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  • richardmitnick 2:23 pm on August 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL, Mu2e, The Mu2e experiment aims to capture a hypothesized phenomenon that has never been observed: a particle called a muon converting directly into an electron   

    From FNAL: “Mu2e’s magnet boot camp” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    August 21, 2017
    Leah Poffenberger

    In July 2015, a key cryogenic facility at Fermilab was shut down, leaving the laboratory’s Mu2e experiment without a space to test its superconducting magnets. Luckily, in the search for new physics at Fermilab, it’s “waste not, want not”: A new cryogenic testing facility for Mu2e now lives in a space occupied by a previous experiment, called CDF, and is even created with refurbished parts from past experiments, including CDF.

    1
    Andy Hocker, left, and Mike Lamm stand beneath a cryostat lid, from which a magnetic section will be suspended. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    The Mu2e experiment aims to capture a hypothesized phenomenon that has never been observed: a particle called a muon converting directly into an electron. If scientists were to witness this rare event, it could signal that there are other, hidden particles in the universe yet to be discovered.

    “The idea of Mu2e is rather simple: to detect this reaction,” said Michael Lamm, one of the lead scientists on the Mu2e experiment. “We’re going to measure it to a sensitivity that’s never been reached.”

    The Mu2e experiment is specifically designed to achieve this unmatched sensitivity. Comprising three superconducting magnet sections, it stretches nearly the length of a lap pool — about 75 feet.

    The experiment’s most distinctive feature is its S-shaped central section, called a transport solenoid, which contains 52 coils of superconducting wire that act as magnets. Manufacturers in Italy will wind each coil and place them into 14 sections, which will be assembled at Fermilab to create the solenoid’s serpentine shape.

    But before the solenoid can be put together, each section of the magnet needs to be tested to make sure it works under the ultracold conditions necessary for superconductivity.

    “Imagine you build the magnet, transport it into the building and put it in place. And then you turn it on and the magnets don’t work. It would be very risky,” Lamm said.

    To eliminate this possibility, the 14 solenoid sections, each containing between two and five coils, will be sent to Mu2e’s new cryogenic testing facility before assembly. The magnet vendor will have already tested the magnets at room temperature to check for electrical issues such as short circuits, but at Fermilab’s cryogenic testing facility, the sections will really be put through their paces.

    2
    On the upper level, a technician works on the Mu2e cryostat. On the ground level, a separate cryostat lid is being prepared for use. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    “Since these magnets are superconductors, they have to be cooled down to liquid-helium temperatures—about 5 Kelvin,” said Andy Hocker, leader of the cryogenic facility. “We’ve put together this facility to make sure they’ll be able to operate as they will in the experiment.”

    To reach frigid 5 Kelvin (that’s about minus 451 degrees Fahrenheit, a few degrees warmer than outer space), the magnet sections are suspended in a cryostat, which Hocker called “a glorified thermos.” Inside the cryostat, the magnet is isolated from the warmth of the outside world, allowing the section to be slowly cooled with liquid helium, a process that takes about a week.

    And then comes the real test: running an electrical current through the coils that’s 20 percent higher than the one that will be used once Mu2e is online.

    “You want to make sure these magnets can go up to well beyond the current they’ll need to operate at during the experiment and still stay nice and cold to keep them from transitioning to a normal conductor,” Hocker said.

    Each solenoid section will take four to six weeks to test, including the gradual cooling and an equally slow warming period. The first section will arrive this fall, beginning a nearly two-year testing process that should be complete by 2019.

    Once the transport solenoid has been tested, constructed and joined with two other sections to make up the Mu2e detector, the experiment will begin a three-year run in search of physics beyond the Standard Model.

    “If we see this interaction here, this would be new physics. It would really just knock your socks off,” Lamm said. “If we don’t see it, we’ll be able to rule out some of the current theories predicting new physics beyond the Standard Model. Either way, we’ll find out the truth from nature.”

    See the full article here .

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

     
  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Data from the Tevatron and LHC also from MicroBooNE and NOvA and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, Eventually disk systems may overtake tape if they become a cheaper data storage option but disks can be unreliable, Fermilab stores over 100 petabytes of data equivalent to 1300 years of HD TV on tape cartridges, FNAL, Tape is the safest medium you can have, Tape lives on at Fermilab   

    From FNAL: “Tape lives on at 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.

    August 9, 2017
    Leah Poffenberger

    1
    At Fermilab, tape libraries house data from particle physics and astrophysics experiments. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

    VHS may have vanished, and cassettes are no longer cool, but tape is still on top when it comes to particle physics data: Fermilab stores over 100 petabytes of data, equivalent to 1,300 years of HD TV, on tape cartridges.

    But why is tape, which is generally considered obsolete for music or movies, the go-to for storing all this data?

    “Tape is the safest medium you can have,” said Stu Fuess, a senior scientist working in computing at Fermilab. “With tape, a machine can’t crash and cause you to lose your data.”

    Fermilab’s seven tape libraries — three at the laboratory’s Feynman Computing Center and four at its Grid Computing Center — have the capacity to hold 10,000 tapes each, adding up to 600 petabytes of data storage. That leaves a lot of storage capacity that isn’t in use — yet.

    “One challenge of data storage is that we don’t ever really want to throw data away — sometimes experimenters will reanalyze data years later to find something they never thought to look for,” Fuess said.

    And now, increasingly large amounts of data are accumulated from more complex particle detectors, causing a growth in data Fuess called “almost exponential.”

    Fermilab’s expedition into the intensity frontier — the realm of physics that requires highly intense particle beams to search for new physics — requires detailed detectors and a lot of data, enough to say whether an observation is a fundamental particle or a fluke.

    “Particle physics is a statistical science, especially the intensity frontier,” Fuess said. “The more data you can accumulate, the more statistical power you can add to your measurements.”

    In addition to 40 petabytes of data from intensity frontier experiments such as Fermilab’s neutrino experiments MicroBooNE and NOvA, the lab stores 40 petabytes of data from the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The legacy Tevatron experiments, CDF and DZero, each contribute another 10 petabytes. That brings the total to 100 PB of active data storage on tapes. A few extra petabytes of data from the Dark Energy Survey is housed in the Fermilab tape repositories, too, along with an unlikely data-neighbor: genomic research from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative.

    One of tape’s biggest drawbacks is speed, even though tape libraries are fully automated and manned by robotic retrieval arms.

    “When you want to access a file, you have to find a free tape drive — the robot’s got to find the tape and put it in the tape drive,” said Gene Oleynik, a computing services manager in charge of data movement and storage at Fermilab. “All this communication has to happen to access data, and this happens in an order of minutes,” which, when compared to the fractions of a second it takes to retrieve digital data, is pretty slow going.

    To speed up this process for high-demand files, about 35 petabytes of data from tapes has a copy that lives on disks, which offer much faster, although not instantaneous, file access. Disks don’t have to be physically retrieved and put in a drive by robots, and they can be read nonsequentially, with more efficiency than a tape.

    Eventually disk systems may overtake tape if they become a cheaper data storage option, but disks can be unreliable.

    “Tapes usually don’t fail. You should be able to keep a tape for 30 years and it’ll retain the data. But the problem with disks is, they do fail,” Oleynik said.

    A disk system would have to store redundant pieces of files across many different disks to prevent data loss, but duplicating data means more data to store, also making the system less cost effective.

    In the case of storing particle physics data, disks probably can’t make tapes obsolete; even in a disk system, there will probably be tapes as backup, just in case. Until a cost-effective data storage medium arrives that can match the reliability of tapes, it looks like they’re sticking around.

    See the full article here .

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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 9:38 am on August 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , FNAL,   

    From U Chicago: “Dark Energy Survey reveals most precise measure of universe’s structure” 

    U Chicago bloc

    University of Chicago

    August 3, 2017

    Dark Energy Survey


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam at an altitude of 7200 feet


    The Dark Energy Survey’s primary instrument, the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, is mounted on the Blanco Telescope in Chile. UChicago, Argonne and Fermilab scientists are members of international Dark Energy Survey collaboration.

    Imagine planting a single seed and, with great precision, being able to predict the exact height of the tree that grows from it. Now imagine traveling to the future and snapping photographic proof that you were right.

    If you think of the seed as the early universe, and the tree as the universe the way it looks now, you have an idea of what the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration has just done. Scientists unveiled their most accurate measurement of the present large-scale structure of the universe at a meeting Aug. 3 at the University of Chicago-affiliated Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. UChicago, Argonne and Fermilab scientists are members of international Dark Energy Survey collaboration.

    These measurements of the amount and “clumpiness” (or distribution) of dark matter in the present-day cosmos were made with a precision that, for the first time, rivals that of inferences from the early universe by the European Space Agency’s orbiting Planck observatory. The new Dark Energy Survey result (the tree, in the above metaphor) is close to “forecasts” made from the Planck measurements of the distant past (the seed), allowing scientists to understand more about the ways the universe has evolved over 14 billion years.

    “This result is beyond exciting,” said Fermilab’s Scott Dodelson, a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UChicago and one of the lead scientists on this result, which was announced at the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields meeting. “For the first time, we’re able to see the current structure of the universe with the same clarity that we can see its infancy, and we can follow the threads from one to the other, confirming many predictions along the way.”

    Most notably, this result supports the theory that 26 percent of the universe is in the form of mysterious dark matter and that space is filled with an also-unseen dark energy, which makes up 70 percent and is causing the accelerating expansion of the universe.

    1
    A map of dark matter covering about one-thirtieth of the entire sky and spanning several billion light years—red regions have more dark matter than average, blue regions less dark matter. (Courtesy of Chihway Chang, the DES collaboration)

    Paradoxically, it is easier to measure the large-scale clumpiness of the universe in the distant past than it is to measure it today. In the first 400,000 years following the Big Bang, the universe was filled with a glowing gas, the light from which survives to this day. The Planck observatory’s map of this cosmic microwave background radiation gives us a snapshot of the universe at that very early time. Since then, the gravity of dark matter has pulled mass together and made the universe clumpier over time. But dark energy has been fighting back, pushing matter apart. Using the Planck map as a start, cosmologists can calculate precisely how this battle plays out over 14 billion years.

    “These first major cosmology results are a tribute to the many people who have worked on the project since it began 14 years ago,” said Dark Energy Survey Director Josh Frieman, a scientist at Fermilab and a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UChicago. “It was an exciting moment when we unveiled the results to ourselves just last month, after carrying out a ‘blind’ analysis to avoid being influenced by our prejudices.”

    The Dark Energy Survey is a collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 26 institutions in seven countries. Its primary instrument is the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera, one of the most powerful in existence, which is able to capture digital images of light from galaxies eight billion light years from Earth. The camera was built and tested at Fermilab, the lead laboratory on the Dark Energy Survey, and is mounted on the National Science Foundation’s four-meter Blanco telescope, part of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The DES data are processed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Scientists are using the camera to map an eighth of the sky in unprecedented detail over five years. The fifth year of observation will begin this month. The new results draw only from data collected during the survey’s first year, which covers one-thirtieth of the sky.

    Scientists used two methods to measure dark matter. First, they created maps of galaxy positions as tracers, and second, they precisely measured the shapes of 26 million galaxies to directly map the patterns of dark matter over billions of light years, using a technique called gravitational lensing.

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA

    To make these ultra-precise measurements, the team developed new ways to detect the tiny lensing distortions of galaxy images—an effect not even visible to the eye, enabling revolutionary advances in understanding these cosmic signals. In the process, they created the largest guide to spotting dark matter in the cosmos ever drawn. The new dark matter map is ten times the size of the one that the Dark Energy Survey released in 2015 and will eventually be three times larger than it is now.

    “The Dark Energy Survey has already delivered some remarkable discoveries and measurements, and they have barely scratched the surface of their data,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “Today’s world-leading results point forward to the great strides DES will make toward understanding dark energy in the coming years.”

    See the full article here .

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:43 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL, , , , ,   

    From FNAL: “ICARUS arrives at 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.

    July 31, 2017
    Leah Hesla

    1
    The ICARUS detector pulls in to the Fermilab site on July 26. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    After six weeks’ passage across the ocean, up rivers and on the road, the newest member of Fermilab’s family of neutrino detectors has arrived.

    The 65-foot-long ICARUS particle detector pulled into Fermilab aboard two semi-trucks on July 26 to an excited gathering who welcomed the detector, which has spent the last three years at the European laboratory CERN, to its new home.

    “We’ve waited a long time for ICARUS to get here, so it’s thrilling to finally see this giant, exquisite detector at Fermilab,” said scientist Peter Wilson, who leads the Fermilab Short-Baseline Neutrino Program. “We’re looking forward to getting it online and operational.”

    The ICARUS detector will be instrumental in helping an international team of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab get a bead on the slippery neutrino, the most ubiquitous yet least understood matter particle in the universe. The neutrino passes through outer space, metal, you and me without leaving a trace. Scientists have observed three types of neutrino. As it travels, it continually slips in and out of its various identities.

    Previous neutrino experiments have seen hints of yet another type, and ICARUS will hunt for evidence of this unconfirmed fourth. If found, the fourth neutrino could provide a new way of modeling dark matter, another of nature’s mysterious phenomena, one that makes up a whopping 23 percent of the universe. (Ordinary matter makes up only 4 percent of the universe.) A fourth neutrino would also change scientists’ fundamental picture of how the universe works.

    Fermilab is ICARUS detector’s second home. From 2010 to 2014, the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics’ Gran Sasso laboratory built and operated ICARUS to study neutrinos using a neutrino beam sent straight through the Earth’s mantle from CERN in Switzerland, about 600 miles away.

    INFN Gran Sasso ICARUS, since moved to FNAL

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

    ICARUS’ lead scientist, Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia, innovated the use of liquid argon to detect neutrinos.

    ICARUS is the largest liquid-argon neutrino detector in the world. Its great mass — it will be filled with 760 tons of liquid argon — gives neutrinos, always reluctant to interact with anything, plenty of opportunities to come into contact with an argon nucleus. The charged particles resulting from the interaction create tracks that scientists can study to learn more about the neutrino that triggered them.

    In 2014, after the ICARUS experiment wrapped up in Italy, its detector was delivered to CERN. Since then, CERN and INFN have been improving the detector, refurbishing it for Fermilab’s mission. CERN completed the project in May and sent ICARUS on its trans-Atlantic voyage in June.

    “This is really exciting — to have the world’s original, large-scale liquid-argon neutrino detector at Fermilab,” said Cat James, senior scientist on Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program.

    Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program involves three neutrino detectors. ICARUS is one, and now that it has safely landed at Fermilab, it will be installed as part of the program. Another detector, MicroBooNE, has been in operation since 2015.

    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    The construction of the third, called the Short-Baseline Near Detector, is in progress.

    FNAL Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction

    All three use liquid argon to detect the elusive neutrino.

    The development and use of liquid-argon technology for the three detectors will be further wielded for Fermilab’s new flagship experiment, 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

    Fermilab and South Dakota’s Sanford Underground Research Laboratory broke ground on the new experiment on July 21.

    “We’re really looking forward to working with our international partners as we get ICARUS ready for first beam,” James said.

    See the full article here .

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

     
  • richardmitnick 12:33 pm on July 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Angela Fava, , FNAL, , , , , ,   

    From Symmetry: Women in STEM- “Angela Fava: studying neutrinos around the globe” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    07/26/17
    Liz Kruesi

    This experimental physicist has followed the ICARUS neutrino detector from Gran Sasso to Geneva to Chicago.

    1
    Angela Fava

    Physicist Angela Fava has been at the enormous ICARUS detector’s side for over a decade. As an undergraduate student in Italy in 2006, she worked on basic hardware for the neutrino hunting experiment: tightening bolts and screws, connecting and reconnecting cables, learning how the detector worked inside and out.

    ICARUS (short for Imaging Cosmic And Rare Underground Signals) first began operating for research in 2010, studying a beam of neutrinos created at European laboratory CERN and launched straight through the earth hundreds of miles to the detector’s underground home at INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratory.

    INFN Gran Sasso ICARUS, since moved to FNAL

    Gran Sasso LABORATORI NAZIONALI del GRAN SASSO

    In 2014, the detector moved to CERN for refurbishing, and Fava relocated with it. In June ICARUS began a journey across the ocean to the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to take part in a new neutrino experiment. When it arrives today, Fava will be waiting.

    Fava will go through the installation process she helped with as a student, this time as an expert.

    2
    Caraban Gonzalez, Noemi Ordan, Julien Marius, CERN.

    Journey to ICARUS

    As a child growing up between Venice and the Alps, Fava always thought she would pursue a career in math. But during a one-week summer workshop before her final year of high school in 2000, she was drawn to experimental physics.

    At the workshop, she realized she had more in common with physicists. Around the same time, she read about new discoveries related to neutral, rarely interacting particles called neutrinos. Scientists had recently been surprised to find that the extremely light particles actually had mass and that different types of neutrinos could change into one another. And there was still much more to learn about the ghostlike particles.

    At the start of college in 2001, Fava immediately joined the University of Padua neutrino group. For her undergraduate thesis research, she focused on the production of hadrons, making measurements essential to studying the production of neutrinos. In 2004, her research advisor Alberto Guglielmi and his group joined the ICARUS collaboration, and she’s been a part of it ever since.

    Fava jests that the relationship actually started much earlier: “ICARUS was proposed for the first time in 1983, which is the year I was born. So we are linked from birth.”

    Fava remained at the University of Padua in the same research group for her graduate work. During those years, she spent about half of her time at the ICARUS detector, helping bring it to life at Gran Sasso.

    Once all the bolts were tightened and the cables were attached, ICARUS scientists began to pursue their goal of using the detector to study how neutrinos change from one type to another.

    During operation, Fava switched gears to create databases to store and log the data. She wrote code to automate the data acquisition system and triggering, which differentiates between neutrino events and background such as passing cosmic rays. “I was trying to take part in whatever activity was going on just to learn as much as possible,” she says.

    That flexibility is a trait that Claudio Silverio Montanari, the technical director of ICARUS, praises. “She has a very good capability to adapt,” he says. “Our job, as physicists, is putting together the pieces and making the detector work.”

    Changing it up

    Adapting to changing circumstances is a skill both Fava and ICARUS have in common. When scientists proposed giving the detector an update at CERN and then using it in a suite of neutrino experiments at Fermilab, Fava volunteered to come along for the ride.

    Once installed and operating at Fermilab, ICARUS will be used to study neutrinos from a source a few hundred meters away from the detector. In its new iteration, ICARUS will search for sterile neutrinos, a hypothetical kind of neutrino that would interact even more rarely than standard neutrinos. While hints of these low-mass particles have cropped up in some experiments, they have not yet been detected.

    At Fermilab, ICARUS also won’t be buried below more than half a mile of rock, a feature of the INFN setup that shielded it from cosmic radiation from space. That means the triggering system will play an even bigger role in this new experiment, Fava says.

    “We have a great challenge ahead of us.” She’s up to the task.

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 1:32 pm on July 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL, Hidden-sector particles, MiniBooNE, , ,   

    From FNAL: “The MiniBooNE search for dark matter” 

    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 18, 2017
    Ranjan Dharmapalan
    Tyler Thornton

    FNAL/MiniBooNE

    1
    This schematic shows the experimental setup for the dark matter search. Protons (blue arrow on the left) generated by the Fermilab accelerator chain strike a thick steel block. This interaction produces secondary particles, some of which are absorbed by the block. Others, including photons and perhaps dark-sector photons, symbolized by V, are unaffected. These dark photons decay into dark matter, shown as χ, and travel to the MiniBooNE detector, depicted as the sphere on the right.

    Particle physicists are in a quandary. On one hand, the Standard Model accurately describes most of the known particles and forces of interaction between them.

    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.

    On the other, we know that the Standard Model accounts for less than 5 percent of the universe. About 26 percent of the universe is composed of mysterious dark matter, and the remaining 68 percent of even more mysterious dark energy.

    Some theorists speculate that dark matter particles could belong to a “hidden sector” and that there may be portals to this hidden sector from the Standard Model. The portals allow hidden-sector particles to trickle into Standard Model interactions. A large sensitive particle detector, placed in an intense particle beam and equipped with a mechanism to suppress the Standard Model interactions, could unveil these new particles.

    Fermilab is home to a number of proton beams and large, extremely sensitive detectors, initially built to detect neutrinos. These devices, such as the MiniBooNE detector, are ideal places to search for hidden-sector particles.

    In 2012, the MiniBooNE-DM collaboration teamed up with theorists who proposed new ways to search for dark matter particles. One of these proposals [FNAL PAC Oct 15 2012] involved the reconfiguration of the existing neutrino experiment. This was a pioneering effort that involved close coordination between the experimentalists, accelerator scientists, beam alignment experts and numerous technicians.

    2
    Results of this MiniBooNE-DM search for dark matter scattering off of nucleons. The plot shows the confidence limits and sensitivities with 1, 2σ errors resulting from this analysis compared to other experimental results, as a function of Y (a parameter describing the dark photon mass, dark matter mass and the couplings to the Standard Model) and Mχ (the dark matter mass). For details see the Physical Review Letters paper.

    For the neutrino experiment, the 8-GeV proton beam from the Fermilab Booster hit a beryllium target to produce a secondary beam of charged particles that decayed further downstream, in a decay pipe, into neutrinos. MiniBooNE ran in this mode for about a decade to measure neutrino oscillations and interactions.

    In the dark matter search mode, however, the proton beam was steered past the beryllium target. The beam instead struck a thick steel block at the end of the decay pipe. The resulting charged secondary particles (mostly particles called pions) are absorbed in the steel block, reducing the number of subsequent neutrinos, while the neutral secondary particles remained unaffected. The photons resulting from the decay of neutral pions may have transformed into hidden-sector photons that in turn might have decayed into dark matter, which would travel to the MiniBooNE detector 450 meters away. The experiment ran in this mode for nine months for a dedicated dark matter search.

    Using the previous 10 years’ worth of data as a baseline, MiniBooNE-DM looked for scattered protons and neutrons in the detector. If they found more scattered protons or neutrons than predicted, the excess could indicate a new particle, maybe dark matter, being produced in the steel block. Scientists analyzed multiple types of neutrino interactions at the same time, reducing the error on the signal data set by more than half.

    Analysts concluded that the data was consistent with the Standard Model prediction, enabling the experimenters to set a limit on a specific model of dark matter, called vector portal dark matter. To set the limit, scientists developed a detailed simulation that estimated the predicted proton or neutron response in the detector from scattered dark matter particles. The new limit extends from the low-mass edge of direct-detection experiments down to masses about 1,000 times smaller. Additionally, the result rules out this particular model as a description of the anomalous behavior of the muon seen in the Muon g-2 experiment at Brookhaven, which was one of the goals of the MiniBooNE-DM proposal. Incidentally, researchers at Fermilab will make a more precise measurement of the muon — and verify the Brookhaven result — in an experiment that started up this year.

    This result from MiniBooNE, a dedicated proton beam dump search for dark matter, was published in Physical Review Letters and was highlighted as an “Editor’s suggestion.”

    What’s next? The experiment will continue to analyze the collected data set. It is possible that the dark matter or hidden-sector particles may prefer to scatter off of the lepton family of particles, which includes electrons, rather than off of quarks, which are the constituent of protons and neutrons. Different interaction channels probe different possibilities.

    If the portals to the hidden sector are narrow — that is, if they are weakly coupled — researchers will need to collect more data or implement new ideas to suppress the Standard Model interactions.

    The first results from MiniBooNE-DM show that Fermilab could be at the forefront of searching for hidden-sector particles. Upcoming experiments in Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino program will use higher-resolution detectors — specifically, liquid-argon time projection chamber technology — expanding the search regions and possibly leading to discovery.

    Ranjan Dharmapalan is a postdoc at Argonne National Laboratory. Tyler Thornton is a graduate student at Indiana University Bloomington.

    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 7:01 am on July 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL, , 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.

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    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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    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 10:22 pm on July 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , FNAL, , , , 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 .

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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 11:36 am on July 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bottom quark and anti-quark, E288, FNAL, Leon Lederman   

    From FNAL: “Forty-year anniversary: bottom quark discovery announcement” 

    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 30, 2017
    No writer credit found

    Forty years ago today, on June 30, 1977, scientist Steve Herb gave the official announcement at a seminar of the findings of E288, namely, the discovery of the upsilon particle. E288 was an experiment in the proton fixed-target area led by Leon Lederman and made up of scientists from Columbia University, Fermilab and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The experiment sought to study the rare events that occur when a proton beam collides with a platinum target, producing a pair of muons or electrons. The experimenters observed a bump in the number of events at 9.5 GeV, indicating the existence of the upsilon particle, which was later understood to be the bound state of the bottom quark and its antiquark.

    1
    E288 experimenters. Left image (L to R): D. Hom, C. Brown, A. Ito, R. Kephart, K. Ueno, K. Gray, H. Sens, H. D. Snyder, S. Herb, J. Appel and D. Kaplan. Right image: J. Yoh (seated), L. Lederman.

    The experiment began with a proposal for E70, which was submitted on June 17, 1970. The third phase of E70 ultimately became E288. The experimenters began taking data for E288 on May 15, 1977. A fire in the Proton Center pit on May 22 briefly delayed the experiment, but the group was able to resume operations on May 27. By June 15, the experimenters were confident in their results, and Steve Herb announced the discovery at a June 30 seminar in the Fermilab Auditorium. Experimenters at Fermilab would go on to discover its partner the top quark in 1995.

    The Fermilab Archives contains extensive records of the discovery. You can read more about the discovery of the bottom quark at the Fermilab History and Archives Project Web page devoted to the event, which includes a special edition of The Village Crier from the summer of 1977 announcing the discovery, internal notes of the collaboration provided by John Yoh and many other materials.

    Read the press release on the announcement. Check out also a logbook entry from one of the co-discovers, John Yoh, when he first noticed the bump that would turn out to be the Upsilon.

    As a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the bottom quark discovery, we offer a celebratory cover of the fictional BQ magazine.

    2

    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 4:24 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chicago Quantum Exchange to create technologically transformative ecosystem, Combining strengths in quantum information, FNAL,   

    From U Chicago: “Chicago Quantum Exchange to create technologically transformative ecosystem” 

    U Chicago bloc

    University of Chicago

    June 20, 2017
    Steve Koppes

    1
    UChicago and affiliated laboratories to collaborate on advancing the science and engineering of quantum information. Courtesy of Nicholas Brawand

    The University of Chicago is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.

    This hub within the Institute for Molecular Engineering, called the Chicago Quantum Exchange, will facilitate the exploration of quantum information and the development of new applications with the potential to dramatically improve technology for communication, computing and sensing. The collaboration will include scientists and engineers from the two national labs and IME, as well as scholars from UChicago’s departments of physics, chemistry, computer science, and astronomy and astrophysics.

    Quantum mechanics governs the behavior of matter at the atomic and subatomic levels in exotic and unfamiliar ways compared to the classical physics used to understand the movements of everyday objects. The engineering of quantum phenomena could lead to new classes of devices and computing capabilities, permitting novel approaches to solving problems that cannot be addressed using existing technology.

    “The combination of the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, working together as the Chicago Quantum Exchange, is unique in the domain of quantum information science,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean and founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering and Argonne’s deputy laboratory director for science. “The CQE’s capabilities will span the range of quantum information—from basic solid-state experimental and theoretical physics, to device design and fabrication, to algorithm and software development. CQE aims to integrate and exploit these capabilities to create a quantum information technology ecosystem.”

    Serving as director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange will be David Awschalom, UChicago’s Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and an Argonne senior scientist. Discussions about establishing a trailblazing quantum engineering initiative began soon after Awschalom joined the UChicago faculty in 2013 when he proposed this concept, and were subsequently developed through the recruitment of faculty and the creation of state-of-the-art measurement laboratories.

    “We are at a remarkable moment in science and engineering, where a stream of scientific discoveries are yielding new ways to create, control and communicate between quantum states of matter,” Awschalom said. “Efforts in Chicago and around the world are leading to the development of fundamentally new technologies, where information is manipulated at the atomic scale and governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Transformative technologies are likely to emerge with far-reaching applications—ranging from ultra-sensitive sensors for biomedical imaging to secure communication networks to new paradigms for computation. In addition, they are making us re-think the meaning of information itself.”

    The collaboration will benefit from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which supports the creation of innovative businesses connected to UChicago and Chicago’s South Side. The CQE will have a strong connection with a major Hyde Park innovation project that was announced recently as the second phase of the Harper Court development on the north side of 53rd Street, and will include an expansion of Polsky Center activities. This project will enable the transition from laboratory discoveries to societal applications through industrial collaborations and startup initiatives.

    Companies large and small are positioning themselves to make a far-reaching impact with this new quantum technology. Alumni of IME’s quantum engineering PhD program have been recruited to work for many of these companies. The creation of CQE will allow for new linkages and collaborations with industry, governmental agencies and other academic institutions, as well as support from the Polsky Center for new startup ventures.

    This new quantum ecosystem will provide a collaborative environment for researchers to invent technologies in which all the components of information processing—sensing, computation, storage and communication—are kept in the quantum world, Awschalom said. This contrasts with today’s mainstream computer systems, which frequently transform electronic signals from laptop computers into light for internet transmission via fiber optics, transforming them back into electronic signals when they arrive at their target computers, finally to become stored as magnetic data on hard drives.

    IME’s quantum engineering program is already training a new workforce of “quantum engineers” to meet the need of industry, government laboratories and universities. The program now consists of eight faculty members and more than 100 postdoctoral scientists and doctoral students. Approximately 20 faculty members from UChicago’s Physical Sciences Division also pursue quantum research. These include David Schuster, assistant professor in physics, who collaborates with Argonne and Fermilab researchers.

    Combining strengths in quantum information

    The collaboration will rely on the distinctive strengths of the University and the two national laboratories, both of which are located in the Chicago suburbs and have longstanding affiliations with the University of Chicago.

    At Argonne, approximately 20 researchers conduct quantum-related research through joint appointments at the laboratory and UChicago. Fermilab has about 25 scientists and technicians working on quantum research initiatives related to the development of particle sensors, quantum computing and quantum algorithms.

    “This is a great time to invest in quantum materials and quantum information systems,” said Supratik Guha, director of Argonne’s Nanoscience and Technology Division and a professor of molecular engineering at UChicago. “We have extensive state-of-the-art capabilities in this area.”

    Argonne proposed the first recognizable theoretical framework for a quantum computer, work conducted in the early 1980s by Paul Benioff. Today, including joint appointees, Argonne’s expertise spans the spectrum of quantum sensing, quantum computing, classical computing and materials science.

    Argonne and UChicago already have invested approximately $6 million to build comprehensive materials synthesis facilities—called “The Quantum Factory”—at both locations. Guha, for example, has installed state-of-the-art deposition systems that he uses to layer atoms of materials needed for building quantum structures.

    “Together we will have comprehensive capabilities to be able to grow and synthesize one-, two- and three-dimensional quantum structures for the future,” Guha said. These structures, called quantum bits—qubits—serve as the building blocks for quantum computing and quantum sensing.

    2
    Illustration of near-infrared light polarizing nuclear spins in a silicon carbide chip. Courtesy of Peter Allen

    Argonne also has theorists who can help identify problems in physics and chemistry that could be solved via quantum computing. Argonne’s experts in algorithms, operating systems and systems software, led by Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director and UChicago professor in computer science, will play a critical role as well, because no quantum computer will be able to operate without connecting to a classical computer.

    Fermilab’s interest in quantum computing stems from the enhanced capabilities that the technology could offer within 15 years, said Joseph Lykken, Fermilab deputy director and senior scientist.

    “The Large Hadron Collider experiments, ATLAS and CMS, will still be running 15 years from now,” Lykken said. “Our neutrino experiment, DUNE, will still be running 15 years from now. Computing is integral to particle physics discoveries, so advances that are 15 years away in high-energy physics are developments that we have to start thinking about right now.”

    Lykken noted that almost any quantum computing technology is, by definition, a device with atomic-level sensitivity that potentially could be applied to sensitive particle physics experiments. An ongoing Fermilab-UChicago collaboration is exploring the use of quantum computing for axion detection. Axions are candidate particles for dark matter, an invisible mass of unknown composition that accounts for 85 percent of the mass of the universe.

    Another collaboration with UChicago involves developing quantum computer technology that uses photons in superconducting radio frequency cavities for data storage and error correction. These photons are light particles emitted as microwaves. Scientists expect the control and measurement of microwave photons to become important components of quantum computers.

    “We build the best superconducting microwave cavities in the world, but we build them for accelerators,” Lykken said. Fermilab is collaborating with UChicago to adapt the technology for quantum applications.

    Fermilab also has partnered with the California Institute of Technology and AT&T to develop a prototype quantum information network at the lab. Fermilab, Caltech and AT&T have long collaborated to efficiently transmit the Large Hadron Collider’s massive data sets. The project, a quantum internet demonstration of sorts, is called INQNET (INtelligent Quantum NEtworks and Technologies).

    Fermilab also is working to increase the scale of today’s quantum computers. Fermilab can contribute to this effort because quantum computers are complicated, sensitive, cryogenic devices. The laboratory has decades of experience in scaling up such devices for high-energy physics applications.

    “It’s one of the main things that we do,” Lykken said.

    See the full article here .

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

     
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