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  • richardmitnick 9:23 am on March 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , FNAL, , , The Weak Nuclear Force: Through the looking glass   

    From Don Lincoln: “The Weak Nuclear Force: Through the looking glass” Video 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    3.10.17

    Don Lincoln

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

    Published on Mar 10, 2017

    Of all of the known subatomic forces, the weak force is in many ways unique. One particularly interesting facet is that the force differentiates between a particle that is rotating clockwise and counterclockwise. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln describes this unusual property and introduces some of the historical figures who played a role in working it all out.
    Access mp4 video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gYeLHFr2LA .
    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    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 10:25 am on March 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Etas, FNAL, , , Pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone bosons, REDTOP – a potential voyage to new physics horizons, Strangeness   

    From FNAL: “REDTOP – a potential voyage to new physics horizons” 

    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.

    March 6, 2017
    Ricarda Laasch

    1
    The proposed REDTOP experiment to study eta particles would use the detector shown here, in gray. No image credit

    The advantage of zero

    Every subatomic particle has a collection of “quantum numbers,” numerical assignments for each of a particle’s various properties. Take the properties of electric charge and spin. An electron’s electric charge quantum number is -1; its spin quantum number is ½. For the Higgs, electric charge and spin are both 0.

    According to physics laws, quantum numbers tend to remain unchanged throughout the decay process. If the pre-decay mother particle has a charge of 1, then the total charge of its post-decay daughter particles also adds to 1. In physicist parlance, its charge is conserved. If a quantum number changes in the decay process, the corresponding property is not conserved.

    And this is where REDTOP scientists hope to find new physics: in quantum numbers that change in a never-seen-before way. Those rarely witnessed, nonconserved behaviors might point to reveal hidden truths about our universe.

    Etas belong to a peculiar category of particles called pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone bosons, meaning all their quantum numbers are equal to zero. That’s what makes eta decays so interesting to scientists: Of all the possible decay paths a particle can take, an eta can take only those whose descendants’ quantum numbers add to zero, substantially limiting the number of ways it can decay.

    Take the strange-sounding property called strangeness. Since an eta has a strangeness of 0 – which means it has no strangeness at all — it decays by the rarely occurring paths that don’t involve strangeness. Particle decays that do have strangeness, as in the case of kaons, would be strongly influenced by that property, taking the far more common strangeness-dominated paths and overshadowing other rarer decays.

    Because all quantum numbers of an eta are zero, no single property eclipses another, making etas very “pure” states and allowing the rare decays of the subatomic realm to melt out of the woodwork. That makes etas the perfect laboratory: They’re rare-decay factories.

    The small mass of the eta is a bonus. Because it’s lightweight, it tends to decay into a small number of particles, producing only three or four daughter particles. Scientists can decipher these simple decays more easily than large particle collision events, which can include decays into more than 50 particles.

    The REDTOP window to new physics

    So far scientists have listed 14 of these rare — and, being rare, little-understood — eta decays as possible candidates for new physics. The unknown details, once filled in, could lead to new discoveries. REDTOP scientists speculate that the decays may relate to dark matter, to new particles or even to a new “milliweak force,” a proposed force that is 1,000 times weaker than the known weak force.

    “This is only the tip of the iceberg. We expect that the portfolio of eta decays we want to study with REDTOP will continue to grow,” said Corrado Gatto, spokesperson for the REDTOP collaboration and a scientist at Northern Illinois University and the Italian institution INFN. “We keep working on new simulations to really understand all our possibilities with REDTOP.”

    REDTOP wants to produce a high-intensity sample of more than one trillion eta mesons in one year. That’s 10,000 times more than the current eta production worldwide.

    But eta mesons come with a catch: They are hard to produce and even harder to study.

    To make eta particles, REDTOP scientists propose using a proton beam that crashes into a specifically designed target to create an enormous shower of particles, many of which will be etas. The problem is that the collision would create 200 times more particles of other types than etas.

    “If you want to measure etas with conventional detector technology, the background will swamp the detector, and it will be constantly lit like a Christmas tree,” Gatto said.

    REDTOP scientists are proposing to develop three novel detector technologies, which are some of the project’s most challenging aspects. They could result in new technologies for the next generation of high-intensity experiments. Furthermore, Fermilab scientists working on the accelerator design for REDTOP will provide the laboratory with a new facility: a continuous proton beam with an energy selectable by the experimenters.

    “REDTOP will be a challenge, because we want to push for new physics and new technologies at the same time,” said Fermilab scientist Anna Mazzacane, who is working on REDTOP physics and detector simulations. “But we also have a lot to gain: REDTOP is not an experiment of just one measurement. It has a lot of potential for great discoveries.”

    The REDTOP collaboration aims to present the experiment to the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee in January 2018. The Fermilab PAC is the body that reviews proposals for new experiments at the laboratory.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 3:28 pm on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL, PICO collaboration,   

    From FNAL: “New world-leading limit on dark matter search from PICO experiment” 

    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.

    February 27, 2017
    Andre Salles
    Fermilab Office of Communication
    asalles@fnal.gov
    630-840-6733

    Editor’s note: The PICO-60 detector was originally called “COUPP-60,” with COUPP standing for “Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics.” It was designed and built by Fermilab in collaboration with the University of Chicago and Indiana University, South Bend. Work began at Fermilab in 2005, and, after extensive testing, the detector was moved to SNOLAB in 2012.

    1
    A team of Fermilab scientists installs the PICO-60 dark matter detector at SNOLAB. Photo: Fermilab

    “We’ve been working on this for a long time,” said Fermilab’s project manager Andrew Sonnenschein of the below result. “This is by far our most satisfying result yet, because the techniques we used to reject background events from sources other than dark matter worked flawlessly. Bubble chambers are finally living up to their full potential as dark matter detectors. Now the dark matter just needs to show up.”

    Read the original SNOLAB press release on the SNOLAB website.

    The PICO Collaboration is excited to announce that the PICO-60 dark matter bubble chamber experiment has produced a new dark matter limit after analysis of data from the most recent run. This new result is a factor of 17 improvement in the limit for spin-dependent WIMP-proton cross-section over the already world-leading limits from PICO-2L run-2 and PICO-60 CF3I run-1 in 2016.

    The PICO-60 experiment is currently the world’s largest bubble chamber in operation; it is filled with 45 Liters of C3F8 (octafluoropropane) and is taking data in the ladder lab area of SNOLAB. The detector uses the target fluid in a superheated state such that a dark matter particle interaction with a fluorine nucleus causes the fluid to boil and creates a tell tale bubble in the chamber.

    The PICO experiment uses digital cameras to see the bubbles and acoustic pickups to improve the ability to distinguish between dark matter particles and other sources when analysing the data.

    The superheated detector technology has been at the forefront of spin-dependent (SD) searches, using various refrigerant targets including CF3I, C4F10 and C2ClF5, and two primary types of detectors: bubble chambers and droplet detectors. PICO is the leading experiment in the direct detection of dark matter for spin-dependent couplings and is developing a much larger version of the experiment with up to 500 kg of active mass.

    2
    Inside the PICO-60 detector, installed at SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ontario. Photo: SNOLAB

    About PICO

    17 participating institutions: University of Alberta; University of Chicago; Czech Technical University; Fermilab; Indiana University South Bend; Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics; Laurentian University; Université de Montréal; Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU); Northwestern University; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Queen’s University at Kingston; Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India; SNOLAB; Universitat Politecnica de Valencia; Virginia Tech.

    The PICO Collaboration (formed from the merger of two existing groups, PICASSO and COUPP) uses bubble chambers and superheated fluid to search for dark matter. The PICO-60 detector consists of a fused-silica jar sealed to flexible, stainless steel bellows, all immersed in a pressure vessel filled with hydraulic fluid. Eight lead zirconate (PZT) piezoelectric acoustic transducers mounted to the exterior of the bell jar record the acoustic emissions from bubble nucleation and four 2-megapixel resolution fast CMOS cameras are used to photograph the chamber. The PICO-60 detector was built at Fermilab in Batavia, IL and installed underground at SNOLAB in 2012.

    The PICO bubble chambers are made insensitive to electromagnetic interactions by tuning the operating temperatures of the experiment, while the alpha decays are discriminated from dark matter interactions by their sound signal, making these detectors very powerful tools in the search for dark matter.

    PICO is operating two detectors deep underground at SNOLAB: PICO-60, a bubble chamber with 52 kg of C3F8 and PICO-2L, another bubble chamber with 2.9 kg of C3F8.

    The paper is available on the arXiv.

    About SNOLAB

    SNOLAB is Canada’s leading edge astroparticle physics research facility located 2 km (6800 ft) underground in the Vale Creighton Mine. The SNOLAB facility was created by an expansion of the underground research areas next to the highly successful Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment. The entire laboratory is operated as an ultra-clean space to limit local radioactivity. With greater depth and cleanliness than any other international laboratory, it has the lowest background from cosmic rays providing an ideal location for measurements of rare processes that would be otherwise unobservable.

    Learn more

    PICO website

    SNOLAB

    For more information, please contact:
    Samantha Kuula
    Communications officer, SNOLAB
    Phone: 705-692-7000 ext. 2222
    Email: Samantha.Kuula@snolab.ca
    Website: http://www.snolab.ca

    French language contact:
    Guillaume Giroux
    Postdoctoral fellow, Queen’s University
    Email: ggiroux@owl.phy.queensu.ca
    Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 79203

    U.S. contact:
    Andrew Sonnenschein
    Project manager, PICO-60
    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
    Email: sonnensn@fnal.gov
    Phone: 630-840-2883

    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 2:04 pm on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL, , ,   

    From FNAL: “The global reach of DUNE” 

    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.

    [This post is dedicated to LH, a writer whose work I dealy love, and CW, the voice of SURF]

    February 23, 2017

    Leah Hesla

    The neutrino, it would seem, has global appeal.

    The mysteries surrounding the renegade particle are attracting a worldwide science community to the future DUNE experiment. DUNE — the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment — is a multinational effort to address the biggest questions in neutrino physics. More than 950 researchers from 30 countries have joined the DUNE collaboration, and both numbers are trending upward: Back in 2015, the collaboration comprised about 560 scientists and engineers from 23 countries.

    It’s currently the largest particle physics project being undertaken anywhere in the world since the Large Hadron Collider at the European laboratory CERN. Modeled after CERN’s ATLAS and CMS experiments, the DUNE collaboration is established as an international organization. The experiment will be hosted in the United States by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    The latest countries to join DUNE include Chile and Peru. The most recent new institutes to join DUNE come from Colombia, the UK and the US.

    “It’s the excitement that’s being generated by the science,” said DUNE spokesperson Mark Thomson, a professor of physics at the University of Cambridge in the UK. “Everybody recognizes the DUNE program as strong, and the technology is interesting as well.”

    Collaborators are developing new technologies for DUNE’s two particle detectors, giant instruments that will help capture the experiment’s notoriously elusive quarry, the neutrino.

    FNAL Dune/LBNF
    FNAL Dune/LBNF map

    With DUNE, which is expected to be up and running in the mid-2020s, scientists plan to get a better grip on the neutrino’s subtleties to settle the question of, for instance, why there’s more matter than antimatter in our universe — in other words, how the stars planets and life as we know it were able to form. Also on the DUNE agenda are studies that could bolster certain theories of the unification of all fundamental forces and, with the help of neutrinos born in supernovae, provide a look into the birth of a black hole.

    It’s a tall order that will take a global village to fill, and researchers worldwide are currently building the experiment or signing up to build it, taking advantage of DUNE’s broad scientific and geographic scope.

    “We’re a country that does a lot of theoretical physics but not a lot of experimental physics, because it’s not so cheap to have a particle physics experiment here,” said DUNE collaborator Ana Amelia Machado, a collaborating scientist at the University of Campinas and a professor at the Federal University of ABC in the ABC region of Brazil. “So we participate in big collaborations like DUNE, which is attractive because it brings together theorists and experimentalists.”

    Machado is currently working on a device named Arapuca, which she describes as a photon catcher that could detect particle phenomena that DUNE is interested in, such as supernova neutrino interactions. She’s also working to connect more Latin American universities with DUNE, adding the University Antonio Nariño to the list of DUNE institutions.

    On the opposite side of the world, scientists and engineers from India are working on upgrading the high intensity superconducting proton accelerator at Fermilab, which will provide the world’s most intense neutrino beam to the DUNE experiment. Building on the past collaborations with other Fermilab experiments, the Indian scientists are also proposing to build the near detector for the DUNE experiment. Not only are India’s contributions important for DUNE’s success, they’re also potential seeds for India’s own future particle physics programs.

    2
    More than 950 researchers from 30 countries have joined DUNE. Collaborators are developing new technologies for DUNE’s particle detectors, giant instruments that will help capture the notoriously elusive neutrino.

    “It’s exciting because it’s something that India’s doing for the first time. India has never built a full detector for any particle physics experiment in the world,” said Bipul Bhuyan, a DUNE collaborator at the Indian Institution of Technology Guwahati. “Building a particle detector for an international science experiment like DUNE will bring considerable visibility to Indian institutions and better industry-academia partnership in developing advanced detector technology. It will help us to build our own future experimental facility in India as well.”

    DUNE’s two particle detectors will be separated by 800 miles: a two-story detector on the Fermilab site in northern Illinois and a far larger detector to be situated nearly a mile underground in South Dakota at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    surf-building-in-lead-sd-usa
    SURF logo
    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF
    DUNE Argon tank at SURF
    Sanford Underground levels
    Sanford Underground levels
    surf-dune-lbnf-caverns-at-sanford-lab
    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab

    Fermilab particle accelerators, part of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility for DUNE, will create an intense beam of neutrinos that will pass first through the near detector and then continue straight through Earth to the far detector.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE Near Detector
    FNAL/DUNE Near Site Layout

    Scientists will compare measurements from the two detectors to examine how the neutrinos morphed from one of three types into another over their interstate journey. The far detector will contain 70,000 tons of cryogenic liquid argon to capture a tiny fraction of the neutrinos that pass through it. DUNE scientists are currently working on ways to improve liquid-argon detection techniques.

    The near detector, which is close to the neutrino beam source and so sees the beam where it is most intense, will be packed with all kinds of components so that scientists can get as many readings as they can on the tricky particles: their energy, their momentum, the likelihood that they’ll interact with the detector material.

    “This is an opportunity for new collaborators, where new international groups can get involved in a big way,” said Colorado State University professor Bob Wilson, chair of the DUNE Institutional Board. “There’s a broad scope of physics topics that will come out of the near detector.”

    As the collaboration expands, so too does the breadth of DUNE physics topics, and the more research opportunities there are, the more other institutions are likely to join the project.

    “There aren’t that many new, big experiments out there,” Thomson said. “We have 950 collaborators now, and we’re likely to hit 1,000 in the coming months.”

    That will be a notable milestone for the collaboration, one that follows another sign of its international strength: Late last month, for the first time, DUNE held its collaboration meeting away from its home base of Fermilab. CERN served as the meeting host.

    DUNE is supported by funding agencies from many countries, including the Department of Energy Office of Science in the United States.

    “We have people from different countries that haven’t been that involved in neutrino physics before and who bring different perspectives,” Wilson said. “It’s all driven by the interest in the science, and the breadth of interest has been tremendous.”

    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 12:29 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: FNAL, Used and free scientific equipment   

    From FNAL: “Putting to good use: Old lab equipment goes to new science” 

    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.

    1
    Fermilab’s Scott Borton stands in front of shelves full of old scientific equipment. Many of these items will be put to future use through the Laboratory Equipment Donation Program. Photo: Dan Garisto

    If you’re a scientist looking for a bargain on a UV lamp source, CompuFlow thermo-anemometer, miscellaneous fiber optic components or an oscilloscope, Fermilab has you covered.

    At the lab’s Warehouse No. 2, racks piled high with items stretch into the distance. When equipment at Fermilab is no longer needed, it’s picked up and stored here, where much of it is processed and sent to schools, universities and government agencies who request it.

    The whole operation is run by Scott Borton, who oversees three separate initiatives at Fermilab: Computers for Learning, the Federal Disposal System and the Laboratory Equipment Donation Program (LEDP). Between 2015 and 2017, the total value of assets donated through all three programs was over $3,000,000.

    For Fermilab, it’s a great way to extend the life of equipment that’s come to the end of its usefulness for the laboratory. And for prospective buyers, it’s hard to imagine a better deal.

    “This is all free. They pay for shipping and that’s it,” Borton said.

    Designed to reduce waste and provide opportunities for schools, labs and agencies lacking the funds, the programs are well-used at Fermilab, with items sent to Borton on a regular basis.

    Fermilab employees send to the warehouse old or underused equipment that they no longer need. Plenty of items come through the warehouse, so it’s not always clear what the status of this equipment is.

    “In a lot of the cases, the equipment’s been moved and transferred so often that nobody has any idea if it works or not,” Borton said.

    When this happens, Borton and his staff often draw on the experience of Fermilab’s experts to determine the status of equipment to make sure it’s in working condition.

    Although the equipment is used, the zero on the price tag is enticing for physics professors such as Raul Armendariz, who teaches at Queensborough Community College in New York City.

    “Getting the laboratory equipment is so important,” Armendariz said. “It allows us to build detectors and create projects for students and have them take part in the learning community.”

    In December, Armendariz used the nationwide LEDP program to purchase — at no cost — 1,800 pounds of plastic scintillator scavenged from Fermilab’s CDF detector, which was decommissioned in 2013. He plans to use the scintillator to set up a cosmic ray array at local high schools and colleges in New York City.

    “We’re at a community college and we don’t have big money for this kind of stuff — that’s why the LEDP is crucial for us,” Armendariz said.

    For Borton, recycling what was once state-of-the-art equipment to schools and other labs is just another day at work.

    “At least the stuff isn’t going to scrap,” he said. “It’s being reused somewhere.”

    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 1:58 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermilab achieves milestone beam power for neutrino experiments, FNAL, , Main Injector, , , ,   

    From FNAL: “Fermilab achieves milestone beam power for neutrino experiments” 

    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.

    January 26, 2017
    Ricarda Laasch

    1
    Thanks to recent upgrades to the Main Injector, Fermilab’s flagship accelerator, Fermilab scientists have produced 700-kilowatt proton beams for the lab’s experiments. Photo: Peter Ginter

    Fermilab’s accelerator is now delivering more neutrinos to experiments than ever before.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has achieved a significant milestone for proton beam power. On Jan. 24, the laboratory’s flagship particle accelerator delivered a 700-kilowatt proton beam over one hour at an energy of 120 billion electronvolts.

    The Main Injector accelerator provides a massive number of protons to create particles called neutrinos, elusive particles that influence how our universe has evolved. Neutrinos are the second-most abundant matter particles in our universe. Trillions pass through us every second without leaving a trace.

    Because they are so abundant, neutrinos can influence all kinds of processes, such as the formation of galaxies or supernovae. Neutrinos might also be the key to uncovering why there is more matter than antimatter in our universe. They might be one of the most valuable players in the history of our universe, but they are hard to capture and this makes them difficult to study.

    “We push always for higher and higher beam powers at accelerators, and we are lucky our accelerator colleagues live for a challenge,” said Steve Brice, head of Fermilab’s Neutrino Division. “Every neutrino is an opportunity to study our universe further.”

    With more beam power, scientists can provide more neutrinos in a given amount of time. At Fermilab, that means more opportunities to study these subtle particles at the lab’s three major neutrino experiments: MicroBooNE, MINERvA and NOvA.

    FNAL/MicrobooNE
    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    FNAL/MINERvA
    FNAL/MINERvA

    FNAL/NOvA experiment
    FNAL/NOvA map

    FNAL NOvA Near Detector
    FNAL NOvA Near Detector

    “Neutrino experiments ask for the world, if they can get it. And they should,” said Dave Capista, accelerator scientist at Fermilab. Even higher beam powers will be needed for the future international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, to be hosted by Fermilab. DUNE, along with its supporting Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, is the largest new project being undertaken in particle physics anywhere in the world since the Large Hadron Collider.

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

    “It’s a negotiation process: What is the highest beam power we can reasonably achieve while keeping the machine stable, and how much would that benefit the neutrino researcher compared to what they had before?” said Fermilab accelerator scientist Mary Convery.

    “This step-by-step journey was a technical challenge and also tested our understanding of the physics of high-intensity beams,” said Fermilab Chief Accelerator Officer Sergei Nagaitsev. “But by reaching this ambitious goal, we show how great the team of physicists, engineers, technicians and everyone else involved is.” The 700-kilowatt beam power was the goal declared for 2017 for Fermilab’s accelerator-based experimental program.

    Particle accelerators are complex machines with many different parts that change and influence the particle beam constantly. One challenge with high-intensity beams is that they are relatively large and hard to handle. Particles in accelerators travel in groups referred to as bunches.

    Roughly one hundred billion protons are in one bunch, and they need their space. The beam pipes – through which particles travel inside the accelerator – need to be big enough for the bunches to fit. Otherwise particles will scrape the inner surface of the pipes and get lost in the equipment.

    2
    The Main Injector, a 2-mile-circumference racetrack for protons, is the most powerful particle accelerator in operation at Fermilab. It provides proton beams for various particle physics experiments as well as Fermilab Test Beam Facility. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    Such losses, as they’re called, need to be controlled, so while working on creating the conditions to generate a high-power beam, scientists also study where particles get lost and how it happens. They perform a number of engineering feats that allow them to catch the wandering particles before they damage something important in the accelerator tunnel.

    To generate high-power beams, the scientists and engineers at Fermilab use two accelerators in parallel. The Main Injector is the driver: It accelerates protons and subsequently smashes them into a target to create neutrinos. Even before the protons enter the Main Injector, they are prepared in the Recycler.

    The Fermilab accelerator complex can’t create big bunches from the get-go, so scientists create the big bunches by merging two smaller bunches in the Recycler. A small bunch of protons is sent into the Recycler, where it waits until the next small bunch is sent in to join it. Imagine a small herd of cattle, and then acquiring a new herd of the same size. Rather than caring for them separately, you allow the two herds to join each other on the big meadow to form a big herd. Now you can handle them as one herd instead of two.

    In this way Fermilab scientists double the number of particles in one bunch. The big bunches then go into the Main Injector for acceleration. This technique to increase the number of protons in each bunch had been used before in the Main Injector, but now the Recycler has been upgraded to be able to handle the process as well.

    “The real bonus is having two machines doing the job,” said Ioanis Kourbanis, who led the upgrade effort. “Before we had the Recycler merging the bunches, the Main Injector handled the merging process, and this was time consuming. Now, we can accelerate the already merged bunches in the Main Injector and meanwhile prepare the next group in the Recycler. This is the key to higher beam powers and more neutrinos.”

    Fermilab scientists and engineers were able to marry two advantages of the proton acceleration technique to generate the desired truckloads of neutrinos: increase the numbers of protons in each bunch and decrease the delivery time of those proton to create neutrinos.

    “Attaining this promised power is an achievement of the whole laboratory,” Nagaitsev said. “It is shared with all who have supported this journey.”

    The new heights will open many doors for the experiments, but no one will rest long on their laurels. The journey for high beam power continues, and new plans for even more beam power are already under way.

    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 1:20 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Fermions and Bosons, FNAL, ,   

    From Don Lincoln at FNAL: “Fermions and Bosons” Video 

    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.

    FNAL Don Lincoln
    From Don Lincoln

    In particle physics, there are many different types of particles, mostly ending with the phrase “-on.” In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln talks about fermions and bosons and what is the key difference between these two particles.


    Access mp4 video here .

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 2:48 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , FNAL, , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “Anything to declare?” A Really Cool Article by Sarah Charley 

    Symmetry Mag
    Symmetry

    01/05/17
    Sarah Charley

    1
    A scientist at CERN removes a delicate half-disk of pixels from its custom-made box. The box was designed to fit snugly in an airplane seat. Photo courtesy of John Conway

    John Conway knows the exact width of airplane aisles (15 inches). He also personally knows the Transportation Security Administration operations manager at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. That’s because Conway has spent the last decade transporting extremely sensitive detector equipment in commercial airline cabins.

    “We have a long history of shipping particle detectors through commercial carriers and having them arrive broken,” says Conway, who is a physicist at the University of California, Davis. “So in 2007 we decided to start carrying them ourselves. Our equipment is our baby, so who better to transport it than the people whose work depends on it?”

    Their instrument isn’t musical, but it’s just as fragile and irreplaceable as a vintage Italian cello, and it travels the same way. Members of the collaboration for the CMS experiment at CERN research center tested different approaches for shipping the instrument by embedding accelerometers in the packages. Their best method for safety and cost-effectiveness? Reserving a seat on the plane for the delicate cargo.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event
    CERN/CMS Detector
    CMS at CERN

    In November Conway accompanied parts of the new CMS pixel detector from the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory [FNAL] in Chicago to CERN in Geneva. The pixels are very thin silicon chips mounted inside a long cylindrical tube. This new part will sit in the heart of the CMS experiment and record data from the high-energy particle collisions generated by the Large Hadron Collider [LHC].

    CERN/LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    “It functions like the sensor inside a digital camera,” Conway said, “except it has 45 megapixels and takes 40 million pictures every second.”

    Scientists and engineers assembled and tested these delicate silicon disks at Fermilab before Conway and two colleagues escorted them to Geneva. The development and construction of the component pieces took place at Fermilab and universities around the United States.

    Conway and his colleagues reserved each custom-made container its own economy seat and then accompanied these precious packages through check-in, security and all the way to their final destination at CERN. And although these packages did not leave Fermilab through the shipping department, each carried its own official paperwork.

    “We’d get a lot of weird looks when rolling them onto the airplane,” Conway says. “One time the flight crew kept joking that we were transporting dinosaur eggs.”

    After four trips by three people across the Atlantic, all 12 components of the US-built pixel detectors are at CERN and ready for integration with their European counterparts. This winter the completed new pixel detector will replace its time-worn predecessor currently inside the CMS detector.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 8:37 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), , FNAL,   

    From FNAL: “SuperCDMS: An end and a beginning” 

    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.

    December 15, 2016
    1
    Dan Bauer

    One year ago, the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) collaboration warmed up its apparatus at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in northern Minnesota, after 12 years of successful operation.

    SUPER CDMS
    SUPER CDMS

    soudan-underground-lab-at-the-site-of-the-soudan-underground-mine-on-the-south-shore-of-lake-vermilion-in-the-vermilion-range-minnesota
    Soudan Underground Lab at the site of te Soudan Underground Mine on the South Shore of Lake Vermillion in the Vermillian Range, Minnesota, USA

    The CDMS II and SuperCDMS Soudan experiments produced many world-leading limits on dark matter particle detection during that time, covering masses from a few GeV to a few TeV. However, the sensitivity was limited by backgrounds and by environmental noise from the design of the facility.

    Meanwhile, based on the success of the CDMS experiments at Soudan, DOE and NSF selected the SuperCDMS collaboration to develop a next-generation experiment to be based at SNOLAB, a deeper and cleaner environment located near Sudbury in Ontario, Canada.

    SNOLAB, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
    SNOLAB, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

    The focus of the new experiment will be a search for dark matter particles with masses less than 10 GeV/c2, based on the demonstrated SuperCDMS Soudan detector technologies. Such light dark matter is a feature of theoretical models that postulate a “dark sector” of particles that interact only very weakly with normal matter. The ultimate goal for SuperCDMS SNOLAB is to search for such light dark matter to sensitivities where the experiment will begin to see elastic scattering of solar neutrinos with its germanium and silicon targets.

    Thus, to focus its attention on developing the new experiment, the collaboration took the painful step of turning off a running experiment at Soudan, saying goodbye to the incredibly helpful staff from the University of Minnesota and recovering its equipment, much of which will be reused for SuperCDMS SNOLAB. To facilitate the recovery of equipment from Soudan, and provide a space for SuperCDMS SNOLAB to be built, PPD renovated an existing hall at Fermilab with the rather pedestrian designation Lab G. Lighting, HVAC and other utilities have been modernized, and a large cleanroom has been installed. The photographs shows this new clean space, which will be the temporary home for SuperCDMS SNOLAB over the next couple of years.

    3
    This panoramic view shows the new SuperCDMS SNOLAB cleanroom at Lab G, with SuperCDMS spokesperson Dan Bauer and senior technical specialist Mark Ruschman. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    4
    The cleanroom in Lab G will be used in the development of SuperCDMS detectors. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    Starting in 2017, with the arrival of a large new dilution refrigerator, the SuperCDMS group at Fermilab will build and commission the cryogenic apparatus that will allow SuperCDMS SNOLAB to cool its detectors to less than 30 milliKelvin. In 2019, the experiment will be installed at SNOLAB and will begin operations starting in 2020. If light dark matter particles exist, SuperCDMS SNOLAB should detect them sometime in the next decade.

    Dan Bauer is the spokesperson for SuperCDMS and the deputy head of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 6:23 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL, PIP-II   

    From FNAL: “PIP-II progress: working toward CD-1” 

    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.

    December 16, 2016
    Steve Holmes

    1
    Steve Holmes

    Reviews are sometimes viewed as one of the more onerous costs of doing business at Fermilab. But they are also a measure of progress, especially with projects that are coming to life within the DOE system.

    So it is with PIP-II. The first Independent Project Review of the PIP-II project since achieving formal project status within DOE was conducted from Nov. 15-16 at Fermilab. The DOE review committee came to assess progress within the PIP-II R&D program and through the more formalized project activities aimed at the next step: Critical Decision-1 (CD-1).

    Both Fermilab staff and our collaborators from the Indian Department of Atomic Energy laboratories presented at the review. These talks centered around the Conceptual Design Report — describing the 800-MeV superconducting linac that is the centerpiece of PIP-II, along with improvements to the existing accelerators required to provide 1.2 megawatts of beam power at the time of startup of the LBNF/DUNE program in the middle of the next decade.

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

    We highlighted progress on a broad front, encompassing the PIP-II Injector Test (PIP2IT) facility, the superconducting RF program, and studies and simulations in the existing accelerators. We also covered the Resource Loaded Schedule, Preliminary Project Execution Plan, Cost Estimate and the Joint R&D Plan with India.

    The review committee concluded that the project is ahead of pace on the technical development but somewhat behind pace on the project development aspects of getting to CD-1. The PIP-II project felt this was a fair conclusion, and we are developing a plan to complete all required elements for CD-1 over the next seven months. This would allow us to achieve a formal CD-1 in the fall of 2017 – our established goal, which would keep pace with the requirements of sustaining a world-leading intensity frontier program at Fermilab.

    Steve Holmes is the project manager for PIP-II.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

     
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