Tagged: FNAL LBNF/ DUNE Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 5:11 pm on January 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , ,   

    From Symmetry: “The biggest little detectors” 

    Symmetry Mag


    Leah Hesla

    Photo by Maximilien Brice, CERN

    The ProtoDUNE detectors for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment are behemoths in their own right.

    In one sense, the two ProtoDUNE detectors are small. As prototypes of the much larger planned Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, they are only representative slices, each measuring about 1 percent of the size of the final detector. But in all other ways, the ProtoDUNE detectors are simply massive.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    Once they are complete later this year, these two test detectors will be larger than any detector ever built that uses liquid argon, its active material. The international project involves dozens of experimental groups coordinating around the world. And most critically, the ProtoDUNE detectors, which are being installed and tested at the European particle physics laboratory CERN, are the rehearsal spaces in which physicists, engineers and technicians will hammer out nearly every engineering problem confronting DUNE, the biggest international science project ever conducted in the United States.

    Gigantic detector, tiny neutrino

    DUNE’s mission, when it comes online in the mid-2020s, will be to pin down the nature of the neutrino, the most ubiquitous particle of matter in the universe. Despite neutrinos’ omnipresence—they fill the universe, and trillions of them stream through us every second—they are a pain in the neck to capture. Neutrinos are vanishingly small, fleeting particles that, unlike other members of the subatomic realm, are heedless of the matter through which they fly, never stopping to interact.

    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

    Well, almost never.

    Once in a while, scientists can catch one. And when they do, it might tell them a bit about the origins of the universe and why matter predominates over antimatter—and thus how we came to be here at all.

    A global community of more than 1000 scientists from 31 countries are building DUNE, a megascience experiment hosted by the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The researchers’ plan is to observe neutrinos using two detectors separated by 1300 kilometers—one at Fermilab outside Chicago and a second one a mile underground in South Dakota at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Having one at each end enables scientists to see how neutrinos transform as they travel over a long distance.

    The DUNE collaboration is going all-in on the bigger-is-better strategy; after all, the bigger the detector, the more likely scientists are to snag a neutrino. The detector located in South Dakota, called the DUNE far detector, will hold 70,000 metric tons (equivalent to about 525,000 bathtubs) of liquid argon to serve as the neutrino fishing net. It comprises four large modules. Each will stand four stories high and, not including the structures that house the utilities, occupy a footprint roughly equal to a soccer field.

    In short, DUNE is giant.

    Lots of room in ProtoDUNE

    The ProtoDUNE detectors are small only when compared to the giant DUNE detector. If each of the four DUNE modules is a 20-room building, then each ProtoDUNE detector is one room.

    But one room large enough to envelop a small house.

    As one repeatable unit of the ultimate detector, the ProtoDUNE detectors are necessarily big. Each is an enormous cube—about two stories high and about as wide—and contains about 800 metric tons of liquid argon.

    Why two prototypes? Researchers are investigating two ways to use argon and so are constructing two slightly different but equally sized test beds. The single-phase ProtoDUNE uses only liquid argon, while the dual-phase ProtoDUNE uses argon as both a liquid and a gas.

    “They’re the largest liquid-argon particle detectors that have ever been built,” says Ed Blucher, DUNE co-spokesperson and a physicist at the University of Chicago.

    As DUNE’s test bed, the ProtoDUNE detectors also have to offer researchers a realistic picture of how the liquid-argon detection technology will work in DUNE, so the instrumentation inside the detectors is also at full, giant scale.

    “If you’re going to build a huge underground detector and invest all of this time and all of these resources into it, that prototype has to work properly and be well-understood,” says Bob Paulos, director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Physical Sciences Lab and a DUNE engineer. “You need to understand all the engineering problems before you proceed to build literally hundreds of these components and try to transport them all underground.”

    A crucial step for ProtoDUNE was welding together the cryostat, or cold vessel, that will house the detector components and liquid argon. Photo by CERN.

    Partners in ProtoDUNE

    ProtoDUNE is a rehearsal for DUNE not only in its technical orchestration but also in the coordination of human activity.

    When scientists were planning their next-generation neutrino experiment around 2013, they realized that it could succeed only by bringing the international scientific community together to build the project. They also saw that even the prototyping would require an effort of global proportions—both geographically and professionally. As a result, DUNE and ProtoDUNE actively invite students, early-career scientists and senior researchers from all around the world to contribute.

    “The scale of ProtoDUNE, a global collaboration at CERN for a US-based megaproject, is a paradigm change in the way neutrino science is done,” says Christos Touramanis, a physicist at the University of Liverpool and one of the co-coordinators of the single-phase detector. For both DUNE and ProtoDUNE, funding comes from partners around the world, including the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and CERN.

    The successful execution of ProtoDUNE’s assembly and testing by international groups requires a unity of purpose from parties that could hardly be farther apart, geographically speaking.

    Scientists say the effort is going smoothly.

    “I’ve been doing neutrino physics and detector technology for the last 20 or 25 years. I’ve never seen such an effort go up so nicely and quickly. It’s astonishing,” says Fermilab scientist Flavio Cavanna, who co-coordinates the single-phase ProtoDUNE project. “We have a great collaboration, great atmosphere, great willingness to make it. Everybody is doing his or her best to contribute to the success of this big project. I used to say that ProtoDUNE was mission impossible, because—in the short time we were given to make the two detectors, it looked that way in the beginning. But looking at where we are now, and all the progress made so far, it starts turning out to be mission possible.”

    The anode plane array (APA) [STFC] is prepped for shipment at Daresbury Laboratory in the UK. Christos Touramanis.

    Inside the liquid-argon test bed

    The first signal emerges as a streak of ionization electrons.

    To record the signal, scientists will use something called an anode plane array, or APA. An APA is a screen created using 24 kilometers of precisely tensioned, closely spaced, continuously wound wire. This wire screen is positively charged, so it attracts the negatively charged electrons.

    Much the way a wave front approaches the beach’s shore, the particle track—a string of the ionization electrons—will head toward the positively charged wires inside the ProtoDUNE detectors. The wires will send information about the track to computers, which will record its properties and thus information about the original neutrino interaction.

    A group in the University of Wisconsin–Madison Physical Sciences Lab led by Paulos designed the single-phase ProtoDUNE wire arrays. The Wisconsin group, Daresbury Laboratory in the UK and several UK universities are building APAs for the same detector. The first APA from Wisconsin arrived at CERN last year; the first from Daresbury Lab arrived earlier this week.

    “These are complicated to build,” Paulos says, noting that it currently takes about three months to build just one. “Building these 6-meter-tall anode planes with continuously wound wire—that’s something that hasn’t been done before.”

    The anode planes attract the electrons. Pushing away the electrons will be a complementary set of panels, called the cathode plane. Together, the anode and cathode planes behave like battery terminals, with one repelling electron tracks and the other drawing them in. A group at CERN designed and is building the cathode plane.

    The dual-phase detector will operate on the same principle but with a different configuration of wire arrays. A special layer of electronics near the cathode will allow for the amplification of faint electron tracks in a layer of gaseous argon. Groups at institutions in France, Germany and Switzerland are designing those instruments. Once complete, they will also send their arrays to be tested at CERN.

    Then there’s the business of observing light.

    The flash of light is the result of a release of energy from the electron in the process of getting bumped from an argon atom. The appearance of light is like the signal to start a stopwatch; it marks the moment the neutrino interaction in a detector takes place. This enables scientists to reconstruct in three dimensions the picture of the interaction and resulting particles.

    On the other side of the equator, a group at the University of Campinas in Brazil is coordinating the installation of instruments that will capture the flashes of light resulting from particle interactions in the single-phase ProtoDUNE detector.

    Two of the designs for the single-phase prototype—one by Indiana University, the other by Fermilab and MIT—are of a type called guiding bars. These long, narrow strips work like fiber optic cables: they capture the light, convert it into light in the visible spectrum and finally guide it to an external sensor.

    A third design, called ARAPUCA, was developed by three Brazilian universities and Fermilab and is being partially produced at Colorado State University. Named for the Guaraní word for a bird trap, the efficient ARAPUCA design will be able to “trap” even very low light signals and transmit them to its sensors.

    The ARAPUCA array, designed by three Brazilian universities and Fermilab, was partially produced at Colorado State University. D. Warner, Colorado State University.

    “The ARAPUCA technology is totally new,” says University of Campinas scientist Ettore Segreto, who is co-coordinating the installation of the light detection systems in the single-phase prototype. “We might be able to get more information from the light detection—for example, greater energy resolution.”

    Groups from France, Spain and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are developing the light detection system for the dual-phase prototype, which will comprise 36 photomultiplier tubes, or PMTs, situated near the cathode plane. A PMT works by picking up the light from the particle interaction and converting it into electrons, multiplying their number and so amplifying the signal’s strength as the electrons travel down the tube.

    With two tricked-out detectors, the DUNE collaboration can test their picture-taking capabilities and prepare DUNE to capture in exquisite detail the fleeting interactions of neutrinos.

    Bringing instruments into harmony

    But even if they’re instrumented to the nines inside, two isolated prototypes do not a proper test bed make. Both ProtoDUNE detectors must be hooked up to computing systems so particle interaction signals can be converted into data. Each detector must be contained in a cryostat, which functions like a thermos, for the argon to be cold enough to maintain a liquid state. And the detectors must be fed particles in the first place.

    CERN is addressing these key areas by providing particle beam, innovative cryogenics and computing infrastructures, and connecting the prototype detectors with the DUNE experimental environment.

    DUNE’s neutrinos will be provided by the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, or LBNF, which held an underground groundbreaking for the start of its construction in July. LBNF, led by Fermilab, will provide the construction, beamline and cryogenics for the mammoth DUNE detector, as well as Fermilab’s chain of particle accelerators, which will provide the world’s most intense neutrino beam to the experiment.

    CERN is helping simulate that environment as closely as possible with the scaled-down ProtoDUNE detectors, furnishing them with particle beams so researchers can characterize how the detectors respond. Under the leadership of scientist Marzio Nessi, last year the CERN group built a new facility for the test beds, where CERN is now constructing two new particle beamlines that extend the lab’s existing network.

    The recently arrived anode plane array (hanging on the left) is moved by a crane to its new home in the ProtoDUNE cryostat. Photo by CERN.

    In addition, CERN built the ProtoDUNE cryostats—the largest ever constructed for a particle physics experiment—which also will serve as prototypes for those used in DUNE. Scientists will be able to gather and interpret the data generated from the detectors with a CERN computing farm and software and hardware from several UK universities.

    “The very process of building these prototype detectors provides a stress test for building them in DUNE,” Blucher says.

    CERN’s beam schedule sets the schedule for testing. In December, the European laboratory will temporarily shut off beam to its experiments for upgrades to the Large Hadron Collider. DUNE scientists aim to position the ProtoDUNE detectors in the CERN beam before then, testing the new technologies pioneered as part of the experiment.

    “ProtoDUNE is a necessary and fundamental step towards LBNF/DUNE,” Nessi says. “Most of the engineering will be defined there and it is the place to learn and solve problems. The success of the LBNF/DUNE project depends on it.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 1:53 pm on January 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , , ,   

    From Physics World: “Neutrino hunter” 


    Nigel Lockyer

    Nigel Lockyer, director of Fermilab in the US, talks to Michael Banks about the future of particle physics – and why neutrinos hold the key.

    Fermilab is currently building the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). How are things progressing?

    Construction began last year with a ground-breaking ceremony held in July at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, which is home to 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

    By 2022 the first of four tanks of liquid argon, each 17,000 tonnes, will be in place detecting neutrinos from space. Then in 2026, when all four are installed, Fermilab will begin sending the first beam of neutrinos to DUNE, which is some 1300 km away.

    Why neutrinos?

    Neutrinos have kept throwing up surprises ever since we began studying them and we expect a lot more in the future. In many ways, the best method to study physics beyond the Standard Model is with neutrinos.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics from Symmetry Magazine

    What science do you plan when DUNE comes online?

    One fascinating aspect is detecting neutrinos from supernova explosions. Liquid argon is very good at picking up electron neutrinos and we would expect to see a signal if that occurred in our galaxy. We could then study how the explosion results in a neutron star or black hole. That would really be an amazing discovery.

    And what about when Fermilab begins firing neutrinos towards DUNE?

    One of the main goals is to investigate charge–parity (CP) violation in the lepton sector. We would be looking for the appearance of electron and antielectron neutrinos. If there is a statistical difference then this would be a sign of CP violation and could give us hints as to the reason why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. Another aspect of the experiment is to search for proton decay.

    How will Fermilab help in the effort?

    To produce neutrinos, the protons smash into a graphite target that is currently the shape of a pencil. We are aiming to quadruple the proton beam power from 700 kW to 2.5 MW. Yet we can’t use graphite after the accelerator has been upgraded due to the high beam power so we need to have a rigorous R&D effort in materials physics.

    What kind of materials are you looking at?

    The issue we face is how to dissipate heat better. We are looking at alloys of beryllium to act as a target and potentially rotating it to cool it down better.

    What are some of the challenges in building the liquid argon detectors?

    So far the largest liquid argon detector is built in the US at Fermilab, which is 170 tonnes. As each full-sized tank at DUNE will be 17,000 tonnes, we face a challenge to scale up the technology. One particular issue is that the electronics are contained within the liquid argon and we need to do some more R&D in this area to make sure they can operate effectively. The other area is with the purity of the liquid argon itself. It is a noble gas and, if pure, an electron can drift forever within it. But if there are any impurities that will limit how well the detector can operate.

    How will you go about developing this technology?

    The amount of data you get out of liquid argon detectors is enormous, so we need to make sure we have all the technology tried and tested. We are in the process of building two 600 tonne prototype detectors, the first of which will be tested at CERN in June 2018.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    The UK recently announced it will contribute £65m towards DUNE, how will that be used?

    The UK is helping build components for the detector and contributing with the data-acquisition side. It is also helping to develop the new proton target, and to construct the new linear accelerator that will enable the needed beam power.

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

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

    Are you worried Brexit might derail such an agreement?

    I don’t think so. The agreement is between the UK and US governments and we expect the UK to maintain its support.

    Japan is planning a successor to its Super Kamiokande neutrino detector – Hyper Kamiokande – that would carry out similar physics. Is it a collaborator or competitor?

    Well, it’s not a collaborator. Like Super Kamiokande, Hyper Kamiokande would be a water-based detector, the technology of which is much more established than liquid argon. However, in the long run liquid argon is a much more powerful detector medium – you can get a lot more information about the neutrino from it. I think we are pursuing the right technology. We also have a longer baseline that would let us look for additional interactions between neutrinos and we will create neutrinos with a range of energies. Additionally, the DUNE detectors will be built a mile underground to shield them from cosmic interference.

    Super-Kamiokande experiment. located under Mount Ikeno near the city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

    Hyper-Kamiokande, a neutrino physics laboratory located underground in the Mozumi Mine of the Kamioka Mining and Smelting Co. near the Kamioka section of the city of Hida in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

    In the long run liquid argon is a much more powerful detector medium – you can get a lot more information about the neutrino from it.

    Regarding the future at the high-energy frontier, does the US support the International Linear Collider (ILC)?

    ILC schematic, being planned for the Kitakami highland, in the Iwate prefecture of northern Japan

    The ILC began as an international project and in recent years Japan has come forward with an interest to host it. We think that Japan now needs to take a lead on the project and give it the go-ahead. Then we can all get around the table and begin negotiations.

    And what about plans by China to build its own Higgs factory?

    The Chinese government is looking at the proposal carefully and trying to gauge how important it is for the research community in China. Currently, Chinese accelerator scientists are busy with two upcoming projects in the country: a free-electron laser in Shanghai and a synchrotron in Beijing. That will keep them busy for the next five years, but after that this project could really take off.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    PhysicsWorld is a publication of the Institute of Physics. The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

    We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.
    IOP Institute of Physics

  • richardmitnick 2:27 pm on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , ,   

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


    16 January 2018
    Becky Parker-Ellis
    Tel: +44(0)1793 444564
    Mob: +44(0)7808 879294

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

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

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

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    SURF building in Lead SD USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    STFC Hartree Centre

    Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • richardmitnick 1:49 pm on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , The Ross Shaft   

    From SURF: “The Ross Shaft” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    Constance Walter
    Communications Director
    Office: 605.722.4025 • Mobile: 402-560-6116
    Sanford Underground Research Facility
    630 E. Summit St. Lead, SD 57754


    Historical sources for this article include Steve Mitchell’s Nuggets to Neutrinos

    Historical images were provided by Black Hills Mining Museum

    Other information provided by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory [FNAL]

    Reaching the 4850 Level is a major milestone that moves the team—and science—one step closer to a larger goal.

    For more than five years, Ross Shaft crews have been stripping out old steel and lacing, cleaning out decades of debris, adding new ground support and installing new steel to prepare the shaft for its future role in world-leading science. On Oct. 12, all that hard work paid off when the team, which worked its way down from the surface, reached a major milestone: the 4850 Level.

    “As we got closer to the station and we could see the lights off the 4850, there was a lot of excitement from the crew,” said Mike Johnson, Ross Shaft foreman. “It was like, ‘Man, we’re finally here.’”

    Mike Headley, executive director for the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, praised the Ross Shaft team. “The Ross Shaft is critical to the future of Sanford Lab and I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication shown by this team.”

    Refurbishing the shaft is just one step toward a much larger goal, said Chris Mossey, Fermilab’s deputy director for LBNF.

    “Completion of the Ross Shaft renovation to the 4850 Level is critical to support construction of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility [LBNF]. Thanks to the Sanford Lab crews, who have worked since August 2012, to reach this significant milestone.”

    A team effort. On Oct. 12, 2017, the team reached a major milestone by finishing the Ross Shaft down to the 4850-foot level. Pictured from left: Ross foreman Mike L. Johnson, infrastructure technicians Rodney Hanson, Dan James, Jerry Hinker, Dave Leatherman, Derek Lucero, Frank Gabel, Mike Mergen, Eli Atkinson, Clint Morrison, James Gregory, Will Roberts, Curtis Jones, engineering technician Kip Johnson, and infrastructure technician Kyle Ennis.

    LBNF will house the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which will be built and operated by a collaboration of more than 1,000 scientists and engineers from 31 countries.

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

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    Fermilab will shoot a beam of neutrinos 800 miles through the earth from Fermilab to massive particle detectors deep underground at Sanford Lab’s 4850 Level.

    When complete, the Fermilab-hosted LBNF/DUNE project will be the largest experiment ever built in the United States to study the properties of mysterious particles called neutrinos. Unlocking the mysteries of these particles could help explain more about how the universe works and why matter exists at all.

    But before scientists begin installing the DUNE detectors, the shaft needs to be completed to the 5000-foot level and a rock conveyor system installed to excavate the caverns that will house DUNE. Still, there’s much to celebrate.

    “This is a great accomplishment,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a team with different experiences and talents and they really worked together to reach this milestone.” But Johnson said credit goes to a lot people who have never set foot in the shaft.

    “Engineers, fabricators, vendors, electricians, procurement—everyone played a part in getting us to this point,” he said. “It takes a lot of planning and support. It was a real team effort.

    A historic shaft
    The Ross Shaft was named for Homestake Superintendent Alec J. M. Ross. Construction began in 1932, with the first ore hoisted in 1934. The shaft used conventional sinking methods from 137 feet down to the tramway level. Below the tramway, pilot raises were driven at various depths to complete the shaft down to the 3050 Level. The Ross was deepened to nearly 3,800 feet in 1935 but wouldn’t reach the 5000 Level until the end of 1956.
    The Ross Shaft was designed to meet production requirements for Homestake, when the Ellison, the main production shaft, began to suffer from subsidence. The new shaft was closer to the south-plunging ore body, providing access to an additional 6.5 million tons of ore in an area known as 9 Ledge. The ore averaged 0.269 ounces of gold per ton. In 1938, the average price for an ounce of gold was $20.67.

    Built for production
    The Ross Shaft is 19 feet 3 inches by 14 feet and is divided into several compartments: two skips, a cage, a counter weight, a cable compartment, a pipe compartment and an access compartment (called a manway during mining days). Two sections of the shaft were lined with concrete for added ground support: the first 308 feet of the shaft and a section between the 2900 and 4100 levels.
    Homestake built the shaft using steel sets spaced 6 feet apart. The “H” beam configuration served the purpose of gold mining very well, said Syd De Vries, project engineer for the current Ross Shaft project.
    For nearly 70 years, the Ross Shaft served as a main conduit for thousands of miners and millions of tons of ore. But debris, water and time took their toll on the structure. When the facility reopened as an underground research laboratory in 2008, the structure needed to be replaced to meet the needs of science.

    The SDSTA called on G.L. Tiley and Associates to develop a design that could meet the new requirements for world-leading science. De Vries coordinated the design efforts.
    “We looked at options that included partial refurbishment. In the end, we concluded that a complete strip and equip was the right approach to take,” De Vries said. That included a more modern design that incorporated the use of hollow structural steel with set intervals of 18 feet.
    “Essentially, using these larger sets speeds up the process of steel refurbishment. But it also gives us a much stronger design than the old-style steel sets and improves the structural integrity of the shaft,” De Vries added.
    Above: Old steel sets at the 300 Level station. Note: near the top of the station, a new steel set is visible.

    Two parts of the project required specialized structural design after the rehabilitation had begun to accommodate LBNF. Those areas include the brow at the 4850 Level and the spill collection area on the 5000 Level. De Vries worked closely with G.L. Tiley on the new designs—and sought the expertise of the crews on installation plans.
    “I’ve always found that when we do that, when we incorporate the expertise the crews have with respect to steel construction, we can work out any challenge and do a much better job.”
    And even with the changes in structural design, De Vries said it won’t hold up the project.
    Above: New steel at the 2000 Level station. Watch a short time-lapse of the completion of the 800 Level station below.

    800 Level station rehabilitation time lapse from Sanford Lab on Vimeo.

    Meeting challenges
    The Ross Shaft is a unique construction project that included a unique set of challenges. Of particular concern? A design that allowed continued access to critical systems like the pumping stations and ventilation, while providing emergency egress.
    “From a construction point of view, it would have been easier and faster if we didn’t have to worry about ongoing access,” De Vries said. “We wouldn’t have had to shut down for shaft inspections of the lower sections or pump stations.”
    Another challenge was the Ross Pillar, a 1,200-foot concrete zone within the shaft used as additional ground support during mining days. Over the years, normal ground movement caused misalignment from the 2900 Level to the 4100 Level. In some areas, the encroaching concrete bowed the steel, making it difficult to move the cage through the shaft.
    “There was a lot of work that went into redoing this section and creating more room for the conveyances,” De Vries said. “In some places, the crews had to chip out the concrete liner with chipping hammers. They did a great job and I’m really proud of the work that was done.”
    Above: Looking down the Ross Shaft where a new set meets an old set.

    Safety first
    Throughout construction of the Ross Shaft, safety has been of the utmost concern, said Johnson. “This is hard work with a lot of challenges, so safety is a big deal.”
    To mitigate risks, the team uses Job Hazard Analyses (JHAs) and follows Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The team starts its day with a tool-box talk. They go through the JHAs step by step and make sure they have everything they need to do the job safely.
    Recently Johnson incorporated a “mid-shift” safety talk, something he used while working in the oil fields in North Dakota. “Things can change throughout the day, so we talk about the job mid-shift to see if we need to make any adjustments.”
    “You know, we’ve got our families at home and our family at work. Taking this extra step takes time, but if it keeps people safe, it’s worth it,” Johnson said.
    Above: Technicians install ground support in the Ross Shaft.

    The future

    On Aug. 9, 2007 Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which operates Fermilab, awarded Kiewit/Alberici Joint Venture (KAJV) a contract to begin laying the groundwork for the excavation of LBNF, the facility that will support DUNE.

    Approximately 875,000 tons of rock will be removed and conveyed to the surface, then moved to the Open Cut using a rock conveyor system. When installation of LBNF and DUNE equipment begins, every component, including the massive steel beams that will be used to build the cryostats, will go down the Ross Shaft.

    “It’s kind of like building a ship in a bottle,” said Fermilab’s Chris Mossey. “We’re using a narrow shaft to move all the excavated rock up, and then all the parts and pieces of the very large cryostats and detectors for DUNE down to the 4850 level, about a mile underground.”

    Construction on pre-excavation projects, including additional work on the brow at the 4850 Level and the rock conveyor system, is expected to begin in 2018. The main excavation for LBNF/DUNE is planned for 2019 and is expected to take three years.

    Installation of the cryogenic infrastructure and the four detector modules for the experiment is expected to take about 10 years and will operate for more than 20 years. The Ross Shaft will play a role throughout, just as it did for many decades when Homestake mined for gold.

    “Now it has a new purpose,” said Sanford Lab’s Headley. “It will support world-leading science for decades to come.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    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

  • richardmitnick 3:22 pm on November 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , , , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “Putting the puzzle together” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Ali Sundermier

    Photos by Fermilab and CERN

    Successful physics collaborations rely on cooperation between people from many different disciplines.

    So, you want to start a physics experiment. Maybe you want to follow hints of an as yet unseen particle. Or maybe you want to learn something new about a mysterious process in the universe. Either way, your next step is to find people who can help you.

    In large science collaborations, such as the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider; the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE); and Fermilab’s NOvA, hundreds to thousands of people spread out across many institutions and countries keep things operating smoothly. Whether they’re senior scientists, engineers, technicians or administrators, each of them has an important role to play.

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    CERN/CMS Detector


    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    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

    FNAL NOvA Near Detector

    FNAL/NOvA experiment map

    Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle: This list will give you an idea about how their work fits together to create the big picture.

    Dreaming up the experiment

    Many particle physics experiments begin with a fundamental question. Why do objects have mass? Or, why is the universe made of matter?

    When scientists encounter these big, seemingly inscrutable questions, part of their job is to identify possible ways to answer them. A large part of this is breaking down the big questions into a program of smaller, answerable questions.

    In the case of the LHC, scientists who wondered about things such as undiscovered particles and the origin of mass designed a 27-kilometer particle collider and four giant detectors to learn more.

    Each scientist in a collaboration brings their own unique perspective and skill set to the table, whether it’s providing an understanding of the physics or offering expertise in operations or detector design.

    Perfecting the design

    Once scientists have an idea about the experiment they want to do and the approach they want to take, it’s the job of the engineers to turn the concepts into pieces of hardware that can be built, function and meet the experiment’s requirements.

    For example, engineers might have to figure out how the experiment should be supported mechanically or how to connect all the electrical systems and make signals available in a detector.

    In the case of NOvA, which investigates neutrino oscillations, scientists needed a detector that was huge and free of dense materials, which made conventional construction techniques unworkable. They had to work with engineers who could understand plastic as a building material so they could be confident about using it to build a gigantic, free-standing structure that fit the requirements.

    Keeping things running

    Technicians come in when the experimental apparatus and instrumentation are being built and often have complementary knowledge about what they’re working on. They build the hardware and coordinate the integration of components. It’s their work that, in the end, pulls everything together so the experiment functions.

    Once the experiment is built, technicians are responsible for keeping everything humming along at top performance. When physicists notice things going wrong with the detectors, the technicians usually have first eyes on it. It’s a vital task, since every second counts when it comes to collecting data.

    Doing the heavy lifting

    When designing and constructing the experiment, the scientists also recruit postdocs and grad students, who do the bulk of the data analysis.

    Grad students, who are still working on their PhDs, have to balance their own coursework with the real-world experiment, learning their way around running simulations, analyzing data and developing algorithms. They also make sure that every part of the detector is working up to par. In addition, they may work in instrumentation, developing new instruments and electronics.

    Postdocs, on the other hand, have already worked on experiments and obtained their PhDs, so they typically assume more of a leadership role in these collaborations. Part of their role is to guide the grad students in a sort of apprenticeship.

    Postdocs are often in charge of certain types of analysis or detector operations. Because they’ve worked on previous experiments, they have a tool kit and experience to draw on to solve problems when they crop up.

    Postdocs and grad students often work with technicians and engineers to ensure everything is properly built.

    Making the data accessible

    The LHC produces about 25 petabytes of data every year, or 25 billion megabytes. If the average size of an MP3 is about one megabyte per minute, then it would take almost 50,000 years to play 25 petabytes of songs. In physics collaborations, computer scientists and engineers have to organize the computing networks to ensure against bottlenecks or traffic jams when this massive amount of data is shared.

    They also maintain the software framework, which takes care of data handling and archiving. Say a scientist wants to know what happened on Feb. 27, 2015, at 3 a.m. Computing experts have to be able to go into the data catalogue and find, among the petabytes of data, where that event is stored.

    Sorting out the logistics

    One often overlooked group is the administrators.

    It’s up to the administrators to sequence all the different projects so they get the funds they need to make progress. They sort the logistics to make sure the right people are in the right places working on the right things.

    Administrators manage a group of people who are constantly coming and going. Is someone traveling to a site from a different institution? The administrators make sure that people get connected, work out itineraries and schedule where visiting scientists will live and work.

    Administrators also organize collaboration meetings, transfer money, and procure and ship equipment.

    Translating discoveries to the public

    While every single person involved in an experiment has a responsibility to effectively communicate with others, it can be challenging to communicate about research in a way that’s relatable to people from different backgrounds. That’s where the professional communicators come in.

    Communicators can translate a paper full of jargon and complicated science into a fascinating story that the rest of the world can get excited about.

    In addition to doing outreach for the public and writing press releases and pitching stories for the media, communicators offer coaching to people in a scientific collaboration on how to relay the science to a general audience, which is important for generating public interest.

    Fitting the pieces

    Now that you know many of the pieces that must fall into place for a large physics collaboration to be successful, also know that none of these roles is performed in a vacuum. For an experiment to work, there must be a synergy of tasks: Each relies on the success of the others. Now go start that experiment!

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 8:41 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , ,   

    From FNAL: “Fermilab expands international partnerships” 

    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.

    October 31, 2017
    Katie Yurkewicz

    The global neutrino physics community is coming together to develop a leading-edge, dual-site experiment for neutrino science called the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), hosted at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois.

    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

    The facility required for this experiment, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), will comprise the world’s highest-intensity neutrino beam at Fermilab and the infrastructure necessary to support massive cryogenic detectors installed deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility 1,300 kilometers away in Lead, South Dakota, as well as detectors at Fermilab.

    Scientists from more than 175 institutions in 31 countries make up the DUNE scientific collaboration, which is conducting R&D and designing the experiment’s massive detectors. Two large prototype liquid-argon detectors (called protoDUNEs) are under construction at CERN and will be tested with that lab’s particle beam in the fall of 2018.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    Inside ProtoDune – CERN

    And a high-level science and technology agreement was recently signed with the United Kingdom that supports participation by that country in LBNF/DUNE.

    In parallel, Fermilab and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science have been working with international partners to develop and execute agreements that pave the way towards greater scientific collaboration, from the exchange of personnel to the joint design and delivery of components for accelerators and detectors.

    In October 2016, Fermilab signed an agreement with the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Particle Physics at the Terascale, a consortium of four universities.

    Since then, agreements that establish joint interest and activities in particle physics research have been signed by Fermilab with additional institutions including the Federal University of ABC in Brazil, the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany, the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the University of Colima in Mexico. A student exchange program was also established with the Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular in Spain.

    And the pace of the development of new partnerships continues to increase. Two agreements were recently signed in the same week: The first on Oct. 17 between Fermilab and Canada’s York University establishing a joint faculty position; and the second on Oct. 19 with France’s Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics , part of the country’s National Center for Scientific Research.

    As construction continues for the laboratory’s Short-Baseline Neutrino program and ramps up for LBNF/DUNE, keep an eye on Fermilab’s website and Twitter feed for news of even more international agreements toward joint research in neutrino science.


    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

  • richardmitnick 7:12 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , ,   

    From CERN: “Meet the DUNEs” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead


    23 Oct 2017
    Sarah Charley, Symmetry

    Inside one of the protoDUNE detectors, currently under construction at CERN (Image: Max Brice/CERN)

    A new duo is living in CERN’s test beam area. On the outside, they look like a pair of Rubik’s Cubes that rubbed a magic lamp and transformed into castle turrets. But on the inside, they’ve got the glamour of a disco ball.

    These 12m x 12m x 12m boxes are two prototypes for the massive detectors of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). DUNE, an international experiment hosted by Fermilab [FNAL] in the United States, will live deep underground and trap neutrinos: tiny fundamental particles that rarely interact with matter.

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

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    SURF building in Lead SD USA

    “Learning more about neutrinos could help us better understand how the early Universe evolved and why the world is made of matter and not antimatter,” said Stefania Bordoni, a CERN researcher working on neutrino detector development.

    These DUNE prototypes are testing two variations of a detection technique first developed by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia. Each cube is a chilled thermos that will hold approximately 800 of liquid argon. When a neutrino bumps into an atom of argon, it will release a flash of light and a cascade of electrons, which will glide through the electrically charged chamber to detectors lining the walls.

    Inside their reinforced walls sits a liquid-tight metallic balloon, which can expand and contract to accommodate the changing volume of the argon as it cools from a gas to a liquid.

    Even though theses cubes are huge, they are mere miniature models of the final detectors, which will be 20 times larger and hold a total of 72 000 tonnes of liquid argon.

    In the coming months, these prototypes will be cooled down so that their testing can begin using a dedicated beam line at CERN’s SPS accelerator complex.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries

    Cern Courier




    CERN CMS New

    CERN LHCb New II


    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    Quantum Diaries

  • richardmitnick 12:15 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, groundwork for additional collaboration between the U.S. DOE its national laboratories (including Fermilab) and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, , UK labs and universities were important partners in the main Tevatron experiments CDF and DZero, UK Minister of State for Universities Science Research and Innovation Jo Johnson, UK science   

    From FNAL: “UK science minister announces $88 million for LBNF/DUNE, visits Fermilab” 

    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.

    Jo Johnson learns about accelerator technologies at Fermilab. From left: Fermilab Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Alison Markovitz; Fermilab scientist Anna Grassellino; Andrew Price of the UK Science and Innovation Network; DUNE co-spokesperson Mark Thomson; STFC Chief Executive Brian Bowsher; UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    UK minister Jo Johnson traveled to the United States this week to sign the first ever umbrella science and technology agreement between the two nations and to announce approximately $88 million in funding for the international Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    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

    On Thursday, he visited the host laboratory for LBNF/DUNE, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, emphasizing the importance of the project and the strong scientific partnership between the two countries.

    Johnson, the UK minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation, signed the agreement on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Signing for the United States was Judith G. Garber, acting assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs.

    This new agreement lays the groundwork for additional collaboration between the U.S. DOE, its national laboratories (including Fermilab) and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. STFC funds research in particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy in the United Kingdom. The U.S. DOE is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States.

    “Our continued collaboration with the U.S. on science and innovation benefits both nations,” said Johnson, “and this agreement will enable us to share our expertise to enhance our understanding of many important topics that have the potential to be world changing.”

    LBNF/DUNE will be a world-leading international neutrino experiment based in the United States. Fermilab’s powerful particle accelerators will create the world’s most intense beam of neutrinos and send it 800 miles through Earth to massive particle detectors, which will be built a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

    The UK research community is already a major contributor to the DUNE collaboration, providing expertise and components to the facility and the experiment. UK contributions range from the high-power neutrino production target to the data acquisition systems to the software that reconstructs particle interactions into visible 3-D readouts.

    DUNE will be the first large-scale experiment hosted in the United States that runs as a truly international project, with more than 1,000 scientists and engineers from 31 countries building and operating the facility. Its goal is to learn more about ghostly particles called neutrinos, which may provide insight into why we live in a matter-dominated universe that survived the Big Bang.

    The UK delegation visits the Fermilab underground neutrino experimental area. UK Minister Jo Johnson stands in the center. Immediately to his left is Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    In addition to Johnson, the UK delegation to Fermilab included Brian Bowsher, chief executive of STFC; Andrew Price of the UK Science and Innovation Network; and Martin Whalley, deputy consul general from the Great Britain Consulate in Chicago.

    They toured several areas of the lab, including the underground cavern that houses the NOvA neutrino detector, and the Cryomodule Test Facility, where components of the accelerator that will power DUNE are being tested. The UK will contribute world-leading expertise in particle accelerators to the upgrade of Fermilab’s neutrino beam and accelerator complex.

    “This investment is part of a long history of UK research collaboration with the U.S.,” said Bowsher. “International partnerships are the key to building these world-leading experiments, and I am looking forward to seeing our scientists work with our colleagues in the U.S. in developing this experiment and the exciting science that will happen as a result.”

    UK institutions have been a vital part of Fermilab’s 50-year history, from the earliest days of the laboratory. UK labs and universities were important partners in the main Tevatron experiments, CDF and DZero, in the 1980s and 1990s. UK institutions have been involved with accelerator research and development, are partners in Fermilab’s muon experiments and are at the forefront of Fermilab’s focus on neutrino physics.

    Sixteen UK institutions (14 universities and two STFC-funded labs) are contributors to the DUNE collaboration, the U.S.-hosted centerpiece for a world-class neutrino experiment. The collaboration is led by Mark Thomson, professor of experimental particle physics at the University of Cambridge, and Ed Blucher, professor and chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago.

    “Our colleagues in the United Kingdom have been critical partners for Fermilab, for LBNF/DUNE and for the advancement of particle physics around the world,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “We look forward to the discoveries that these projects will bring.”

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

  • richardmitnick 6:15 pm on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , ,   

    From BNL: “Three Brookhaven Lab Scientists Selected to Receive Early Career Research Program Funding” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    August 15, 2017 [Just caught up with this via social media.]
    Karen McNulty Walsh,
    (631) 344-8350
    Peter Genzer,
    (631) 344-3174

    Three scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have been selected by DOE’s Office of Science to receive significant research funding through its Early Career Research Program.

    The program, now in its eighth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. The three Brookhaven Lab recipients are among a total of 59 recipients selected this year after a competitive review of about 700 proposals.

    The scientists are each expected to receive grants of up to $2.5 million over five years to cover their salary plus research expenses. A list of the 59 awardees, their institutions, and titles of research projects is available on the Early Career Research Program webpage.

    This year’s Brookhaven Lab awardees include:

    Sanjaya Senanayake

    Brookhaven Lab chemist Sanjaya D. Senanayake was selected by DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences to receive funding for “Unraveling Catalytic Pathways for

    Low Temperature Oxidative Methanol Synthesis from Methane.” His overarching goal is to study and improve catalysts that enable the conversion of methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas, directly into methanol (CH3OH), a valuable chemical intermediate and potential renewable fuel.

    This research builds on the recent discovery of a single step catalytic process for this reaction that proceeds at low temperatures and pressures using inexpensive earth abundant catalysts. The reaction promises to be more efficient than current multi-step processes, which are energy-intensive, and a significant improvement over other attempts at one-step reactions where higher temperatures convert most of the useful hydrocarbon building blocks into carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide rather than methanol. With Early Career funding, Senanayake’s team will explore the nature of the reaction, and build on ways to further improve catalytic performance and specificity.

    The project will exploit unique capabilities of facilities at Brookhaven Lab, particularly at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), that make it possible to study catalysts in real-world reaction environments (in situ) using x-ray spectroscopy, electron imaging, and other in situ methods.



    Experiments using well defined model surfaces and powders will reveal atomic level catalytic structures and reaction dynamics. When combined with theoretical modeling, these studies will help the scientists identify the essential interactions that take place on the surface of the catalyst. Of particular interest are the key features that activate stable methane molecules through “soft” oxidative activation of C-H bonds so methane can be converted to methanol using oxygen (O2) and water (H2O) as co-reactants.

    This work will establish and experimentally validate principles that can be used to design improved catalysts for synthesizing fuel and other industrially relevant chemicals from abundant natural gas.

    “I am grateful for this funding and the opportunity to pursue this promising research,” Senanayake said. “These fundamental studies are an essential step toward overcoming key challenges for the complex conversion of methane into valued chemicals, and for transforming the current model catalysts into practical versions that are inexpensive, durable, selective, and efficient for commercial applications.”

    Sanjaya Senanayake earned his undergraduate degree in material science and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Auckland in New Zealand in 2001 and 2006, respectively. He worked as a research associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 2005-2008, and served as a local scientific contact at beamline U12a at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven Lab from 2005 to 2009. He joined the Brookhaven staff as a research associate in 2008, was promoted to assistant chemist and associate chemist in 2014, while serving as the spokesperson for NSLS Beamline X7B. He has co-authored over 100 peer reviewed publications in the fields of surface science and catalysis, and has expertise in the synthesis, characterization, reactivity of catalysts and reactions essential for energy conversion. He is an active member of the American Chemical Society, North American Catalysis Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the New York Academy of Science.

    Alessandro Tricoli

    Brookhaven Lab physicist Alessandro Tricoli will receive Early Career Award funding from DOE’s Office of High Energy Physics for a project titled “Unveiling the Electroweak Symmetry Breaking Mechanism at ATLAS and at Future Experiments with Novel Silicon Detectors.”

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    His work aims to improve, through precision measurements, the search for exciting new physics beyond what is currently described by the Standard Model [SM], the reigning theory of particle physics.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles (more schematic depiction), with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    The discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland confirmed how the quantum field associated with this particle generates the masses of other fundamental particles, providing key insights into electroweak symmetry breaking—the mass-generating “Higgs mechanism.”

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    But at the same time, despite direct searches for “new physics” signals that cannot be explained by the SM, scientists have yet to observe any evidence for such phenomena at the LHC—even though they know the SM is incomplete (for example it does not include an explanation for gravity).

    Tricoli’s research aims to make precision measurements to test fundamental predictions of the SM to identify anomalies that may lead to such discoveries. He focuses on the analysis of data from the LHC’s ATLAS experiment to comprehensively study electroweak interactions between the Higgs and particles called W and Z bosons. Any discovery of anomalies in such interactions could signal new physics at very high energies, not directly accessible by the LHC.

    This method of probing physics beyond the SM will become even more stringent once the high-luminosity upgrade of ATLAS, currently underway, is completed for longer-term LHC operations planned to begin in 2026.

    Tricoli’s work will play an important role in the upgrade of ATLAS’s silicon detectors, using novel state-of-the art technology capable of precision particle tracking and timing so that the detector will be better able to identify primary particle interactions and tease out signals from the background events. Designing these next-generation detector components could also have a profound impact on the development of future instruments that can operate in high radiation environments, such as in future colliders or in space.

    “This award will help me build a strong team around a research program I feel passionate about at ATLAS and the LHC, and for future experiments,” Tricoli said.

    “I am delighted and humbled by the challenge given to me with this award to take a step forward in science.”

    Alessandro Tricoli received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2001, and his Ph.D. in particle physics from Oxford University in 2007. He worked as a research associate at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK from 2006 to 2009, and as a research fellow and then staff member at CERN from 2009 to 2015, receiving commendations on his excellent performance from both institutions. He joined Brookhaven Lab as an assistant physicist in 2016. A co-author on multiple publications, he has expertise in silicon tracker and detector design and development, as well as the analysis of physics and detector performance data at high-energy physics experiments. He has extensive experience tutoring and mentoring students, as well as coordinating large groups of physicists involved in research at ATLAS.

    Chao Zhang

    Brookhaven Lab physicist Chao Zhang was selected by DOE’s Office of High Energy Physics to receive funding for a project titled, “Optimization of Liquid Argon TPCs for Nucleon Decay and Neutrino Physics.” Liquid Argon TPCs (for Time Projection Chambers) form the heart of many large-scale particle detectors designed to explore fundamental mysteries in particle physics.

    Among the most compelling is the question of why there’s a predominance of matter over antimatter in our universe. Though scientists believe matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts during the Big Bang, equal amounts would have annihilated one another, leaving only light. The fact that we now have a universe made almost entirely of matter means something must have tipped the balance.

    A US-hosted international experiment scheduled to start collecting data in the mid-2020s, called the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), aims to explore this mystery through the search for two rare but necessary conditions for the imbalance: 1) evidence that some processes produce an excess of matter over antimatter, and 2) a sizeable difference in the way matter and antimatter behave.

    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

    The DUNE experiment will look for signs of these conditions by studying how protons (one of the two “nucleons” that make up atomic nuclei) decay as well as how elusive particles called neutrinos oscillate, or switch identities, among three known types.

    The DUNE experiment will make use of four massive 10-kiloton detector modules, each with a Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber (LArTPC) at its core. Chao’s aim is to optimize the performance of the LArTPCs to fully realize their potential to track and identify particles in three dimensions, with a particular focus on making them sensitive to the rare proton decays. His team at Brookhaven Lab will establish a hardware calibration system to ensure their ability to extract subtle signals using specially designed cold electronics that will sit within the detector. They will also develop software to reconstruct the three-dimensional details of complex events, and analyze data collected at a prototype experiment (ProtoDUNE, located at Europe’s CERN laboratory) to verify that these methods are working before incorporating any needed adjustments into the design of the detectors for DUNE.

    “I am honored and thrilled to receive this distinguished award,” said Chao. “With this support, my colleagues and I will be able to develop many new techniques to enhance the performance of LArTPCs, and we are excited to be involved in the search for answers to one of the most intriguing mysteries in science, the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe.”

    Chao Zhang received his B.S. in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2002 and his Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2010, continuing as a postdoctoral scholar there until joining Brookhaven Lab as a research associate in 2011. He was promoted to physics associate III in 2015. He has actively worked on many high-energy neutrino physics experiments, including DUNE, MicroBooNE, Daya Bay, PROSPECT, JUNO, and KamLAND, co-authoring more than 40 peer reviewed publications with a total of over 5000 citations. He has expertise in the field of neutrino oscillations, reactor neutrinos, nucleon decays, liquid scintillator and water-based liquid scintillator detectors, and liquid argon time projection chambers. He is an active member of the American Physical Society.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    BNL Campus

    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.

  • richardmitnick 1:51 pm on September 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, ,   

    From FNAL: “Contract awarded for LBNF preconstruction services” 

    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 13, 2017
    Leah Poffenberger

    On July 21, a group of dignitaries broke ground on the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) 4,850 feet underground in a former goldmine, making a small dent in the 875,000 tons of rock that will ultimately be excavated for Fermilab’s flagship experiment.

    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

    But a groundbreaking ceremony doesn’t always mean you can get straight to digging.

    Removing 875,000 tons of rock from a mile underground and assembling a massive particle detector in its place is a big job. Many months of careful design and preparatory construction work have to happen before the main excavation can even start at the future site of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) at Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

    On Aug. 9, a new team officially signed on to help prepare for the excavation and construction of DUNE. Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which operates Fermilab, awarded Kiewit/Alberici Joint Venture (KAJV) a contract to begin laying the groundwork for the excavation for LBNF, the facility that will support DUNE.

    “Our team is excited and honored to serve as the construction manager/general contractor on a project like the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility,” said KAJV Project Manager Scott Lundgren. “We look forward to working with Fermi Research Alliance to support this groundbreaking physics experiment.”

    Under the contract, over the next 12 months, KAJV will assist in the final design and excavation planning for LBNF/DUNE.

    “We’re all very excited about this partnership,” said Troy Lark, LBNF procurement manager. “It’s great to be working with two premier international contracting companies on this project.”

    The four-story-high, 70,000-ton DUNE detector at LBNF will catch neutrinos — subatomic particles that rarely interact with matter — sent through the Earth’s mantle from Fermilab, 800 miles away. This international megascience experiment will work to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding neutrinos, possibly leading to a better understanding of how the universe began.

    Building such an ambitious experiment has some unique challenges.

    “It’s kind of like building a ship in a bottle,” said Chris Mossey, Fermilab’s deputy director for LBNF. “We’re using a narrow shaft to move all the excavated rock up, and then all the parts and pieces of very large cryostats and detectors down to the 4850 level, about a mile underground.”

    KAJV will have two main tasks. The first is to help finalize design and excavation plans for LBNF. The second is to use the finalized designs to create what are known as bid packages: specific projects that KAJV or other contractors will work on.

    These bid packages will include jobs such as building site infrastructure and ensuring the structural integrity of the building above the shaft through which everything will enter or exit the mine.

    “Before you excavate 875,000 tons of rock, there’s a lot of things you’ve got to do. You have to have a system to move the rock safely from where it’s excavated to the surface, then horizontally about 3,700 feet to the large open pit where it will be deposited,” Mossey said. “All that has to be built.”

    Construction on pre-excavation projects — such as the conveyor system to move the rock — is expected to begin in 2018. The main excavation for LBNF/DUNE is planned to start in 2019.

    “We’re really happy to get this contract awarded,” Mossey said. “It was a lot of work to get to this point — a lot by the project, the lab and the DOE team. Everybody worked to be able to get this big, complicated contract in place.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

    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.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
%d bloggers like this: