From BNL: “MicroBooNE Produces Clearest Images of Neutrino Interactions Yet”

Brookhaven Lab

August 7, 2017
Kelsey Harper
kharper@bnl.gov

With updates to its electronics, the state-of-the-art neutrino detector now boasts impressive “signal to noise” sensitivity.

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A 3D reconstruction of various particles, including neutrinos, interacting with the argon atoms inside MicroBooNE’s time projection chamber (TPC). This reconstruction is based off of when and where electrons produced by such interactions hit the plane of wires at one end of the TPC.

FNAL/MicrobooNE

A U.S.-based international collaboration studying “ghost-like” fundamental particles called neutrinos at an experiment known as MicroBooNE has produced the clearest images of neutrino interactions yet. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory contributed to the design of this experiment from the beginning, and recently designed novel low-noise “cold electronics” for the detector, which is located at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab).

A U.S.-based international collaboration studying “ghost-like” fundamental particles called neutrinos at an experiment known as MicroBooNE has produced the clearest images of neutrino interactions yet. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory contributed to the design of this experiment from the beginning, and recently designed novel low-noise “cold electronics” for the detector, which is located at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). With implementation of sophisticated noise-filtering software and updates to the detector hardware, the MicroBooNE collaboration has produced new clean images that make it easier for researchers to spot and study different types of neutrinos. A paper published in the Journal of Instrumentation illustrates the electronic challenges and solutions that led to this advance.

“These innovations will naturally be included in the next generation of neutrino detector design,” said Brookhaven physicist Xin Qian, the leader of Brookhaven’s MicroBooNE physics group.

The next generation is a big deal, literally: four 17,000-ton neutrino detectors (compared to MicroBooNE’s “small” 170-ton detector) are planned for a future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE).

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


FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF


Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford



SURF building in Lead SD USA

This massive project will attempt to solve some of the biggest mysteries about neutrinos and their role in our universe.

Tracking elusive particles

Trillions of neutrinos—abundant yet elusive particles created in the nuclear reactions powering stars—stream from our sun to Earth every second. But because these particles so rarely interact with matter (which is why we don’t feel them passing through us), the detectors built to spot them must be extremely large and sensitive. To study neutrinos, scientists often also turn to more intense and easily understood sources of these particles: nuclear reactors and particle accelerators. The MicroBooNE collaboration studies neutrinos generated by the Booster proton accelerator at Fermilab, and collects detailed images of their interactions with a detector called a liquid-argon time projection chamber (LArTPC).

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MicroBooNE’s time projection chamber—where the neutrino interactions take place—during assembly at Fermilab. The chamber measures ten meters long and two and a half meters high. Photo credit: Fermilab

Although a ‘time projection chamber’ may sound like something from a Michael Crichton novel, it’s a very real technology that has transformed neutrino physics. It’s one of the few types of detectors that can see most of what happens when a neutrino interacts inside.

Neutrinos come in three different “flavors”—electron, muon, and tau. As these neutrinos sail through the LArTPC’s school bus-sized tank of argon, kept liquid at a biting -303 degrees Fahrenheit, they occasionally interact with one of the argon atoms. This interaction produces charged and neutral particles, with a charged particle sometimes corresponding to the type of neutrino involved. The charged particles shoot through the bath, kicking electrons off the argon atoms they pass. These electrons get caught in the tank’s strong electric field and zip toward one end, eventually striking an array of wires. Based on the time and placement of each signal generated when an electron strikes a wire, scientists can figure out where the neutrino collision took place and what it looked like, allowing them to determine the type and energy of the neutrino detected.

Trouble arises, however, when the little currents produced by the kicked-off electrons are muffled by electronic “noise.” Much like static on a radio, noise can drown out the signals of a neutrino collision, making the reconstructed paths blurry and difficult to analyze. According to Jyoti Joshi, a Brookhaven Lab post-doctoral fellow and the leader of the MicroBooNE detector physics working group, the challenge with LArTPC electronics is that “the signal we’re dealing with is so small that we need a very, very sensitive detector to amplify the signal so we can see it. But then, of course, you amplify anything, including noise.”

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Brookhaven Lab physicist Hucheng Chen holding a replica of one of the 50 cold electronics boards installed in MicroBooNE. He is standing next to a mock-up of one of MicroBooNE’s 11 signal feedthroughs—the part of the detector where electronic signals from the cold electronics of the time projection chamber are carried to the warm electronics outside the cryostat.

To try to minimize noise, MicroBooNE researchers worked with the engineers and scientists at Fermilab and in Brookhaven Lab’s Instrumentation Division who had pioneered the development of “cold electronics” for the experiment. Placing the electronics inside the detector tank reduces noise by shortening the path each signal has to travel before getting amplified. But because the tank is filled with liquid argon, these electronics had to be designed to thrive at temperatures hundreds of degrees below zero, long past the range where conventional electronics, like those in your smartphone, can function.

The researchers expected the cold electronics installed at MicroBooNE to produce relatively clean signals and a good picture of the neutrino collisions. But “there are always some surprises,” said Mary Bishai, a senior physicist at Brookhaven Lab. “We had all this excess noise, and at the beginning people blamed the newest technology, the cold electronics.”

After a year of collecting data, the researchers had enough information to pinpoint three sources of excess noise.

“The noise was nearly all from the conventional electronics outside the argon tank,” said Mike Mooney, a Brookhaven Lab post-doctoral fellow and a key contributor in the effort to identify sources of noise.

Most of the noise came from the external power supply for the electronics inside the bath, and from small fluctuations in the high voltage that creates the tank’s electric field. The third and least significant source of noise was an unusual burst that appeared only at a certain frequency, but the team has yet to determine where this final source comes from.

The collaboration initially reduced the excess noise by developing a software program to sift out the desired electron signals. This initial solution allowed them to collect higher-quality data while addressing the actual sources of noise. “We demonstrated that software could remove certain types of noise from the data without losing the very small signals we want to see” said Brian Kirby, the BNL post-doc leading the evaluation of the software fix.

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A comparison of particle interaction signals before and after MicroBooNE researchers removed the excess noise.

With the software in place, the researchers could make the necessary changes to the detector’s hardware. They tackled the power supply noise by replacing the part that, just like your laptop charger, converts a higher voltage to a stable lower voltage that the cold electronics require. To combat the noise associated with generating the tank’s electric field, the researchers added a filter that would stabilize the high voltage. They eliminated more than eighty percent of the original noise with these hardware changes alone, and reduced it even further by then reapplying the software filters.

The reconstructed neutrino paths are now sharply clear, like the burst of a small firework that was previously obscured by fog. These clean tracks are absolutely vital as the MicroBooNE team is implementing pattern recognition software to “train” a computer to pick out different types of neutrino collisions.

“This is a really big deal in terms of pushing the field forward,” says Qian. “The lessons we learned will feed back to the next generation of technology development. For this kind of technology, there’s no way we can do it ‘just right’ the first time. We need to try it and improve it, try it and improve it.”

The MicroBooNE collaboration will continue doing just that, trying and improving, as it lays the groundwork for DUNE, the biggest neutrino experiment ever attempted.

Brookhaven’s work on MicroBooNE was funded by the DOE Office of Science (HEP) and the National Science Foundation.

See the full article here .

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One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory 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, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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From Doggerel via Surf: “Building a home for the world’s largest neutrino detector”

SURF logo
Sanford Underground levels

Sanford Underground Research facility

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Doggerel
Doggerel, the online magazine of Arup in the Americas

September 12, 2016

Why is the world around us made of solid matter when prevailing theories of physics predict an equal amount of antimatter? What can neutrinos, the mysterious particles that pass through our bodies in the trillions every second, tell us about the history and future of the universe? These questions lie at the heart of the planned Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a major international collaboration hosted by Illinois physics research center Fermilab.

For the third post in a series exploring the project and the complex being built to house it, we spoke with Josh Yacknowitz, Arup’s design project manager for the buildings, site, and infrastructure components of the Far Site detector in Lead, South Dakota.

Give me an overview of the project and Arup’s work on it.

The project is a large program to develop the world’s largest neutrino detector. DUNE is the actual experiment portion of this project, and the facility that will house DUNE is called the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF).

The project is taking place at two sites in two physical locations. One is a neutrino detector in South Dakota; that’s called the far detector, or the Far Site. Then there’s a near site detector at Fermilab [FNAL], near Chicago, referred to as the Near Site.

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Fermilab Wilson Hall

Within those sites there are principally two streams of collaboration. One is the experiment itself, which is an international collaboration between a number of countries, academic institutions, and research organizations. The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are the key collaborators, with contributions and support from over 140 laboratories and universities in 27 countries. That group is designing the actual detectors of cells, which are one-off, custom-built pieces of apparatus. Fermilab, which is one of the DOE’s National Laboratories, is hosting the project.

The other side of the project, called the Conventional Facilities, includes everything required to house the experiment: underground excavation, structural requirements and building envelopes, power and data, thermal utilities, water, air — all the things that these facilities need in order to operate.

Arup, along with our collaborating partners, is designing the Conventional Facilities for the Far Site in South Dakota. The location is an existing facility called the Sanford Underground Research Facility, or SURF. It’s an old goldmine that was decommissioned early this century, and then portions were turned over to the State for scientific use.

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Surface facilities at SURF

How is this different than other projects that building engineers typically work on?

This is very different from a regular aboveground building project. It’s actually more of a civil infrastructure project for us, due mostly to the fact that it’s deep underground. It’s infrastructure you would normally see in a mine or a very deep underground civil facility.

What does that mean in practice? At the most basic level, how would you characterize the difference between a buildings project and a civil infrastructure project?

A buildings project is really an envelope that sits aboveground, for the most part. It could have various uses, but it’s generally an aboveground structure. The codes that govern that type of construction are very well established and prescriptive in many ways.

For underground work it’s much different. There is no one clear code that governs for different types of underground use. There are certain codes that are promulgated by federal and local government agencies — for example, codes that govern mine operations. There are underground tunneling codes. There are codes for things like rail infrastructure. But you really have to pull together codes and best practices from a number of different sectors for a facility like this. It’s going to house people who are not miners; they’re researchers. They’re not accustomed to a deep underground environment. So we have to bring in some of the codes and safety standards that we normally use aboveground in order to make the underground areas a secure environment.

How did that process look?

That actually started back in the days when we were working on a project called DUSEL at the same site. That was a different project altogether, run by the National Science Foundation, but it also involved reconfiguring the existing mine works to support new underground laboratories and experiments. During that period, our code and fire-safety people took a long look at the various prevailing codes and standards to come up with a life-safety approach that would take the project from construction all the way through operation. We collaborated closely with the experts at the DOE, our mining consultants, and the experts at South Dakota Science and Technology Authority who manage the SURF site.

surf-dune-lbnf-caverns-at-sanford-lab
In a normal building project, the local building authority reviews your design for compliance. How does that look in a project like this, where you’re defining the codes as you go along?

That’s a good question. Similar to the process of defining the codes and determining the right standards to use, figuring out who would serve as the authority having jurisdiction, or AHJ, was not straightforward. There’s actually more than one AHJ here. There is the local City of Lead, which functions as the local building department and plan approval agency. We have been working with them, presenting the design to their team and preparing variance requests, keeping them in the loop throughout the process. Then there’s the DOE itself, because the DUNE/LBNF Far Site will be a DOE facility. They have their own standards for construction and operation that we have to comply with. Any approvals regarding life safety and many other aspects of the design have to be reviewed and approved by the DOE.

Were the engineering solutions developed for this project unique across the board, or were some things like, “Oh, we’ve done basically the same thing for subway projects, so we can translate that fairly easily”?

We are able to use some of our expertise from deep underground tunneling, from underground rail infrastructure, from other science facilities and energy facilities. But for the most part, we didn’t make decisions alone. We worked very closely with the client and the facility, because they know the specific kinds of underground operations this project requires and they know the site. So it’s very much a balanced collaboration between Arup, the broader subconsultant team, and the client.

What parts have you found most interesting?

The fire/life-safety aspect is one. There are quite a few challenges, including large-scale cryogen storage in relatively tight confines, ongoing construction operations while occupants are present, limited avenues of egress from the underground areas, and the sheer depth — nearly a mile below the surface. Our team has come up with an approach that I think other similar facilities around the world could probably look to as a good example of a multilevel life-safety strategy in a deep underground environment.

The collaboration with the science team has also been very interesting. What they’re trying to build is basically a large bespoke machine that has unique risks and challenges, not only from a design perspective but also from a constructability perspective. How do you build these huge liquid-argon chambers to house the neutrino detector underground? They’re each the size of a small ship, and there are four of them.

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Prototype LBNF liquid argon chamber

It’s very similar to the concept of building a ship in a bottle, because the only access to the underground area is through some very space-constrained shafts and tunnels. So helping the science team realize its vision has been a terrific engineering and logistical challenge. This is equipment that you would not normally see anywhere else. The people who are designing — really, inventing — this stuff as they go, they’re a quite diverse team of scientists, engineers, project managers, technicians, and specialists. We’ve gotten quite an education working with them.

See the full article here .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fermilab LBNE
LBNE

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From FNAL: “LBNF/DUNE Update: Over another hurdle”

FNAL II photo

FNAL Art Image
FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

September 1, 2016
Chris Mossey
Chris Mossey is the Fermilab deputy director for LBNF.

We received great news on Sept. 1: the LBNF/DUNE CD-3a milestone was approved by Under Secretary Lynn Orr, on behalf of the DOE’s Energy Systems Acquisition Advisory Board. This critical decision milestone is the culmination of a variety of independent cost, schedule, management, and technical reviews and represents DOE’s green light to begin the significant amount of conventional facilities work at Sanford Underground Research Facility necessary to support the DUNE experiment.

FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF
FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF

FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF
FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

Sanford Underground levels
Sanford Underground levels

And we are ready to get started! The CD-3a work will include the excavation of two caverns: one that will hold two of the four planned DUNE detectors; and one for utilities and cryogenic systems. The work will begin in earnest once Congress makes FY2017 funding available. We are pleased that DOE has already requested this funding through the President’s Budget Request and it is in the appropriations bills currently under consideration by the House and the Senate.

We’ll keep you updated as the work proceeds. The first step will be to install the systems that will transport hundreds of thousands tons of rock to a surface location. This preparatory work is planned to start in 2017. The major excavation for the first two DUNE neutrino detectors and related utility systems is planned to begin in the fall of 2018.

As I mentioned in my last update, we’ve already begun the process of soliciting bids from potential construction managers for the work at Sanford Lab, and are on track to award the contract in January.

Meanwhile, much progress is being made in developing the cryostats and particle detectors that will go into the caverns. At CERN, our colleagues are finishing construction of a building that will host two 6m x 6m x 6m cryostats. Then, this fall, the DUNE collaboration will begin construction of the two large DUNE prototype neutrino detectors (protoDUNEs) inside these cryostats. These prototypes will use and test the same full-scale detector components that will be used in the first two 17,700-ton liquid-argon detectors at Sanford Lab.

So, clearly a lot of work ongoing – and getting DOE’s CD-3a approval to start the excavation work at Sanford Lab will enable us to ensure that the underground caverns are ready when needed by the DUNE experiment.

Achieving this milestone is the result of a tremendous amount of work by the LBNF/DUNE project team, including our CERN partners; many staff and users here at Fermilab and our partners at Sanford Lab; the entire DOE team; and supporters at collaborating institutions around the world.

LBNF and DUNE are proceeding well and on schedule, and I will continue to keep you updated on the project’s progress.

See the full article here .

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

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From FNAL: “LBNF/DUNE update: Much more than a hole in the ground”

FNAL II photo

FNAL Art Image
FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

August 1, 2016
Chris Mossey

Another few months have flashed by, and it’s time for a quick status update from the LBNF/DUNE project. Since my last update in May, the LBNF team has been very focused on getting in place the “CM/GC” contract, the contract that we plan to use to accomplish the conventional facilities construction at the project’s far site. CM/GC is short for “construction manager/general contractor” contract. I admit it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Using a CM/GC contract will be a first for Fermilab and represents a novel approach to address some of the project’s unique challenges at the far site.

Of course, there will be a substantial amount of excavation (800,000 tons of rock!) to create the three massive caverns and supporting drifts that will support the DUNE experiment.

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Under Secretary Franklyn Orr and team visit the drift that will lead into the LBNF/DUNE site. Photo credit: Walter Wenning.

But even more of a challenge will be coordinating all of the underground construction work. In addition to the excavation, tasks such as building two cryogenic systems, erecting four six-story-tall cryostats, installing the neutrino detectors and filling the cryostats with liquid argon (all through a mile-deep shaft that, at its largest is only 5 feet wide by nearly 13 feet deep).

That’s where the “CM” in “CM/GC” comes in. A key role of the selected contractor will be to provide construction management services to help the project complete final design and then, when our partners are ready, help coordinate installation of the massive cryostats, cryo systems and neutrino detectors.

We’ve made a lot of progress in getting the CM/GC contractor on board in the past two months. In late June, we received official approval from the DOE Office of Science’s senior contracting official to use the CM/GC acquisition strategy.

We put the contract “on the street” the next day (actually, we just posted it on the federal contract opportunities website) to enable potential contractor partners to begin to review the contract, plans and specs.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, our procurement team organized a preproposal meeting out near the site in South Dakota. We were pleased that more than 50 people showed up from a variety of contracting and construction management firms to participate in the meeting and get a firsthand sense of the work by touring underground at Sanford Lab.

SURF logo

FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF
Argon tank at SURF

Chris Mossey is the Fermilab deputy director for LBNF.

See the full article here .

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

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From SURF: “Beamline requires precision measurements”

SURF logo
Sanford Underground levels

Sanford Underground Research facility

August 8, 2016
Constance Walter

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From left: Gary Chrutcher, Virgil Bocean , Horst Friedsam, and Charles Wilson, use an instrument called the DMT Gyromat2000 to precisely measure the rotation of the local underground reference system grid with respect to true north.

Scientists with the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) hope to shed light on the mysteries of the elusive neutrino. So they’ll aim a beam of neutrinos straight through the earth from Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., to detectors on the 4850 Level of Sanford Lab in Lead, S.D. To get the best signal, the center of the beam needs to hit the detectors head on—and that’s where things get a little tricky.

FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF

Neutrinos are among the most abundant particles in the universe, but they have no charge so they can’t be steered to the detectors by magnets. And as the beam travels the 800-mile distance between the two points, it will spread out like a flashlight beam, reducing the number by trillions that will reach the target.

“We want the maximum number of neutrinos to reach the detectors, so the correct aiming of the beam is of vital importance,” said Virgil Bocean, senior geodesist with Fermilab.

To properly align the neutrino beam, a team of specialists mapped points underground to coordinates on the surface both at Sanford Lab and Fermilab. The team started with global positioning and global navigation satellite systems.

“The geodetic orientation parameters of the beam were determined with GPS to a high level of accuracy in conjunction with the national Continuously Observed Reference Station (CORS) network—within millimeters,” Bocean said.

But because so much depends on the correct coordinates, including the orientation of the caverns that will hold the detectors, the team needed to match the surface and under¬ground coordinates. And to accomplish that, the team turned to “the ancient technology” of plumb lines, said Randy Deibert of Professional Mapping and Surveying LLC, in Spearfish. Deibert is working with Bocean and geodesist Horst Friedsam, head of the AMD Department at Fermilab.

Three plumb lines were lowered in each of the two shafts: The Yates and Ross. Crews of surveyors on the 1700, 4100 and 4850 levels of Sanford Lab took horizontal measure¬ments between the shafts, while Deibert used a specially designed survey station to capture depth measurements. A Gyroscope at the 4850 level measured the precise orienta¬tion of the underground reference system grid with respect to true north.

“We need to record several readings with each instrument for redundancy and build a larger statistical measurement sample to check for systematic errors,” Bocean said. “It takes all these instrument types to put A and B together and connect the global and local underground information from Fermilab to Sanford Lab.”

See the full article here .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fermilab LBNE
LBNE

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From phys.org: “CP violation or new physics?”

physdotorg
phys.org

July 25, 2016
Lisa Zyga

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This is the “South Pillar” region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope “busted open” this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASA/Spitzer

Over the past few years, multiple neutrino experiments have detected hints for leptonic charge parity (CP) violation—a finding that could help explain why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter. So far, matter-antimatter asymmetry cannot be explained by any physics theory and is one of the biggest unsolved problems in cosmology.

But now in a new study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists David V. Forero and Patrick Huber at Virginia Tech have proposed that the same hints could instead indicate CP-conserving “new physics,” and current experiments would have no way to tell the difference.

Both possibilities—CP violation or new physics—would have a major impact on the scientific understanding of some of the biggest questions in cosmology. Currently, one of the most pressing problems is the search for new physics, or physics beyond the Standard Model, which is a theory that scientists know is incomplete but aren’t sure exactly how to improve. New physics could potentially explain several phenomena that the Standard Model cannot, including the matter-antimatter asymmetry problem, as well as dark matter, dark energy, and gravity.

As the scientists show in the new study, determining whether the recent hints indicate CP violation or new physics will be very challenging. The main goal of the study was to “quantify the level of confusion” between the two possibilities. The physicists’ simulations and analysis revealed that both CP violation and new physics have distributions centered at the exact same value for what the neutrino experiments measure—something called the Dirac CP phase. This identical preference makes it impossible for current neutrino experiments to distinguish between the two cases.

“Our results show that establishing leptonic CP violation will need exceptional care, and that new physics can in many ways lead to non-trivial confusion,” Huber told Phys.org.

The good news is that new and future experiments may be capable of resolving the issue. One possible way to test the two proposals is to compare the measurements of the Dirac CP phase made by two slightly different experiments: DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois; and T2HK (the Tokai to Hyper-Kamiokande project) at J-PARC in Tokai, Japan.

FNAL LBNF/DUNE  from FNAL to SURF
FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF

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Proposed TH2K

“The trick is that the type of new physics we postulate in our paper manifests itself in the way in which neutrino oscillations are affected by the amount of earth matter through which the neutrino traverses,” Huber said. “The more matter travelled through, the larger the effect of this type of new physics.”

“Now, for DUNE, neutrinos would have to travel roughly 1300 km in the earth, whereas for T2HK they would travel only about 300 km. Thus one would find two different values for the Dirac CP phase in both cases, indicating a problem.”

In order to be accurate, these experiments will require extremely high degrees of precision, which Huber emphasizes should not be overlooked.

“Of course, the same result could arise if for some reason either experiment was not properly calibrated and thus precisely calibrating these experiments will be extraordinarily important—a very difficult task, which I believe is not quite getting the attention it should.”

See the full article here .

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Phys.org™ (formerly Physorg.com) is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004, Phys.org’s readership has grown steadily to include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

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From Rapid City Journal via SURF: “DUNE will be SD’s largest project ever”

SURF logo
Sanford Underground levels

Sanford Underground Research facility

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Rapid City Journal

Jun 13, 2015
Tom Griffith Journal staff

FNAL LBNF/DUNE  from FNAL to SURF
FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF

Hundreds of scientists from around the world are patiently awaiting the start of a billion-dollar experiment that, in a scene straight out of a science fiction movie, will fire a beam of tiny neutrinos from a laboratory near Chicago that will carry the subatomic particles a mile underground and 800 miles away in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

By itself, the $300 million investment for the experiment at the Sanford Lab in Lead represents the largest single project in the history of South Dakota. And, project advocates say the experiment has the potential to advance scientific knowledge and yield technological advancements on a par with the race to the moon in the 1960s.

“The people I interact with refer to this as one of the most significant particle-physics experiments that has or likely will ever occur on U.S. soil,” said Mike Headley, executive director of the South Dakota Science & Technology Authority, which manages the Sanford Underground Research Facility. “No one I know can remember a project of this scale that has been executed in this state.”

At its core, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) and the associated Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), will send a beam of neutrinos through the earth from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Batavia, Ill., to the Sanford Lab in western South Dakota, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Having very little mass and no electric charge, neutrinos pass through ordinary matter nearly undisturbed — they can pass through 100 million miles of lead without stopping — and they continuously pass through the earth and our bodies, scientists say.

In Illinois, project leaders plan to build four structures on the Fermilab site. One building would be connected via a vertical shaft to an underground hall about 200 feet below the Fermilab. The project also would include the construction of a 50- to 60-foot-high hill on the Fermi site as part of the facility that would create the neutrinos, according to the DOE.

In South Dakota, project leaders plan to construct one building at the surface adjacent to an existing building near the Ross Shaft. About one mile underground, the project would include three large caverns, each about 60 feet wide and 500 feet long. These caverns would provide space for utilities and four large detectors filled with liquid argon to detect the neutrinos fired from Fermi, Headley explained.

Particle detectors at Sanford Lab would record neutrinos from the Fermilab and measure their properties. They also would look for neutrinos from a supernova and search for signs of nucleon decay. With the data, scientists aim to learn more about the building blocks of matter and determine the exact role that neutrinos play in the universe, he said.

“I’m a South Dakota kid, from Brookings originally, so to have an opportunity to be part of an international team doing this in my home state is really amazing,” Headley said. “It’s really cool.”

Michael Weis, Fermi site office manager for the DOE, said on Friday that the DUNE international collaboration includes 776 scientists from 144 institutions and 26 nations, and it is still growing.

“The number of partners in this project is not unprecedented as high-energy physics experiments have historically involved large collaborations, most recently with the Large Hadron Collider experiments at the CERN laboratory in Europe,” Weis said. “The significance here is that a large number of scientists in the international community want to build and conduct an experiment at a facility here in the United States. This means that the U.S. has an opportunity to host a world-class science facility of this scale, and an international `megascience project’ for the first time.”

Years in the making, scientists behind the project have exhibited remarkable patience in its development, and must remain patient to realize the potential of the experiment. According to Weis, the preliminary schedule estimates facility construction could start at the Sanford Lab as early as 2017, and be completed in the mid-2020s. Installation of the experiment into the facility could begin as early as 2021 and continue for a few years beyond this, he said, while the experiment duration is estimated to be 20 years. LBNF/DUNE is being funded by the DOE, as well as the international cast of collaborators.

Headley said the significance of the experiment to the scientific community, the State of South Dakota, and the nation, could not be understated.

Last year, an important DOE scientific review panel called the “Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel,” or P5, identified the experiment as a top priority for U.S. particle physics, recommending it be planned as an international effort in order to achieve the greatest scientific capability, Headley explained. DUNE represents the convergence of several formerly independent worldwide efforts around the opportunity provided by a new neutrino beam facility planned at the Fermilab and by the new and significant expansion at Sanford Lab, he said.

“If you look at all the effort and research and development that allowed us to go to the moon, these are the type of technologies that have the potential to power our economy and make us globally competitive into the future,” Headley said. “In terms of science, this experiment is on the level of the Higgs Boson. The answers to some of the questions this experiment will address will be competitive for a Nobel Prize.”

And yet, Headley acknowledged, “It’s going to lead to more questions, some of which we haven’t yet thought of.”

See the full article here .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fermilab LBNE
LBNE

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