outcomes that include photons.

    “Being able to look in detail at these different event outcomes is a real strength of our detector,” Zeller said. “The data is steering us away from the likely explanations and pointing toward something more complex and interesting, which is really exciting.”

    Future neutrino exploration

    Neutrinos are surrounded by mysteries. The anomalous data seen by the earlier MiniBooNE and LSND experiments still need an explanation. So too does the very phenomenon of neutrino oscillation and the fact that neutrinos have mass, neither of which is predicted by the Standard Model. There are also tantalizing hints that neutrinos could help explain why there is so much matter in the universe, as opposed to a universe full of antimatter or nothing at all.

    MicroBooNE is one of a suite of neutrino experiments searching for answers. Crucially, it’s also a long-running testbed for the liquid argon technology that will be used in upcoming detectors.

    4
    The team inserts the time-projection chamber into the MicroBooNE cryostat. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

    “We’ve built and tested the hardware, and we’ve also developed the infrastructure to process our enormous dataset,” said Justin Evans, a scientist at the University of Manchester and MicroBooNE co-spokesperson. “That includes the simulations, calibrations, reconstruction algorithms, analysis strategies and automation through techniques like machine learning. This groundwork is essential for future experiments.”

    Liquid argon is the material of choice for the ICARUS [below] detector set to begin gathering physics data soon and the Short-Baseline Near Detector coming online in 2023. Together with MicroBooNE, the three experiments form the Short-Baseline Neutrino Program [below] at Fermilab and will produce a wealth of neutrino data. For example, in one month, SBND will record more data than MicroBooNE collected in two years. Today’s results from MicroBooNE will help guide some of the research in the trio’s broad portfolio.

    “Every time we look at neutrinos, we seem to find something new or unexpected,” said Evans. “MicroBooNE’s results are taking us in a new direction, and our neutrino program is going to get to the bottom of some of these mysteries.”

    Liquid argon will also be used in the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, a flagship international experiment hosted by Fermilab that already has more than 1,000 researchers from over 30 countries.

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

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) Caverns at Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    <Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US) Argon tank at Sanford Underground Research Facility(US).

    DUNE will study oscillations by sending neutrinos 800 miles (1,300 km) through the earth to detectors at the mile-deep Sanford Underground Research Facility. The combination of short- and long-distance neutrino experiments will give researchers insights into the workings of these fundamental particles.

    “We have some big, unanswered questions in physics that many experiments are trying to address,” Fleming said. “And neutrinos may be telling us where to find some of those answers. I think if you want to understand how the universe works, you have to understand neutrinos.”

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Wilson Hall (US).

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a Department of Energy (US) 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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) campus .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) DAMIC | Fermilab Cosmic Physics Center.

    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..

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Mu2e solenoid

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US).

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US) Argon tank at Sanford Underground Research Facility(US)

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) MicrobooNE

    FNAL MicroBooNE’s time projection chamber

    FNAL Don Lincoln.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINOS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Cryomodule Testing Facility.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) MINOS Far Detector.

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

    European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] (CH) ProtoDune.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/NOvA experiment map .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) NOvA Near Detector at Batavia IL, USA .

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICARUS.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) Holometer.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) LArIAT.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US) ICEBERG particle detector.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 10:36 am on October 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Building a cross-border dark matter experiment deep underground — during a pandemic", , , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), , , SENSEI dark matter experiment collaboration,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “Building a cross-border dark matter experiment deep underground — during a pandemic” 

    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 worldwide.

    October 14, 2021
    Lindsey Alexander

    1
    To get to SNOLAB’s cleanroom, where the SENSEI experiment is to be housed, a trip more than a mile underground inside a working mine, pictured here, is required. Photo: SNOLAB.

    In the search for dark matter particles, a tabletop experiment in the heart of a Canadian mine might do the trick. The SENSEI collaboration uses skipper charged-couple devices, or CCDs, which are the most sensitive sensors of their kind, dreamt up decades ago and only recently realized.

    The collaboration recently proved that the experiment has a sensitive dark matter detector and that it can reduce background rates in an underground experimental area at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab. Now, the collaboration is running a bigger, exponentially quieter, more sensitive version of the experiment more than a mile underground at SNOLAB in Canada.

    With the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the U.S.-Canada border, the experiment could have easily fallen behind schedule in 2020. Instead, it’s in its commissioning phase — testing with about 20% of the target material the experiment will use when the outer layers of shielding are in place. Extraordinary teamwork between physicists on both sides of the border ensured that it moved forward on schedule.

    Staying safe while progressing science

    As the pandemic settled in for its third or fourth month, it dawned on Javier Tiffenberg, associate scientist at Fermilab and SENSEI collaborator, that the Fermilab team’s planned experimental installation, slated to begin in 2020, needed rethinking.

    Without a way to get to the site, the SENSEI team reached out to SNOLAB to see if staff were open to installing the hyper-sensitive experiment themselves with remote guidance from Fermilab. SNOLAB staff are already familiar with the unique challenges of installing experiments in a clean lab located in a working mine. This time, they’d be performing a weeks-long installation for an experiment they weren’t originally going to be a part of.

    SNOLAB was game.

    “We will be their hands since they can’t be here,” Silvia Scorza, research scientist at SNOLAB, said of the perspective adopted for the project. She’s one of the SNOLAB employees who’ve taken on helping install projects remotely during the pandemic.

    “When the people at SNOLAB said they were interested in contributing to this and then from our side the engineers and technicians said, ‘Yeah, we can do this,’ I was super excited because I really thought that this was coming together,” Tiffenberg said.

    Greg Derylo, an engineer in the Particle Physics Division at Fermilab, designed the layout of SENSEI, worked with the drafting group to make drawings of all the mechanical parts, and procured parts from on- and off-site machine shops. Because of COVID-19 restrictions’ effects on access to Fermilab’s campus, he also did most of the physical assembly of the experiment.

    Derylo said disassembling at Fermilab and re-assembling at SNOLAB was always part of the plan. But remote installation presented a new issue.

    “The real trick comes in terms of who is doing that assembly underground,” he said. The main concern was handling the fragile (and expensive) skipper CCDs, which are “very susceptible to electrostatic damage.” Less than what a person can feel in their hand after rubbing their feet on carpet and touching a doorknob could wreck the sensors. So, the SNOLAB physicists and technicians took a special class in electronics handling.

    Testing, testing, and a very pandemic-style party

    Before the experiment could be put in SNOLAB’s hands, it had to be tested and documented.

    “We tested everything at Fermilab. We assembled everything in the same way as they would do it there,” Derylo said.

    The first test was mechanical — putting together the outside shell of the experiment to confirm it would hold vacuum — and a thermal performance test. SENSEI relies on cryogenics to “run cold.” To do this, the Fermilab team put on extra instrumentation to monitor temperatures and run diagnostics. Both performed as expected.

    In early fall 2020, the Fermilab team installed a set of test modules into the experiment, turned it on, cooled it down, ran it cold, and operated the modules. The readout went off without a hitch. The team celebrated — each member from their own location via Zoom — with champagne.

    Documentation and hand-modeling

    Usually, the documentation is more a series of reminders than detailed instructions, and team members can intuit the process or rely largely on memory.

    Creating instructions for a team unfamiliar with the experiment required next-level communication. That mostly meant creating documentation with way more detail.

    Because the team knew the installation would be remote, they took advantage of their own assembly during testing.

    2
    SENSEI gets quiet. Credit: Fermilab.

    “We took pictures of everything,” Tiffenberg said. “Having that documentation was critical.”

    But coming up with it wasn’t without challenges. With multiple people documenting at different times due to the pandemic, communication within the in-group also became more important than usual. Different technicians had different perspectives — literally.

    “As it turns out, we actually had opposite definitions of what was the front of the setup,” Derylo said. The remedy? SENSEI’s newest and one of its most important components: stick-on labels.

    The team also built stop points into the documentation. Once a SNOLAB pair reached one of these points, they could determine whether they had time to proceed to the next step in a shift or if they needed clarification from the Fermilab team.

    The first draft was ready around the beginning of 2021. Derylo said the documentation was broken into different sections and wound up being around 70 pages. The document is akin to an outline “peppered heavily with photos.” Schematics for the vacuum system, the cooler system and electrical cabling were also provided, but weren’t part of the booklet.

    “Then we took it apart but tried to keep as many pieces together as possible, and then we shipped this to SNOLAB in January,” Tiffenberg said.

    An ultraclean cleanroom in a working mine

    Pandemic issues aside, the process for installing experiments at SNOLAB’s underground facility was always complex. After all, it’s a clean lab that’s located more than a mile underground — inside a working mine.

    “Careful planning and preparation start at the surface,” Scorza said.

    There, at the beginning of the day, physicists, engineers and technicians dressed like miners (plus masks and contact tracing badges for the pandemic) wait for “the cage,” a mining elevator to take them deep underground.

    The trip down takes less than five minutes. But then there is a journey that’s almost a mile through a mine tunnel with a rail track running along it.

    “So, watch your step,” Scorza said.

    3
    Entrance to the lab underground, looking towards the dirty side of the carwash: Every person who enters the lab on the other side must shower and change clothes. Every item that goes into the lab must go through the carwash. Photo: SNOLAB

    At the end of this trek, a clean lab. Before entering, boots are washed at a special station. Clothes and boots are left on one side. People entering the clean lab strip, shower and dress with new clean garments on the other side of the shower to avoid contamination. A “lab responsible coordinator” checks that the lab is cleared for work — checking oxygen levels, among other parameters. It’s about an hour from the surface to beginning work, and the same — minus the shower — on the way back up. In a 10-hour day, this leaves about eight hours per shift to assemble the experiment.

    A team of four, comprised of SNOLAB scientists and a technician, take turns and work in pairs to install. (No one can be alone underground, and there are restrictions on the maximum number of people to maintain physical distancing.)

    “The packaging is very particular,” Tiffenberg said.

    Every piece received must go through “the underground carwash,” Scorza said. Each item is triple-bagged and double-palleted to streamline the intricate process for unbagging and wiping materials before they can enter the cleanroom laboratory. On the other side of the carwash, the clean lab. For SENSEI, parts included pipe, cable, vessel, copper pieces for the inner side, cryogenics, layers of lead and copper shielding, and the bell jar.

    4
    In stark contrast from the mine, on the other side of the carwash is the lab itself, an ultra clean facility. Photo: SNOLAB.

    “When these things were designed, of course, shipping everything assembled was not in the requirement list,” Tiffenberg said. “For the vast majority of things that we shipped, everything was perfectly fine.”

    Only a few minor plastic pieces — easily replaceable — got loose and broke.

    Once everything was opened and “looked good,” Tiffenberg said it was a “big, big relief.”

    Installation began April 19 and was completed in late summer.

    Though SNOLAB’s cleanroom is equipped with phones and Wi-Fi, communication outside of the documentation happens mainly in weekly meetings. The plan shifted from week to week, depending on whether the team could make it underground because of availability and COVID restrictions.

    Some days it involved extreme care: touching those skipper CCDs. Others, it involved operating a crane to move lead shielding. Scorza said the mixture of work SNOLAB allows scientists to undertake — hands-on and analytical — gives them a more complete experience in experimental physics. “And, this is very fun. At least for me.”

    5
    On Aug. 6, Steve Linden, a research scientist at SNOLAB, continues to assemble SENSEI in the underground cleanroom. Photo: SNOLAB.

    “I believe the fact that a team, a SNOLAB team of scientists, not originally very involved with the experiment, is able to progress with the underground installation shows that, first of all, physicists are very flexible,” Scorza said. “And (it’s) a testament to how robust the plan for this experiment is. Chapeau to the Fermilab team.”

    Tiffenberg said he is grateful that the installation went by without any hiccups or surprises.

    “It took a long time to get to this situation in which there are no surprises. At the beginning, everything felt, ‘Okay, we are spending a lot of time adjusting, coordinating, reviewing stuff.’ And that took a long time. But now that things are moving, that time that we took there we appreciate, because now everything is surprise-free.”

    Though now that the experiment is taking data, a surprise in the form of a scientific discovery would be a nice reward.

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 3:23 pm on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Quarks and Antiquarks at High Momentum Shake the Foundations of Visible Matter", , , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), , EMC effect: longstanding nuclear paradox,   

    From American Physical Society (US) : “Quarks and Antiquarks at High Momentum Shake the Foundations of Visible Matter” 

    AmericanPhysicalSociety

    From American Physical Society (US)

    10.14.21

    DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (US) and DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) experiments present new results on nucleon structure

    Two independent studies have illuminated unexpected substructures in the fundamental components of all matter. Preliminary results using a novel tagging method could explain the origin of the longstanding nuclear paradox known as the EMC effect. Meanwhile, authors will share next steps after the recent observation of asymmetrical antimatter in the proton [Nature].

    1
    Artistic rendering of quarks in deuterium. Credit: Ran Shneor.

    Both groups will discuss their experiments at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and Fermilab during the 2021 Fall Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics. They will present the results and take questions from the press at a live virtual news briefing on October 12 at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

    One study presents new evidence on the EMC effect, identified nearly 40 years ago when researchers at European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] discovered something surprising: Protons and neutrons bound in an atomic nucleus can change their internal makeup of quarks and gluons. But why such modifications arise, and how to predict them, remains unknown.

    For the first time, scientists have measured the EMC effect by tagging spectator neutrons, taking a major step toward solving the mystery.

    “We present initial and preliminary results from a new transformative measurement of a novel observable that provides direct insight into the origin of the EMC effect,” said Tyler T. Kutz, a postdoctoral researcher at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) and Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholar at The Tel Aviv University אוּנִיבֶרְסִיטַת תֵּל אָבִיב (IL), who will reveal the findings at the meeting.

    Inside the Backward Angle Neutron Detector (BAND) at Jefferson Lab, tagged spectator neutrons “split” the nuclear wave function into different sections. This process maps how momentum and density affect the structure of bound nucleons.

    The team’s initial results point to potential sizable, unpredicted effects. Preliminary observations suggest direct evidence that the EMC effect is connected with nucleon fluctuations of high local density and high momentum.

    “The results can have major implications for our understanding of the QCD structure of visible matter,” said Efrain Segarra, a graduate student at MIT working on the experiment. The research could shed light on the nature of confinement, strong interactions, and the fundamental composition of matter.

    A team from Fermilab found evidence that antimatter asymmetry also plays a crucial role in nucleon properties—a landmark observation published earlier this year in Nature. New analysis indicates that in the most extreme case, a single antiquark can be responsible for almost half the momentum of a proton.

    “This surprising result clearly shows that even at high momentum fractions, antimatter is an important part of the proton,” said Shivangi Prasad, a researcher at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US). “It demonstrates the importance of nonperturbative approaches to the structure of the basic building block of matter, the proton.”

    Prasad will discuss the SeaQuest experiment that found more “down” antiquarks than “up” antiquarks within the proton. She will also share preliminary research on sea-quark and gluon distributions.

    “The SeaQuest Collaboration looked inside the proton by slamming a high-energy beam of protons into targets made of hydrogen (essentially protons) and deuterium (nuclei containing single protons and neutrons),” said Prasad.

    “Within the proton, quarks and antiquarks are held together by extremely strong nuclear forces—so great that they can create antimatter-matter quark pairs out of empty space!” she explained. But the subatomic pairings only exist for a fleeting moment before they annihilate.

    The antiquark results have renewed interest in several earlier explanations for antimatter asymmetry in the proton. Prasad plans to discuss future measurements that could test the proposed mechanisms.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    American Physical Society US)
    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:47 pm on October 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Fermilab boasts new Theory Division", Astrophysics Theory, , , , , , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), Fermilab experts on perturbative QCD use high-performance computing to tackle the complexity of simulations for experiments at the Large Hadron Collider., Muon g-2 Theory Initiative and the Muon g-2 experiment, , Particle Theory, , , Superconducting Systems,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “Fermilab boasts new Theory Division” 

    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 worldwide.

    October 8, 2021

    Theoretical physics research at Fermi National Particle Accelerator Laboratory has always sparked new ideas and scientific opportunities, while at the same time supporting the large experimental group that conducts research at Fermilab. In recent years, the Theoretical Physics Department has further strengthened its position worldwide as a hub for the high-energy physics theoretical community. The department has now become Fermilab’s newest division, the Theory Division, which officially launched early this year with strong support from HEP.

    This new division seeks to:

    support strategic theory leadership;
    promote new initiatives, as well as strengthen existing ones;
    and leverage U.S. Department of Energy support through partnerships with universities and more.

    “Creating the Theory Division increases the lab’s abilities to stimulate and develop new pathways to discovery,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer.

    Led by Marcela Carena and her deputy Patrick Fox, this new division features three departments: Particle Theory, Astrophysics Theory and Quantum Theory. “This structure will help us focus our scientific efforts in each area and will allow for impactful contributions to existing and developing programs for the theory community,” said Carena.

    Particle Theory Department

    At the helm of the Particle Theory Department is Andreas Kronfeld. This department studies all aspects of theoretical particle physics, especially those areas inspired by the experimental program—at Fermilab and elsewhere. It coordinates leading national efforts, including the Neutrino Theory Network, and the migration of the lattice gauge theory program to Exascale computing platforms. Lattice quantum chromodynamics, or QCD, experts support the Muon g-2 Theory Initiative, providing a solid theory foundation for the recently announced results of the Muon g-2 experiment.

    Fermilab particle theorists, working with DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US) nuclear theorists, are using machine learning for developing novel event generators to precisely model neutrino-nuclear interactions, and employ lattice QCD to model multi-nucleon interactions; both are important for achieving the science goals of DUNE.

    Fermilab experts on perturbative QCD use high-performance computing to tackle the complexity of simulations for experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. Fermilab theorists are strongly involved in the exploration of physics beyond the Standard Model, through model-building, particle physics phenomenology, and formal aspects of quantum field theory.

    Astrophysics Theory Department

    Astrophysics Theory, led by Dan Hooper, consists of researchers who work at the confluence of astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. Fermilab’s scientists have played a key role in the development of this exciting field worldwide and continue to be deeply involved in supporting the Fermilab cosmic frontier program.

    Key areas of research include dark matter, dark energy, the cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, neutrino astronomy and axion astrophysics. A large portion of the department’s research involves numerical cosmological simulations of galaxy formation, large-scale structures and gravitational lensing. The department is developing machine-learning tools to help solve these challenging problems.

    Quantum Theory Department

    Led by Roni Harnik, the Quantum Theory Department has researchers working at the interface of quantum information science and high-energy physics. Fermilab theorists are working to harness the developing power of unique quantum information capabilities to address important physics questions, such as the simulation of QCD processes, dynamics in the early universe, and more generally simulating quantum field theories. Quantum-enhanced capabilities also open new opportunities to explore the universe and test theories of new particles, dark matter, gravitational waves and other new physics.

    Scientists in the Quantum Theory Department are developing new algorithms for quantum simulations, and they are proposing novel methods to search for new phenomena using quantum technology, including quantum optics, atomic physics, optomechanical sensors and superconducting systems. The department works in close collaboration with both the Fermilab Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center and the Fermilab Quantum Institute, as well as leads a national QuantISED theory consortium.

    Looking ahead

    The new Theory Division also intends to play a strong role in attracting and inspiring the next generation of theorists, training them in a data-rich environment, as well as promoting an inclusive culture that values diversity.

    “The best part about being a Fermilab theorist,” said Marcela Carena, “is working with brilliant junior scientists and sharing their excitement about exploring new ideas.”

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    FNAL Don Lincoln.[/caption]

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 9:21 am on October 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How to train your magnet", DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), , , , Large Hadron Collider, Niobium-3-tin magnets, ,   

    From Symmetry: “How to train your magnet” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    10/05/21
    Sarah Charley

    1
    illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Tara Kennedy.

    New accelerator magnets are undergoing a rigorous training program to prepare them for the extreme conditions inside the upgraded Large Hadron Collider.

    When training for a marathon, runners must gradually ramp up the distance of their runs. They know that their runs in the early days of training do not define what they will one day be capable of; they’re building a strong foundation that will help them reach their full potential.

    The car-length magnets that steer particles around the Large Hadron Collider go through a similar process. Scientists must push them to their limits, time and again, until they can handle enormous amounts of electrical current.

    “These magnets are great marvels of engineering,” says scientist Kathleen Amm, director of the Magnet Division at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) in New York. “But one thing we cannot do is put them straight into an accelerator. They have to be trained.”

    Scientists, engineers and technicians at Brookhaven are now training magnets for an even more difficult task: directing and focusing particles in a next-generation accelerator, the powered-up High-Luminosity LHC at CERN. Luckily, these magnets can not only withstand the workout, but also gain the ability to carry even more current than before.

    Withstanding lightning bolts

    Using a new type of superconducting wire based on niobium-3-tin, Nb3Sn, the HL-LHC accelerator magnets will be able to conduct about 40% more electrical current than the previous iteration of magnets for the LHC. Each will carry about 16,500 amperes—roughly as much as a small bolt of lightning. The average laptop, for reference, uses less than 5 amperes.

    LHC magnets are made from materials that are different from those used to make a laptop in an important way: They’re superconducting. That means they can carry an electrical current without losing any energy. They don’t produce any heat because they have zero electrical resistance.

    But there’s a catch: Both the old and new LHC magnets obtain the property of superconductivity only when cooled to extremely low temperatures. Inside the LHC, they are kept at 1.9 kelvin (minus 456.25 Fahrenheit), just above absolute zero.

    Even that is not always enough: A tiny imperfection can cause a magnet to suddenly lose its superconducting properties in a process called quenching.

    “A quench means that a portion of the superconductor becomes normal,” says scientist Sandor Feher, who oversees HL-LHC magnet testing and training. “Its temperature starts to rise, and this heat spreads to other parts of the magnet.”

    A quench can be ruinous. “When a superconductor loses its superconducting properties, it goes from having zero electrical resistance to a very high electrical resistance,” Amm says. “In the early days [of superconductor development], magnets would get burnt out because of this rapid transition.”

    But this overheating does not always spell disaster. During magnet training, controlled quenches induce helpful structural changes on the microscopic level that improve a magnet’s performance.

    The anatomy of a magnet

    When he was 12 years old, Martel Walls won a local art competition with a detailed and realistic drawing of a courthouse in Bloomington, Illinois. “My drawing ended up inside the courthouse,” he says. “Ever since then, I knew I wanted to work in a field that would take advantage of my eye for detail and steady hand.”

    Walls’ eye for complex forms eventually led him to his job as lead technician in charge of magnetic coil development at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) in Illinois, where teams both produce and test magnets bound for the HL-LHC.

    The magnets Walls and his team are assembling consist of 450 meters (about 1480 feet) of Nb3Sn superconducting cable wound around two interlocking support structures. The coils are about 4.5 meters (almost 15 feet) in length. Every centimeter of cable is inspected both before and during the winding process.

    The coils are then heated up to 665 degrees Celsius (1229 degrees Fahrenheit) over an 11-day heat cycle; a process which transforms the ordinary niobium-tin cable into a superconductor, but also makes it incredibly brittle. “It becomes as fragile as uncooked spaghetti,” Walls says.

    Handling them as gently as possible, technicians solder more components onto the coils before soaking them in epoxy. The final coils are shipped to DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US) in California, where multiple coils are fitted together and then wrapped in a strong steel casing. They are then shipped to Brookhaven to begin their training regime.

    When the Brookhaven test team connects the magnets to electricity, the coils push and pull on each other with enormous forces due to the high magnetic fields.

    Even a tiny movement on the order of just 10 to 20 microns—about the width of a human hair—can be enough to generate a quench.

    Training regime

    Early on, engineers realized that a well-built magnet could remember these microscopic movements. When an unstable component shifts into a more comfortable position, the component then normally stays put. The result is a magnet that is sturdier the next time it powers up.

    During training, scientists and engineers gradually increase the electrical current circulating in the magnet. If any portion of the magnet is going to move or release energy, it does so in a controlled laboratory setting rather than a hard-to-access subterranean accelerator complex.

    Magnet training at Brookhaven begins by immersing the magnet in a bath of liquid helium. Once it’s cooled, the test team introduces and gradually increases the electrical current.

    As soon as there’s a quench, the electricity is automatically diverted out of the magnet. The liquid helium bath evaporates, carrying with it the heat of the quench. After each quench, the helium is recollected to be reused, and the process starts again.

    “Our goal is three quenches per magnet per day,” Feher says. “We start around 5 or 6 in the morning and work in shifts until 6 or 7 in the evening.”

    Little by little, the Brookhaven test team exposes the magnet to higher and higher currents.

    “During magnet R&D, we might see 50 to 60 quenches,” Amm says. “When we go into production, the goal is to see a minimum number of quenches, around 14 or 15, before we get to the desired field level.”

    Once training is completed—that is, the magnet can operate at the desired current without quenching—it is shipped back to Fermilab for further outfitting and testing. The final magnets then will be shipped to CERN.

    According to Amm, designing, building and preparing magnets for the LHC’s upgrade is more than applied physics: It’s a form of craftsmanship.

    “That’s where the art comes in along with the science,” she says. “You can do so much science and engineering, but ultimately you have to build and test a lot of magnets before you understand the sweet spot.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 2:22 pm on September 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists assemble final detector of Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program", , DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US),   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “Scientists assemble final detector of Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program” 

    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 worldwide.

    September 30, 2021
    Mary Magnuson

    1
    In September, Anne Schukraft looks up to the electrically isolating support hangers that suspend the weight of the cathode and connecting components from above on the Short-Baseline Near Detector. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    With a directive to look for physics beyond the standard model and study the behavior of the universe’s most elusive particles, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program has a full plate.

    Consisting of three detectors — the Short-Baseline Near Detector, MicroBooNE [below] and ICARUS [below] — the program will expand on Fermilab’s internationally acclaimed neutrino research activities. By studying neutrino properties with these detectors, scientists will learn more about the role these tiny particles play in the universe.

    On the Fermilab campus, the three detectors will sit staggered along a straight line, each probing an intense neutrino beam. SBND, under construction, will be closest to the neutrino beam source, just 110 meters away from the area where protons smash into a target and create a beam of muon neutrinos. MicroBooNE, which began taking data in 2015, sits 360 meters from SBND, and ICARUS, which will begin its physics run this fall, sits 130 meters beyond MicroBooNE.

    Together, these detectors will study neutrino oscillations in unprecedented detail. In this process, a single neutrino can shift between the three known neutrino types as it travels through space. If there is a fourth type of neutrino or if neutrinos behave differently than current theory predicts, scientists expect to find evidence for this new physics in the neutrino oscillation patterns observed by the three detectors.

    When completed, the SBND’s detector will be suspended in a chamber full of liquid argon. When a neutrino enters the chamber and collides with an argon atom, it will send out a spray of charged particles and light, which the detector will record. These signals will provide scientists with the information to reconstruct a precise 3D image of the trajectories of all the particles that emerged from a neutrino-argon collision.

    “You’ll see an image that shows you so much detail, and at such a small scale,” said scientist Anne Schukraft, technical coordinator for the project. “If you compare it to previous generation experiments, it really opens a new world of what you can learn.”

    Getting charged up

    2
    In September, the SBND cathode plane with bottom field cage modules installed in the assembly transport frame. The cathode frame tube structure holds 16 double-sided wavelength-shifting reflective panels, here covered with black plastic to protect from light exposure. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    In battery-powered circuits, electrons flow between the negative and the positive terminals. In SBND, the electrons produced following neutrino collisions will follow the electric field created inside the detector: two anode planes and one negatively charged cathode plane. This is no tiny circuit, however. Each plane measures 5 by 4 meters, and the electric field between the cathode and each anode will be 500 volts per centimeter, with the cathode conducting a whopping 100,000 volts.

    The two anode planes, each made of delicate wires spaced 3 millimeters apart, will cover two opposite-side walls of the cube-shaped detector. They will collect the electrons created by particles emerging from collisions inside the detector, while light sensors behind them will record the photons, or particles of light.

    In the middle of the detector, an upright plane covered with reflective foil will act as the cathode. The assembly team lowered the heavy cathode plane into place in the detector’s steel frame in late July and expects to install the first anode plane in early October. Until installation, each of the light-sensitive layers are kept in a special controlled clean area.

    When fully assembled, the detector will weigh more than 100 tons and be filled with argon kept at minus 190 degrees Celsius. The entire apparatus will sit in a cryostat, made of thick steel and insulation panels that keep everything cold. A complicated piping system will circulate and filter the liquid argon to keep it clean.

    Neutrino scientists, assemble

    Different groups around the world — primarily based in the United States, the U.K., Brazil and Switzerland — built the detector parts and shipped them to Fermilab. But the warehouse-like building where the detector frame is being assembled isn’t the detector’s forever home.

    Once the components are situated in the steel frame, the team will transport the detector several miles across the Fermilab site to the SBND building, where crews are constructing the cryostat and where the detector will actually collect its data. Schukraft estimates SBND will make its data debut in early 2023.

    “The good thing about SBND is that we are building it from scratch,” said Mônica Nunes, a postdoctoral researcher at Syracuse University (US). “So everything that we are learning about this process is going to be really useful for the next generation of neutrino experiments.”

    3
    In September, Will Foreman (IIT) and Vishvas Pandey (U Florida) discuss the installation of light diffusers for the calibration of the photon detection system. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    SBND will complement MicroBooNE and ICARUS as the trio probes for physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular, researchers are searching for the sterile neutrino, a type of neutrino that doesn’t interact with the weak force. Two prior experiments, the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector at Los Alamos National Lab and MiniBooNE at Fermilab, discovered anomalies that hint at the existence of these elusive particles. By measuring how neutrinos oscillate and shift types, the SBN Program aims to confirm or dispute these anomalies and add more evidence for or against the existence of sterile neutrinos.

    “The idea is to rig a detector really close to the source of neutrinos in hopes of catching this kind of neutrino,” said Roberto Acciarri, co-manager of the detector assembly. “Then, we have one far detector and one in the middle, to see if we can see sterile neutrinos when they’re produced and when they’re oscillating away.”

    SBND researchers will also examine with high precision how neutrinos interact with the argon atoms that fill the detector. Because SBND sits so close to the origin of the neutrino beam, it will record more than a million neutrino-argon interactions per year. The physics of these interactions is an important element of future neutrino experiments that will employ liquid-argon detectors, such as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    “It’s great to see progress on almost a daily basis,” said Schukraft. “We’re all eagerly waiting to see this experiment start to take data.”

    See the full article here.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    FNAL Don Lincoln.[/caption]

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