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  • richardmitnick 3:25 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL MINOS, ,   

    From Fermilab: “Final block of NOvA near detector in place” 


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

    Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
    No Writer Credit

    Since June, crews have been assembling the massive NOvA near detector in the Minos cavern, located 350 feet underground at Fermilab. On Friday, Jan. 10, the final 21,000-pound plastic block of that detector was put into place, signaling a significant milestone in what will be one of the largest and most sophisticated neutrino experiments in the world.

    block
    Members of the NOvA crew put the final NOvA near-detector block into place in the Minos cavern. Photo: Cindy Arnold

    Construction of the near detector began in June, after the excavation of the NOvA cavern was completed in May. The detector consists of a muon catcher and eight PVC blocks standing 15 feet high and wide and about 6 feet deep. Each block was assembled at the CDF assembly building, driven to Minos on a truck and then carefully lowered down an open shaft to the cavern floor, where workers wheeled it into place.

    In the coming months, the near detector will be filled with liquid scintillator and wired with the sensors needed to take neutrino data. It will weigh about 300 tons. Meanwhile, in northern Minnesota, construction is nearly complete on the 14,000-ton far detector, and the NOvA experiment is already receiving a beam of neutrinos from Fermilab’s Main Injector.

    See the full article here.

    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.


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  • richardmitnick 2:12 pm on December 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL MINOS, , ,   

    From Fermilab: “MINOS+ adds to the book on neutrinos” 


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

    Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
    Leah Hesla

    Fermilab’s MINOS neutrino experiment entered a new stage this year, marked by a new name: MINOS+.

    minos
    MINOS

    Using a higher-energy and higher-power neutrino beam than its predecessor, the experiment’s second stage explores new territory in neutrino interactions. It also coaxes many times the number of interactions from neutrinos as they pass through the MINOS detector than could the original setup. With MINOS+, scientists hope to uncover new behavior not visible in MINOS’ first phase, which lasted from 2005 to 2012.

    Since 2001, when scientists first confirmed the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation, researchers have been studying precisely how neutrinos change from one of their three types into another. A neutrino of one type at point A may have transformed into another type by the time it reaches point B. The way a neutrino oscillates depends on the ratio of the distance it travels to its energy — or L/E (L over E) in physicist parlance.

    In MINOS+, while the distance the neutrinos travel is the same as it was for MINOS — 734 kilometers — the neutrino energy is significantly higher. This takes scientists’ search for a better understanding of neutrinos into a new L/E region, one where fewer neutrinos “disappear” by the time they reach the detector, having oscillated into a neutrino flavor the detector can’t easily see.

    At the same time, the increased energy and more powerful beam causes the neutrinos to interact more often in the MINOS detector, reducing measurement uncertainties and providing even more opportunities to catch neutrinos doing something out of the ordinary.

    Thus in the new L/E region, scientists can both paint a high-definition picture of neutrino oscillations and look for physics that departs from the standard expectation.

    To date, MINOS provides the best measurement of a key property of neutrino oscillation, the difference in the square of the masses between two of the three mass states. MINOS+ will continue to beat on the precision of this measurement. Neutrino masses themselves — parameters of standard neutrino oscillations — are too small to measure by conventional means.

    Scientists will also look for one or more hypothesized sterile neutrinos, as well as any effects that depart from the Standard Model of particle physics. They may even be able to spot hints of extra dimensions.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics
    Standard Model of Particle Physics

    With the more intense neutrino beam delivered by Fermilab’s revamped accelerator complex, scientists will fill in gaps in the book on neutrinos with more precise details on this subtle and puzzling particle.

    See the full article here.

    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.


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    • Alex Autin 11:09 am on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      …my head just exploded. 😉

      Like

    • richardmitnick 12:55 pm on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      It is a far far reach; but neutrinos, which are 1/2 spin, and affected by gravity and the weak force could turn out to be dark matter. No one is saying this yet, but…

      Like

  • richardmitnick 12:28 pm on August 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab: “Probing three-flavor neutrino oscillations with the complete MINOS data set” 


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

    Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
    João Coelho

    “For many years neutrinos were assumed to be massless. This assumption stemmed from the incredible smallness of their masses and the remarkable weakness of their interactions. The discovery of neutrino mass was possible due to one of the most powerful techniques in physics: interferometry.

    Just like slightly untuned musical instruments creating an acoustic beat, neutrinos of different mass oscillate among different flavors. The beat frequency of these relativistic oscillations depends on the difference (interference) among frequencies of the neutrino states as they propagate, which is governed by the difference of the squares of their masses. However, not only neutrino masses play a role: This is also a potential window to the origin of the matter-antimatter imbalance in the universe. The interference pattern could reveal that leptons do not respect the so-called Charge-Parity (CP) symmetry.

    For more than nine years, the MINOS experiment has observed neutrinos and antineutrinos produced by the Fermilab accelerator complex, located 735 km from the MINOS detector in Minnesota, and by cosmic-ray interactions in the Earth’s atmosphere. In particular, we have looked for neutrinos produced in the muon flavor that oscillated into other neutrino flavors. We observe this process through both the disappearance of muon neutrinos and the appearance of electron neutrinos in MINOS. Each of these channels has been studied separately before. Now, for the first time, we present results from a combined analysis of the complete MINOS data set.

    The combination of appearance and disappearance allows us to probe aspects of neutrino oscillations that involve all three flavors of neutrinos. Such three-flavor phenomena are the main focus of many upcoming neutrino oscillation experiments and the new MINOS results take us a little closer to those goals. For example, the difference between neutrinos and antineutrinos known as CP violation cannot occur in oscillations between only two neutrino flavors. Furthermore, oscillations studied in a two-neutrino model cannot determine which neutrino is the heaviest or which neutrino has a larger muon-flavor component.

    The new results, presented in the graphics above and below, constitute our best measurement of the parameters that determine the three-neutrino oscillation pattern: the mixing angle θ23, the mass difference Δm232 and the CP-violating phase δCP.”

    chart
    The 68 percent and 90 percent confidence limits for the mixing parameters Δm232 and sin2θ23 resulting from a combined fit to the MINOS data for muon-neutrino disappearance and electron-neutrino appearance. The best fit occurs in the inverted hierarchy and lower octant at a value of (0.41, -2.41×10-3 eV2), as indicated by the star. No image credit

    chart2
    The 1-D likelihood profile for δCP, plotted separately for each combination of hierarchy and θ23 octant. The best fit occurs in the inverted hierarchy and lower octant; the worst fit is the normal hierarchy and upper octant and is disfavored at 81 percent confidence level. The dashed horizontal lines indicate the 68 percent (90 percent) single-parameter confidence limits, which disfavor 36 percent (11 percent) of the parameter space defined by the mass hierarchy, octant, and δCP. No image credit

    See the full article here.

    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.


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  • richardmitnick 10:59 am on May 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab- “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Unraveling neutrino oscillations with MINOS” 

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

    Friday, May 24, 2013
    Michelle Medeiros

    Neutrinos are among the most mysterious particles that make up the universe, and they are not very easy to study. The three types can change from one to another in a quantum phenomenon known as neutrino oscillations.

    In the MINOS experiment, we are able to measure these oscillations by producing a beam made of muon neutrinos (the NuMI beam) and detecting it in two different locations: at the near detector, located at Fermilab, and at the far detector, 734 kilometers away in Soudan, Minn. The large distance between the detectors gives the neutrinos a chance to change type, allowing us to observe neutrino oscillations.

    tunnel

    The MINOS experiment has the special feature of being able to detect muon neutrinos and antineutrinos individually by separating the events each produces. Therefore we are able to study both muon neutrino and antineutrino oscillations, which are described essentially by two parameters: mixing angle and mass splitting.

    Beyond that, we also use the far detector to detect neutrinos and antineutrinos created by interactions of cosmic ray particles with the nuclei in the Earth’s atmosphere. These are called atmospheric neutrinos and antineutrinos.

    Several experiments have been measuring neutrino oscillations, helping us better understand this mysterious particle. For the first time, the MINOS collaboration has carried out a measurement by combining its two kinds of data: beam and atmospheric neutrinos and antineutrinos. We used the complete MINOS data set, accumulated over nine years of operation. The combined analysis has yielded the world’s most precise measurement of the mass splitting parameter for both muon neutrinos and antineutrinos. Furthermore, we compared results obtained for muon neutrinos and antineutrinos and found that they have practically the same oscillation parameters, providing more evidence that CPT symmetry is conserved in the neutrino sector. This is also the most precise comparison ever made between neutrino and antineutrino oscillation parameters.”

    See the full article here.

    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.


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  • richardmitnick 10:15 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab- “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Does matter matter for neutrino flavor?” 


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

    Friday, March 15, 2013
    Zeynep Isvan, Brookhaven National Laboratory

    “The NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam is generated here at Fermilab and points toward the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Soudan, Minn. The MINOS collaboration detects this beam of neutrinos in its journey twice: once at Fermilab right after it is generated and once at Soudan Lab after the neutrinos have traveled 450 miles through the Earth’s crust. At its generation, the beam is made up of muon-flavored neutrinos (neutrinos come in three flavors: electron, muon, and tau). After traveling such a long distance, some of the neutrinos change flavor, primarily into and a few into electron neutrinos. This phenomenon of flavor change is called neutrino oscillation. By counting the number (and measuring the energy) of muon neutrinos before and after travel, MINOS can measure parameters that govern neutrino oscillations.

    graph
    im2
    By combining its neutrino and antineutrino data sets, MINOS has constrained the non-standard interaction parameter εμτ, finding that the results are consistent with εμτ=0, shown by the gray line. The angle θ and the parameter Δm2 relate to the relative masses of the neutrinos and to how quantum mechanically “mixed” the flavors are.

    The presence of matter in the neutrino path may also have an impact on flavor change. If it does, the flavor count after travel would be altered. Some of these interactions are expected from the tiny number of oscillation-generated electron neutrinos, but extra interactions of muon or tau neutrinos with the Earth are non-standard and are thus called non-standard interactions, or NSI for short. (The Earth is made up of regular matter—electrons, protons and neutrons—and not of matter in muon or tau flavors.)

    Because of its magnetized detectors, MINOS remains the most suitable experiment to further investigate NSI. Starting this spring, MINOS+ will collect data in a complementary energy regime. This will allow for a more precise determination of the impact of NSI in neutrino flavor change.”

    See the full article here.

    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.


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  • richardmitnick 10:24 am on January 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab “Frontier Science Result: MINOS Organizing the masses at MINOS” 


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

    Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    Ryan Patterson, Caltech

    “Over a decade ago the evidence became clear that neutrinos, which come in three varieties, can morph from one type to another as they travel, a phenomenon known as neutrino oscillation. By tallying how often this transformation happens under various conditions—different neutrino energies, different distances of travel—one can tease out a number of fundamental properties of neutrinos, for example, their relative masses. The MINOS collaboration has been doing exactly this by sending an intense beam of muon-type neutrinos from Fermilab to northern Minnesota, where a 5-kiloton detector lies in wait deep underground.

    minos
    The 30 m long MINOS detector comprises 486 massive octagonal planes, lined up like the slices of a loaf of bread. Each plane consists of a sheet of steel that is about 8 m high and 2.5 cm thick, covered on one side with a layer of scintillating plastic. This photo shows the final plate in the assembly. (CERN)

    MINOS also collected data with an antineutrino beam, and the real excitement comes in when combining the antineutrino and neutrino data sets. Differences between the rates of this particular oscillation mode between neutrinos and antineutrinos would point to a violation of something called CP symmetry. While physicists know that CP symmetry is violated by quarks, it remains unknown whether the same is true for neutrinos.

    While further data will be needed to bring the answers into sharper focus, MINOS is the first to use this accelerator-based neutrino-antineutrino technique to probe such deep questions in the neutrino sector, paving the way for the next round of measurements.”

    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.


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  • richardmitnick 9:51 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL MINOS, , , , ,   

    From Fermilab Today: “MINOS reports new measurement of neutrino velocity “ 

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

    Friday, June 8, 2012
    Leah Hesla

    Scientists from Fermilab’s MINOS experiment are reporting a new measurement of the velocity of the neutrino.

    minos
    Scientists at the MINOS experiment measure neutrinos that travel 450 miles through the earth. They travel first through a detector at Fermilab and then through a second detector, pictured here, in a mine in Soudan, Minn. Photo: Fermilab

    The neutrino, which is the lightest known particle, is expected to move so close to the speed of light that experiments use it as a point of comparison and expect any deviations to be extremely small.

    The new MINOS measurement, presented yesterday by Fermilab’s Phil Adamson at the XXV International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto, Japan (Neutrino 2012), uses seven years of data taken by the MINOS experiment. This extends an earlier published study by MINOS using a factor of 8.5 more data.

    Most importantly, the new MINOS study significantly reduces the systematic errors of its earlier work with detailed measurements of the behavior of the experiment’s GPS timing system, improved understanding of the delays of electronic components at every stage of the MINOS detectors and the use of upgraded timing equipment, designed and implemented with the assistance of the National Institute of Science and Technology and the United States Naval Observatory.”

    See the full article here.


    Wilson Hall

     
  • richardmitnick 11:25 am on June 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL MINOS, , , , ,   

    From Fermilab Today: “Fermilab experiment announces world’s best measurement of key property of neutrinos “ 

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

    June 5, 2012
    Katie Yurkewicz, Fermilab Office of Communication

    Scientists from the MINOS experiment at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed the world’s most precise measurement of a key parameter that governs the transformation of one type of neutrino to another. The results confirm that neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos, have similar masses as predicted by most commonly accepted theories that explain how the subatomic world works.

    minos
    The MINOS far detector is located in the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. Image: Fermilab

    The new measurement is one of several announced this week by the MINOS experiment at the Neutrino 2012 conference in Kyoto, Japan. These are the final results from the first phase of the MINOS experiment.”

    minos2
    When operating at highest intensity, the NuMI beam line transports a package of 35,000 billion protons every two seconds to a graphite target. The target converts the protons into bursts of particles with exotic names such as kaons and pions. Like a beam of light emerging from a flashlight, the particles form a wide cone when leaving the target. A set of two special lenses, called horns (photo), is the key instrument to focus the beam and send it in the right direction. The beam particles decay and produce muon neutrinos, which travel in the same direction. Photo: Peter Ginter.

    See the full article here.

    [See also the following post from SLAC. Neutrinos and Neutron science appear to be all the rage these days.]


    Wilson Hall

     
  • richardmitnick 12:14 pm on March 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab Today: “Mind over matter at NOνA” 

    Fermilab continues to be a great source of strength in the U.S. Basic Research Community.

    Sarah Charley
    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Neutrinos may not be faster than light, but their curious shape-shifting properties might be the reason matter exists in the universe.

    ‘Equal parts of matter and anti-matter should have been produced in the big bang and then annihilated each other, leaving just a sea of photons,’ said neutrino physicist David Schmitz, PPD. ‘But we exist, which means there must have been something that tipped the scale in favor of matter. Neutrinos might be the answer, and, to find out, we need to make extremely detailed measurements of the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations.’”

    neut
    Scientists know that there are three types of neutrinos but they don’t know which is the heaviest. Image courtesy of NOνA

    Several experiments at Fermilab are designed to scrutinize the curious properties of neutrinos. One is the NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance Experiment [NOvA], which will use advanced detection techniques to watch for neutrino shape shifting, or oscillations.

    At Fermilab, the Main Injector Oscillation Search (MINOS) has been studying how muon neutrinos change into other forms since 2005. Along with other experiments elsewhere, it has found that they change primarily into tau neutrinos with a small fraction changing into electron neutrinos. The NOνA experiment will continue these measurements with much more precision.

    The NOνA project was conceived ten years ago at Fermilab and has evolved into a collaboration among 152 scientists from 25 institutions. It uses the same principles as the MINOS experiment but takes the science to the next level.”

    See the full article here.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:07 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Fermilab Today: ” Hot Fermilab experiments: Cooling system is a success” 


    Fermilab continues to be a great source of strength in the U.S. Basic Research Community.

    Brad Hooker
    Feb. 6, 2012

    “In 2009, after experimenters in the MINOS underground area expressed concern over a gradual increase in temperatures in the tunnel, Fermilab engineers went to work on a clever, yet tricky plan to rebuild the aging cooling system.”

    i1
    Lee Hammond checks the dials on the new cooling system for the MINOS underground area.

    i3
    The red line is the chilled water supply temperature (F), and the yellow line is the temperature of the returned water.

    The story ends well. See the full article here.

     
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