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

  • richardmitnick 7:58 am on August 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , , ,   

    From ScienceNews: “Neutrino experiment may hint at why matter rules the universe” 

    ScienceNews bloc

    ScienceNews

    1
    NEUTRINO CLUES The T2K experiment found clues that neutrinos may behave differently than their antimatter partners. In a possible sighting of an electron neutrino at the Super-Kamiokande detector in Hida, Japan (shown), colored spots represent sensors that observed light from the interacting neutrino. Kamioka Observatory/ICRR/The University of Tokyo

    A new study hints that neutrinos might behave differently than their antimatter counterparts. The result amplifies scientists’ suspicions that the lightweight elementary particles could help explain why the universe has much more matter than antimatter.

    In the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts. To tip that balance to the universe’s current, matter-dominated state, matter and antimatter must behave differently, a concept known as CP, or “charge parity,” violation.

    In neutrinos, which come in three types — electron, muon and tau — CP violation can be measured by observing how neutrinos oscillate, or change from one type to another. Researchers with the T2K experiment found that muon neutrinos morphed into electron neutrinos more often than expected, while muon antineutrinos became electron antineutrinos less often. That suggests that the neutrinos were violating CP, the researchers concluded August 4 at a colloquium at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, KEK, in Tsukuba, Japan.

    T2K scientists had previously presented a weaker hint [Physical Review Letters]of CP violation. The new result is based on about twice as much data, but the evidence is still not definitive. In physicist parlance, it is a “two sigma” measurement, an indicator of how statistically strong the evidence is. Physicists usually require five sigma to claim a discovery.

    Even three sigma is still far away — T2K could reach that milestone by 2026. A future experiment, DUNE, now under construction at the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory in Lead, S.D., may reach five sigma.

    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

    It is worth being patient, says physicist Chang Kee Jung of Stony Brook University in New York, who is a member of the T2K collaboration. “We are dealing with really profound problems.”

    See the full article here .

    Science News is edited for an educated readership of professionals, scientists and other science enthusiasts. Written by a staff of experienced science journalists, it treats science as news, reporting accurately and placing findings in perspective. Science News and its writers have won many awards for their work; here’s a list of many of them.

    Published since 1922, the biweekly print publication reaches about 90,000 dedicated subscribers and is available via the Science News app on Android, Apple and Kindle Fire devices. Updated continuously online, the Science News website attracted over 12 million unique online viewers in 2016.

    Science News is published by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the public engagement in scientific research and education.

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  • richardmitnick 3:30 pm on August 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “The birth of a black hole, live” 09/09/15 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    09/09/15 [this is old, but a lot of sites are featuring it again.]
    Lauren Biron

    1
    NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

    Scientists hope to use neutrino experiments to watch a black hole form.

    Black holes fascinate us. We easily conjure up images of them swallowing spaceships, but we know very little about these strange objects. In fact, we’ve never even seen a black hole form. Scientists on neutrino experiments such as the upcoming Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment hope to change that.

    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

    “You’ve got to be a bit lucky,” says Mark Thomson, DUNE co-spokesperson. “But it would be one of the major discoveries in science. It would be absolutely incredible.”

    Black holes are sometimes born when a massive star, typically more than eight times the mass of our own sun, collapses. But there are a lot of questions about what exactly happens during the process: How often do these collapsing stars give rise to black holes? When in the collapse does the black hole actually develop?

    What scientists do know is that deep in the dense core of the star, protons and electrons are squeezed together to form neutrons, sending ghostly particles called neutrinos streaming out. Matter falls inward. In the textbook case, matter rebounds and erupts, leaving a neutron star. But sometimes, the supernova fails, and there’s no explosion; instead, a black hole is born.

    DUNE’s gigantic detectors, filled with liquid argon, will sit a mile below the surface in a repurposed goldmine. While much of their time will be spent looking for neutrinos sent from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory 800 miles away, the detectors will also have the rare ability to pick up a core collapse in our Milky Way galaxy – whether or not that leads to a new black hole.

    The only supernova ever recorded by neutrino detectors occurred in in 1987, when scientists saw a total of 19 neutrinos. Scientists still don’t know if that supernova formed a black hole or a neutron star—there simply wasn’t enough data. Thomson says that if a supernova goes off nearby, DUNE could see up to 10,000 neutrinos.

    DUNE will look for a particular signature in the neutrinos picked up by the detector. It’s predicted that a black hole will form relatively early in a supernova. Neutrinos will be able to leave the collapse in great numbers until the black hole emerges, trapping everything—including light and neutrinos—in its grasp. In data terms, that means you’d get a big burst of neutrinos with a sudden cutoff.

    Neutrinos come in three types, called flavors: electron, muon and tau. When a star explodes, it emits all the various types of neutrinos, as well as their antiparticles.

    They’re hard to catch. These neutrinos arrive with 100 times less energy than those arriving from an accelerator for experiments, which makes them less likely to interact in a detector.

    Most of the currently running, large particle detectors capable of seeing supernova neutrinos are best at detecting electron antineutrinos—and not great at detecting their matter equivalents, electron neutrinos.

    “It would be a tragedy to not be ready to detect the neutrinos in full enough detail to answer key questions,” says John Beacom, director of the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics at The Ohio State University.

    Luckily, DUNE is unique. “The only one that is sensitive to a huge slug of electron neutrinos is DUNE, and that’s a function of using argon [as the detector fluid],” says Kate Scholberg, professor of physics at Duke University.

    It will take more than just DUNE to get the whole picture, though. Getting an entire suite of large, powerful detectors of different types up and running is the best way to figure out the lives of black holes, Beacom says.

    There is a big scintillator detector, JUNO, in the works in China, and plans for a huge water-based detector, Hyper-K, in Japan.

    JUNO Neutrino detector, at Kaiping, Jiangmen in Southern China

    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.

    Gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO could pick up additional information about the density of matter and what’s happening in the collapse.


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation


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

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project


    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger-Zib

    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    “My dream is to have a supernova with JUNO, Hyper-K and DUNE all online,” Scholberg says. “It would certainly make my decade.”

    The rate at which neutrinos arrive after a supernova will tell scientists about what’s happening at the center of a core collapse—but it will also provide information about the mysterious neutrino, including how they interact with each other and potential insights as to how much the tiny particles actually weigh.

    Within the next three years, the rapidly growing DUNE collaboration will build and begin testing a prototype of the 40,000-ton liquid argon detector. This 400-ton version will be the second-largest liquid-argon experiment ever built to date. It is scheduled for testing at CERN starting in 2018.

    DUNE is scheduled to start installing the first of its four detectors in the Sanford Underground Research Facility in 2021.

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 7:01 am on July 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, Groundbreaking for DUNE at SURF,   

    From FNAL: “Construction begins on international mega-science experiment to understand neutrinos” 

    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.

    July 21, 2017

    Media contact
    Andre Salles
    Fermilab Office of Communication
    asalles@fnal.gov
    630-840-6733

    Constance Walter
    Sanford Underground Research Facility,
    cwalter@sanfordlab.org
    605-722-4025

    1
    Ground is broken! Attending the underground ceremony today were, from left: Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer; Executive Director of Programmes Grahame Blair, Science and Technology Facilities Council; Professor Sergio Bertolucci, National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Italy; Director for International Relations Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN; Rep. Randy Hultgren, Illinois; Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota; Sen. Mike Rounds, South Dakota; Sen. John Thune, South Dakota; Associate Director of Science for High-Energy Research Jim Siegrist, U.S. Department of Energy; Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios; South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard; Project Manager Scott Lundgren, Kiewit/Alberici; Executive Director Mike Headley, Sanford Underground Research Facility; and Chair of the Board Casey Peterson, South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

    Groundbreaking held today in South Dakota marks the start of excavation for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, future home to the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    With the turning of a shovelful of earth a mile underground, a new era in international particle physics research officially began today.

    In a unique groundbreaking ceremony held this afternoon at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, a group of dignitaries, scientists and engineers from around the world marked the start of construction of a massive international experiment that could change our understanding of the universe. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) will house the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which will be built and operated by a group of roughly 1,000 scientists and engineers from 30 countries.

    When complete, LBNF/DUNE 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.

    At its peak, construction of LBNF is expected to create almost 2,000 jobs throughout South Dakota and a similar number of jobs in Illinois. Institutions in dozens of countries will contribute to the construction of DUNE components. The DUNE experiment will attract students and young scientists from around the world, helping to foster the next generation of leaders in the field and to maintain the highly skilled scientific workforce in the United States and worldwide.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located outside Chicago, will generate a beam of neutrinos and send them 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) through Earth to Sanford Lab, where a four-story-high, 70,000-ton detector will be built beneath the surface to catch those neutrinos.

    Scientists will study the interactions of neutrinos in the detector, looking to better understand the changes these particles undergo as they travel across the country in less than the blink of an eye. Ever since their discovery 61 years ago, neutrinos have proven to be one of the most surprising subatomic particles, and the fact that they oscillate between three different states is one of their biggest surprises. That discovery began with a solar neutrino experiment led by physicist Ray Davis in the 1960s, performed in the same underground mine that now will house LBNF/DUNE. Davis shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 2002 for his experiment.

    2
    The DUNE neutrino beam will travel 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) through Earth from Fermilab in Illinois to Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. Illustration: Sandbox Studio/Fermilab.

    DUNE scientists will also look for the differences in behavior between neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, which could give us clues as to why the visible universe is dominated by matter. 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.

    But first, the facility must be built, and that will happen over the next 10 years. Now that the first shovel of earth has been moved, crews will begin to excavate more than 870,000 tons of rock to create the huge underground caverns for the DUNE detector. Large DUNE prototype detectors are under construction at European research center CERN, a major partner in the project, and the technology refined for those smaller versions will be tested and scaled up when the massive DUNE detectors are built.

    This research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science in conjunction with CERN and international partners from 30 countries. DUNE collaborators come from institutions in Armenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.

    QUOTES

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry

    “The start of construction on this world-leading science experiment is cause for celebration, not just because of its positive impacts on the economy and on America’s strong relationships with our international partners, but also because of the fantastic discoveries that await us beyond the next horizon. I’m proud to support the efforts by Fermilab, Sanford Underground Research Facility and CERN, and we’re pleased to see it moving forward.”

    Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, Office of Science and Technology Policy

    “Today’s groundbreaking for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility marks a historic moment for American leadership in science and technology. It also serves as a model for what the future of mega-science research looks like: an intensely collaborative effort between state, local and federal governments, international partners, and enterprising corporate and philanthropic pioneers whose combined efforts will significantly increase our understanding of the universe. The White House celebrates today with everyone who is bringing this once-in-a-generation endeavor to life, including the men and women providing the logistical organization and financial capital to set the project on the right foot, the physical labor to construct these incredible facilities, and the scientific vision to discover new truths through their work here.”

    South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

    “This project will be one of the world’s most significant physics experiments conducted over the next several decades, and today’s groundbreaking is another milestone in the development of the Sanford Underground Research Facility.”

    U.S. Senator John Thune, South Dakota

    “The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility continues Lead, South Dakota’s, tradition of cutting-edge neutrino research, dating back to physics experiments at the former Homestake Mine in the 1960s. When completed, LBNF and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will attract some of the world’s brightest scientists to South Dakota and push the boundaries of basic research, not to mention support good-paying jobs in the historic mining region of the Black Hills. I look forward to seeing the facility’s completion and the groundbreaking experiments that will be done in the years to come.”

    U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, South Dakota

    “Today’s groundbreaking marks another significant step toward gaining a deeper understanding of the makeup of our universe. It is pretty remarkable that such world-class research continues to develop right here in Lead, South Dakota. When we began the process of securing an underground laboratory at South Dakota’s Homestake gold mine more than a decade ago, we were hopeful that it would lead to major advancements in particle physics and neutrino research. Today, those hopes are turning into reality as the Sanford Underground Research Facility, Fermilab and CERN join together to break ground on the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, which will house the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. Today is a truly special day, and I thank everyone involved in this collaboration for the years of hard work they’ve put into this project.”

    U.S. Representative Kristi Noem, South Dakota

    “In breaking ground today, we move closer to uncovering a new understanding of how the natural world works. That new knowledge could have a profound impact, potentially leading to faster global communications, better nuclear weapons detection technologies and a whole new field of research. The future of science is happening right here in South Dakota.”

    U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren, Illinois

    “The LBNF/DUNE groundbreaking once again puts the United States in a leadership position on the world stage, attracting scientists from around the globe to the only place they can do their work. Fermilab attracts top talent, employing nearly 2,000 in Illinois and providing a strong economic engine to our state. I commend the work done by the Department of Energy, Fermilab and Sanford Lab to bring together a strong coalition to serve the research needs of the international community. With great anticipation I look forward to the new and breathtaking discoveries made at this facility. What we all can learn together will be awe-inspiring and uncover the new questions that will drive future generations of scientists in their quest for greater understanding.”

    Director Nigel Lockyer, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

    “Fermilab is proud to host the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, which bring together scientists from 30 countries in a quest to understand the neutrino. This is a true landmark day and the start of a new era in global neutrino physics.”

    Executive Director Mike Headley, Sanford Underground Research Facility

    “The South Dakota Science and Technology Authority is proud to be hosting LBNF at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This milestone represents the start of construction of the largest mega-science project in the United States. We’re excited to be working with the project and the international DUNE collaboration and expanding our knowledge of the role neutrinos play in the makeup of the universe.”

    Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, CERN

    “Some of the open questions in fundamental physics today are related to extremely fascinating and elusive particles called neutrinos. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility in the United States, whose start of construction is officially inaugurated with today’s groundbreaking ceremony, brings together the international particle physics community to explore some of the most interesting properties of neutrinos.”

    Executive Director of Programmes Grahame Blair, Science and Technology Facilities Council, United Kingdom

    “The groundbreaking ceremony today is a significant milestone in what is an extremely exciting prospect for the UK research community. The DUNE project will delve deeper into solving the unanswered questions of our universe, opening the doors to a whole new set of tools to probe its constituents at a very fundamental level and, indeed, even addressing how it came to be. International partnerships are key to building these leading-edge experiments, which explore the origins of the universe, and I am very happy to be a representative of the international community here today.”

    President Fernando Ferroni, National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Italy

    “We are very proud of this great endeavor of Fermilab as its technology has roots in the work undertaken by Carlo Rubbia at the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy.”

    Professor Ed Blucher, University of Chicago and co-spokesperson, DUNE collaboration

    “Today is extremely exciting for all of us in the DUNE collaboration. It marks the start of an incredibly challenging and ambitious experiment, which could have a profound impact on our understanding of the universe.”

    Professor Mark Thomson, University of Cambridge and co-spokesperson, DUNE collaboration

    “The international DUNE collaboration came together to realize a dream of a game-changing program of neutrino science; today represents a major milestone in turning this dream into reality.”

    Illustrations and animations of the LBNF/DUNE project and its science goals are available at:

    http://www.dunescience.org/for-the-media

    More information about the facility and experiment can be found at:

    http://lbnf.fnal.gov

    http://dunescience.org

    See the full article here .

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    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 12:26 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, ,   

    From DUNE: “Video: The science of DUNE” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    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
    LBNE

     
  • richardmitnick 12:16 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, Google map, NUS TO SURF   

    From SURF: “Google map of DUNE institutions” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    July 17, 2017

    “I had a few idle moments the past couple of weekends (amazing how that happens when I don’t travel!),” said Institutional Board chair Bob Wilson back in April, “so I added the DUNE institutions to an active Google map.”

    1
    Click on image [interactive in the full article] to go to page in DUNE at Work site. Image: Google Maps.

    “What do you think about adding this to the DUNE web site?”

    (Time passes. Everybody agrees.)

    “Done!” said Eileen Berman.

    Warning: it is not complete.

    Please look it over and check whether your institution is there.

    If Institutional Board representatives would like to add or edit their entry, they need to (1) have a google account and (2) send it in an email to dune-communication@fnal.gov to request authorization to edit. Alternatively, the representative can simply provide the institution name and location in the email and request that it be added or changed.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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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

     
  • richardmitnick 10:22 pm on July 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , MEET SURF, , , , U Washington Majorana   

    Meet SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility, South Dakota, USA 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO CONSTANCE WALTER, Communications Director, fantastic writer, AND MATT KAPUST Creative Services Developer, master photogropher, FOR THEIR TIRELESS EFFORTS IN KEEPING US INFORMED ABOUT PROGRESS FOR SCIENCE IN SOUTH DAKOTA, USA.

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    The SURF story in pictures:

    SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility


    SURF Above Ground

    SURF Out with the Old


    SURF An Empty Slate


    SURF Carving New Space


    SURF Shotcreting


    SURF Bolting and Wire Mesh


    SURF Outfitting Begins


    SURF circular wooden frame was built to form a concrete ring to hold the 72,000-gallon (272,549 liters) water tank that would house the LUX dark matter detector


    SURF LUX water tank was transported in pieces and welded together in the Davis Cavern


    SURF Ground Support


    SURF Dedicated to Science


    SURF Building a Ship in a Bottle


    SURF Tight Spaces


    SURF Ready for Science


    SURF Entrance Before Outfitting


    SURF Entrance After Outfitting


    SURF Common Corridior


    SURF Davis


    SURF Davis A World Class Site


    SURF Davis a Lab Site


    SURF DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab


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


    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    U Washington LUX Xenon experiment at SURF


    SURF Before Majorana


    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF

    This is 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
    LBNE

     
  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on July 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, ,   

    From FNAL: “Contract to design rock conveyor for neutrino experiment awarded” 

    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.

    July 5, 2017
    Leah Hesla

    If in a few years you happen to travel down Highway 85 in the Black Hills near Lead, South Dakota, you will find yourself passing beneath a new, narrow beam-like structure stretching across the road overhead.

    You’ll be crossing under part of a conveyor system that will be used to transport rock from nearly a mile underground at the former Homestake gold mine — now the Sanford Underground Research Facility — to an enormous open pit on the surface as underground space is carved out to house a giant particle detector.

    1
    The North Alabama Fabricating Company has been contracted to design and fabricate a rock conveyor to help remove rock from the former Homestake Mine. This effort is to make way for a giant particle detector for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. The detector will be situated nearly a mile underground. Image: Sanford Lab

    Scientists from the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), an experiment hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, will build and use the mammoth detector to study particles called neutrinos. Understanding these particles is expected to lead to a deeper knowledge of how our universe is put together.

    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 June 28, Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which operates Fermilab, signed a contract with North Alabama Fabricating Company to design and fabricate the pipe conveyor to be installed at Sanford Lab. The contract supports the excavation for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), the facility that will house and support DUNE.

    “The fabrication and installation of the pipe conveyor will be a major step toward LBNF excavation,” said Mike Headley, executive director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, or SDSTA, which owns and operates Sanford Lab. “It’s an exciting milestone, and the SDSTA is proud to support the LBNF team on this project.”

    Fermilab and Sanford Lab staff expect conveyor installation to begin in mid-2018 and continue for six months. Rock removal is expected to take about three years once the conveyor begins operating.

    2
    The rock conveyor will transport rock excavated from the former Homestake Mine to a nearby open cut. Image: Sanford Lab.

    “The conveyor will transport 875,000 tons of rock — approximately equal to the mass of eight Nimitz class aircraft carriers,” said retired U.S. Navy admiral Chris Mossey, who is now the LBNF project director at Fermilab.

    Like a giant futuristic supermarket checkout lane, the rock conveyor will move rock over a stretch of 3,700 feet while containing dust and debris.

    The conveyor path will take advantage of a long, existing tunnel carved out during Homestake’s gold mining days in the 1930s. The conveyor will start 175 feet underground, make its way to the surface, and continue high above ground until it arrives at the pit, called an open cut, which is roughly two miles wide and 1,200 feet deep. In fact, miners used a similar machine in the 1980s to transport rock away from the open cut as they looked for gold.

    3
    This is a conceptual illustration of the aboveground portion of the rock conveyor. Image: Sanford Lab.

    LBNF project members have kept in close contact with the city of Lead and its residents regarding rock-handling options, as well as with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure that cultural aspects of the site are understood and respected. The communication will continue as the design evolves.

    “The design team has worked hard to come up with the right system,” said Fermilab’s Elaine McCluskey, LBNF project manager.

    Excavation for the DUNE detector caverns is expected to be complete in early 2022.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    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 3:09 pm on June 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN ProtoDUNE, FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “World’s biggest neutrino experiment moves one step closer” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    06/23/17
    Lauren Biron

    1
    Photo by Maximilien Brice, CERN

    The startup of a 25-ton test detector at CERN advances technology for the 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

    In a lab at CERN sits a very important box. It covers about three parking spaces and is more than a story tall. Sitting inside is a metal device that tracks energetic cosmic particles.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    This is a prototype detector, a stepping-stone on the way to the future Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). On June 21, it recorded its first particle tracks.

    So begins the largest ever test of an extremely precise method for measuring elusive particles called neutrinos, which may hold the key to why our universe looks the way it does and how it came into being.

    A two-phase detector

    The prototype detector is named WA105 3x1x1 (its dimensions in meters) and holds five active tons—3000 liters—of liquid argon. Argon is well suited to interacting with neutrinos then transmitting the subsequent light and electrons for collection. Previous liquid argon neutrino detectors, such as ICARUS and MicroBooNE, detected signals from neutrinos using wires in the liquid argon. But crucially, this new test detector also holds a small amount of gaseous argon, earning it the special status of a two-phase detector.

    INFN Gran Sasso ICARUS, since moved to FNAL

    FNAL/ICARUS

    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    As particles pass through the detector, they interact with the argon atoms inside. Electrons are stripped off of atoms and drift through the liquid toward an “extraction grid,” which kicks them into the gas. There, large electron multipliers create a cascade of electrons, leading to a stronger signal that scientists can use to reconstruct the particle track in 3D. Previous tests of this method were conducted in small detectors using about 250 active liters of liquid argon.

    “This is the first time anyone will demonstrate this technology at this scale,” says Sebastien Murphy, who led the construction of the detector at CERN.

    The 3x1x1 test detector represents a big jump in size compared to previous experiments, but it’s small compared to the end goal of DUNE, which will hold 40,000 active tons of liquid argon. Scientists say they will take what they learn and apply it (and some of the actual electronic components) to next-generation single- and dual-phase prototypes, called ProtoDUNE.

    The technology used for both types of detectors is a time projection chamber, or TPC. DUNE will stack many large modules snugly together like LEGO blocks to create enormous DUNE detectors, which will catch neutrinos a mile underground at Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. Overall development for liquid argon TPCs has been going on for close to 40 years, and research and development for the dual-phase for more than a decade. The idea for this particular dual-phase test detector came in 2013.

    “The main goal [with WA105 3x1x1] is to demonstrate that we can amplify charges in liquid argon detectors on the same large scale as we do in standard gaseous TPCs,” Murphy says.

    By studying neutrinos and antineutrinos that travel 800 miles through the Earth from the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory [FNAL] to the DUNE detectors, scientists aim to discover differences in the behavior of matter and antimatter. This could point the way toward explaining the abundance of matter over antimatter in the universe. The supersensitive detectors will also be able to capture neutrinos from exploding stars (supernovae), unveiling the formation of neutron stars and black holes. In addition, they allow scientists to hunt for a rare phenomenon called proton decay.

    “All the R&D we did for so many years and now want to do with ProtoDUNE is the homework we have to do,” says André Rubbia, the spokesperson for the WA105 3x1x1 experiment and former co-spokesperson for DUNE. “Ultimately, we are all extremely excited by the discovery potential of DUNE itself.”

    2
    One of the first tracks in the prototype detector, caused by a cosmic ray. André Rubbia

    Testing, testing, 3-1-1, check, check

    Making sure a dual-phase detector and its electronics work at cryogenic temperatures of minus 184 degrees Celsius (minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit) on a large scale is the primary duty of the prototype detector—but certainly not its only one. The membrane that surrounds the liquid argon and keeps it from spilling out will also undergo a rigorous test. Special cryogenic cameras look for any hot spots where the liquid argon is predisposed to boiling away and might cause voltage breakdowns near electronics.

    After many months of hard work, the cryogenic team and those working on the CERN neutrino platform have already successfully corrected issues with the cryostat, resulting in a stable level of incredibly pure liquid argon. The liquid argon has to be pristine and its level just below the large electron multipliers so that the electrons from the liquid will make it into the gaseous argon.

    “Adding components to a detector is never trivial, because you’re adding impurities such as water molecules and even dust,” says Laura Manenti, a research associate at the University College London in the UK. “That is why the liquid argon in the 311—and soon to come ProtoDUNEs—has to be recirculated and purified constantly.”

    While ultimately the full-scale DUNE detectors will sit in the most intense neutrino beam in the world, scientists are testing the WA105 3x1x1 components using muons from cosmic rays, high-energy particles arriving from space. These efforts are supported by many groups, including the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    The plan is now to run the experiment, gather as much data as possible, and then move on to even bigger territory.

    “The prospect of starting DUNE is very exciting, and we have to deliver the best possible detector,” Rubbia says. “One step at a time, we’re climbing a large mountain. We’re not at the top of Everest yet, but we’re reaching the first chalet.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, , ,   

    From FNAL: “Follow the fantastic voyage of the ICARUS neutrino detector” 

    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.

    June 6, 2017

    Andre Salles
    Fermilab Office of Communication
    asalles@fnal.gov
    630-840-6733

    CERN Press Office
    press.office@cern.ch
    +41227673432
    +41227672141

    Eleonora Cossi
    INFN
    eleonora.cossi@presid.infn.it,
    +39-06-686-8162

    The world’s largest particle hunter of its kind will travel across the ocean from CERN to Fermilab this summer to become an integral part of neutrino research in the United States.

    It’s lived in two different countries, and it’s about to make its way to a third. It’s the largest machine of its kind, designed to find extremely elusive particles and tell us more about them. Its pioneering technology is the blueprint for some of the most advanced science experiments in the world. And this summer, it will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to its new home (and its new mission) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    2
    The ICARUS detector, seen here in a cleanroom at CERN, is being prepared for its voyage to Fermilab. Photo: CERN

    It’s called ICARUS, and you can follow its journey over land and sea with the help of an interactive map on Fermilab’s website.

    The ICARUS detector measures 18 meters (60 feet) long and weighs 120 tons. It began its scientific life under a mountain at the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ (INFN) Gran Sasso National Laboratory in 2010, recording data from a beam of particles called neutrinos sent by CERN, Europe’s premier particle physics laboratory. The detector was shipped to CERN in 2014, where it has been upgraded and refurbished in preparation for its overseas trek.

    INFN Gran Sasso ICARUS, moving to FNAL

    Gran Sasso LABORATORI NAZIONALI del GRAN SASSO, located in the Abruzzo region of central Italy

    When it arrives at Fermilab, the massive machine will take its place as part of a suite of three detectors dedicated to searching for a new type of neutrino beyond the three that have been found. Discovering this so-called “sterile” neutrino, should it exist, would rewrite scientists’ picture of the universe and the particles that make it up.

    “Nailing down the question of whether sterile neutrinos exist or not is an important scientific goal, and ICARUS will help us achieve that,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “But it’s also a significant step in Fermilab’s plan to host a truly international neutrino facility, with the help of our partners around the world.”

    First, however, the detector has to get there. Next week it will begin its journey from CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, to a port in Antwerp, Belgium. From there the detector, separated into two identical pieces, will travel on a ship to Burns Harbor, Indiana, in the United States, and from there will be driven by truck to Fermilab, one piece at a time. The full trip is expected to take roughly six weeks.

    An interactive map on Fermilab’s website (IcarusTrip.fnal.gov) will track the voyage of the ICARUS detector, and Fermilab, CERN and INFN social media channels will document the trip using the hashtag #IcarusTrip. The detector itself will sport a distinctive banner, and members of the public are encouraged to snap photos of it and post them on social media.

    3
    The ICARUS neutrino detector prepares for its trip to Fermilab. Follow #IcarusTrip online! Photo: CERN

    Once the ICARUS detector is delivered to Fermilab, it will be installed in a recently completed building and filled with 760 tons of pure liquid argon to start the search for sterile neutrinos.

    The ICARUS experiment is a prime example of the international nature of particle physics and the mutually beneficial cooperation that exists between the world’s physics laboratories. The detector uses liquid-argon time projection technology – essentially a method of taking a 3-D snapshot of the particles produced when a neutrino interacts with an argon atom – which was developed by the ICARUS collaboration and now is the technology of choice for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), which will be hosted by Fermilab.

    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

    “More than 25 years ago, Nobel Prize winner Carlo Rubbia started a visionary effort with the help and resources of INFN to make use of liquid argon as a particle detector, with the visual power of a bubble chamber but with the speed and efficiency of an electronic detector,” said Fernando Ferroni, president of INFN. “A long series of steps demonstrated the power of this technology that has been chosen for the gigantic future experiment DUNE in the U.S., scaling up the 760 tons of argon for ICARUS to 70,000 tons for DUNE. In the meantime, ICARUS will be at the core of an experiment at Fermilab looking for the possible existence of a new type of neutrino. Long life to ICARUS!”

    CERN’s contribution to ICARUS, bringing the detector in line with the latest technology, expands the renowned European laboratory’s participation in Fermilab’s neutrino program.

    It’s the first such program CERN has contributed to in the United States. Fermilab is the hub of U.S. participation in the CMS experiment on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and the partnership between the laboratories has never been stronger.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event


    CERN/CMS

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    ICARUS will be the largest of three liquid-argon neutrino detectors at Fermilab seeking sterile neutrinos. The smallest, MicroBooNE, is active and has been taking data for more than a year, while the third, the Short-Baseline Neutrino Detector, is under construction.

    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    FNAL Short-Baseline Near Detector

    The three detectors should all be operational by 2019, and the three collaborations include scientists from 45 institutions in six countries.

    Knowledge gained by operating the suite of three detectors will be important in the development of the DUNE experiment, which will be the largest neutrino experiment ever constructed. The international Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) will deliver an intense beam of neutrinos to DUNE, sending the particles 800 miles through Earth from Fermilab to the large, mile-deep detector at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. DUNE will enable a new era of precision neutrino science and may revolutionize our understanding of these particles and their role in the universe.

    Research and development on the experiment is under way, with prototype DUNE detectors under construction at CERN, and construction on LBNF is set to begin in South Dakota this year.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    A study by Anderson Economic Group, LLC, commissioned by Fermi Research Alliance LLC, which manages the laboratory on behalf of DOE, predicts significant positive impact from the project on economic output and jobs in South Dakota and elsewhere.

    This research is supported by the DOE Office of Science, CERN and INFN, in partnership with institutions around the world.

    Follow the overseas journey of the ICARUS detector at IcarusTrip.fnal.gov. Follow the social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #IcarusTrip.

    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 7:56 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL LBNF/ DUNE, Homestake Mine in South Dakota, , Ray Davis,   

    From FNAL: “Neutrinos: the ghost particles” 

    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.

    June 2, 2017
    Mike Albrow

    1
    Scientist Ray Davis went hunting for neutrinos using a detector in the Homestake Mine in South Dakota. Photo: DOE

    Imagine: It is 1960 and you (or more likely your dad) meet a young man in a pub. He tells you his name is Ray, and you think he must be mad. He says he wants to go down a gold mine a mile underground to try to see inside the sun in the middle of the night. Or day, it doesn’t matter, because he is not using light but “invisible rays,” or particles, that go right through Earth like ghosts. He is a scientist, Ray Davis Jr., and is not mad. Forty years later he wins the Nobel Prize. The particles are called neutrinos, Italian for “little neutral ones”.

    This story starts in Victorian times, with a huge puzzle. Charles Darwin had convinced biologists that all life has been evolving from simple forms for hundreds of millions of years. But, at the rate the sun is shining, without some unknown fuel it would burn out in less than 20 million years.

    By the 1920s we had an answer. Einstein had shown that matter can be converted into energy. Nuclear reactions like those in a hydrogen bomb could be the mystery source. But as often happens in science, getting an answer leads to more mysteries.

    The energy in nuclear reactions studied in the laboratory didn’t add up. Not enough energy came out of a radioactive nucleus. But scientists know that energy cannot just disappear — it is conserved — so something must be taking it away. In 1930 Wolfgang Pauli suggested they could be tiny particles, like electrons without any electric charge, calling them neutrinos.

    In 1956 Pauli got a telegram: Neutrinos had been discovered coming out of a nuclear reactor. Then Ray Davis had that wild idea. Perhaps he could detect neutrinos coming from the nuclear reactions in the sun. Down the mine, he filled a tank with 100,000 gallons of dry-cleaning fluid.

    Eventually he extracted a few radioactive argon atoms from chlorine changed by neutrinos from the sun. But something was wrong. Theoretically he should find about two atoms per day, but he found even fewer. Was the giant nuclear reactor in the center of the sun shutting down? If so, we might not know for thousands of years. Then: serious global freezing!

    The answer is amazing, and next time I will explain. If you can’t wait, check Fermilab’s site, http://www.fnal.gov, about experiments studying these “ghost particles.”

    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.

     
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