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  • richardmitnick 12:25 pm on September 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , LBNL Lux Zeplin project at SURF, , , , , ,   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: “Anything but abandoned” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility

    September 24, 2018
    Erin Broberg

    Science thrives in a world-leading research facility.

    Engineers clean the LUX-ZEPLIN cryostat inside the Surface Lab’s Class 1000 clean room in preparation for the next generation search for dark matter. Photo by Matthew Kapust

    “In an abandoned gold mine, beneath the Black Hills of Lead, South Dakota…”

    This line, or some version of it, has been the lead for countless stories centering on the Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab). It’s a tantalizing hook—a vision of sagging rafters and drifts lined with jagged, untouched dikes of gold. Audiences love it, reading on if only to discover what could be happening in this deep, forgotten space.

    When encountering the rich history of this area—a thriving gold mine, delving 8,000 feet below a modest mining town with houses crouched on steep hillsides—it’s tempting for writers to create a ghost town of Lead and a decrepit caricature of the Homestake Gold Mine.

    There’s just one problem, though—this facility is anything but abandoned.

    The time before

    Shortly after the sprawling Homestake Gold Mine closed in 2002, an uncertain future and expensive maintenance costs forced Barrick Gold Corporation, which owned the mine, to switch off the dewatering pumps. Silencing these motors allowed water to begin rising unhindered. It spilled across the floor of the 8000 Level, inching its way up the shafts and filling one level after another. The steady rise of the water submerged rail tracks, tools, utility lines and even the underground hoistrooms—the mine truly did seem abandoned.

    On the surface, however, discussions about the mine’s future had only begun. The National Science Foundation had taken notice of Homestake Mine, eyeing it as a possible future sight for the United States’ pioneering Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL). Although the wheels of politics and financial support turned slowly, the efforts to turn the Homestake Mine into a science facility became a reality and with a generous donation from the facility’s namesake T. Denny Sanford, a land donation from Barrick Gold Corporation and the formation of South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA), the Sanford Underground Research Facility was born.

    Return to the drifts

    “It was amazing to see new life breathed back into the facility,” said Eileen Brosnahan, who worked at Homestake for 29 years, before returning as one of the first Sanford Lab hires. “The shift from a world-renowned gold mine to a world-renowned science facility was incredible.”

    It was a messy job, mucking out the 4850 Level, but you’d be hard-pressed to find traces of mine dust in the Davis Campus today—especially in the class-1000 cleanroom that houses the MAJORANA Demonstrator. Shotcreted walls, gleaming floors and espresso machine, make it possible for researchers and others to forget they aren’t in an ordinary office space—if only there were windows.

    Battery-powered locomotives rumble through the East Drift, making the daily commute to the Ross Campus a bit shorter as it motors infrastructure technicians and researchers between the two campuses.

    Far from decrepit, the facility is carefully maintained so scientists can conduct research safely. The Underground Maintenance Crew maintains more than 12 miles of underground space for science by bolting rock, maintaining ventilation paths and assessing infrastructure. A massive project—the rehabilitation of the Ross Shaft—reached a milestone when the work reached the 4850 Level in 2017. Crews stripped out old steel and lacing, cleaned out decades of debris, added new ground support and installed new steel to prepare the shaft for its future role in world-leading science.

    “Laboratory space shielded by a mile of rock is hot property,” said Simon Fiorucci, a researcher with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). “There are only a handful of locations in the world that can offer it, and the science experiments in need of protection from cosmic rays keep getting bigger.”

    But that’s just half the battle. It’s really all the work that goes into making it a functional science facility that matters: access, utilities, cleanliness, and, most importantly, a team that has at the top of their priority list the success of the science.

    “There is simply no other place like Sanford Lab,” Fiorucci added.

    A coveted space

    Science resumed on the 4850 Level for the first time in decades with the MAJORANA Demonstrator Project.

    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF

    In 2011, researchers began electroforming the world’s purest copper in a temporary cleanroom in the Ross Campus. The Majorana experiment uses pure germanium crystals enclosed in deep-freeze cryostat modules, protected by copper and lead shielding to answer one of the most challenging and important questions in physics: are neutrinos their own antiparticles? And if they are, what role do they play in the formation of the universe? In the existence of humans?

    “Being able to do chemistry like electroforming so far underground is a huge advantage for both the MAJORANA Demonstrator project and future physics experiments that need to avoid cosmic radiation,” said Cabot-Ann Christofferson, a researcher with the Majorana Demonstrator and a chemistry instructor at SD Mines.

    While the 10 operating baths plated the world’s purest copper for the Majorana collaboration, the Large Underground Xenon experiment (LUX) began moving into the Davis Campus just one kilometer away.

    And just three months after it began scouring the universe for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), LUX was declared the world’s most sensitive dark matter detector in October 2013. As Sanford Lab began to realize its potential, its reputation grew.

    U Washington Large Underground Xenon at SURF, Lead, SD, USA

    U Washington Lux Dark Matter 2 at SURF, Lead, SD, USA

    “The campus at Sanford Lab is an ideal location,” said Kevin Lesko, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkley National Lab who manages the low background counting facility on the 4850 Level. “Not only does its depth create a shield for detectors, but it’s in the thick of major physics experiments—it’s where the action is.”

    As leading projects seek space within these coveted walls, hundreds of researchers come from hundreds of institutions across the globe, sprinkling the drifts with distinct accents and cultures, all united by a desire for shared discovery.

    The facility has become a vibrant space for research—and a touchstone for STEM and higher education outreach. Excited K-12 students try their hands with design challenges; wide-eyed undergraduate students collect biology samples, switch physics samples in low background counters or guide programmed robots through an obstacle course for the annual Robotics Competition; and doctoral students test, assemble, monitor, adjust and patiently wait for the universe’s most rare events to occur and signatures to appear—all the while planning for the next generation of their research.

    The research has not stalled with Majorana and LUX. The scientific strides taken by Majorana helped demonstrate the usefulness of a larger, next-generation experiment, LEGEND 200. LUX-Zeplin (LZ), the next generation of LUX, is being installed in the Davis Campus—just down the drift from Majorana.

    “LUX was really fortunate to help start up SURF a decade ago,” said Fiorucci, a researcher with LZ. “LZ is building upon that success by re-using the LUX space to deliver the next generation of world-leading dark matter detection.”

    And then there’s the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Powered by the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), this massive experiment is expected to draw in even more revenue and jobs—and, of course, science. The experiment is hosted by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and includes significant contributions from CERN and several countries. According to a report completed by Anderson Economic Group, LLC, for Fermilab, this project is anticipated to flush $950 million into South Dakota’s economy, generate $340 million in income for South Dakota households, and create almost 2,000 jobs in the region at the peak of construction. DUNE also happens to be the largest underground neutrino experiment in the world.

    Daily life underground

    The true testament to the vibrant life at Sanford Lab is the people that who work in the drifts, offices, and science laboratories every day.

    “Sanford Lab has more than 120 staff members and 50 percent of them were Homestake Mining Company employees. They have decades of experience operating the Sanford Lab infrastructure,” said Mike Headley, executive director of SDSTA. “Sanford Lab staff, along with hundreds of researchers from around the world, are moving the laboratory forward to host even more world-leading experiments.”

    Strikingly different—and incredibly necessary—tracks of life intersect at Sanford Lab. Riding the 7:30 a.m. cage, you might rub shoulders with a dedicated infrastructure technician who grew up in Central City and has been a part of this underground network’s legacy for fifty years. On your left, you could meet a visiting researcher from Scotland, here to inspect data from his astrophysics experiment at CASPAR. Listening close, you’ll hear voices discuss the day’s work in one breath and their daughter’s soccer tournament in the next.

    On the surface, then again on the 4850 Level, workers gather to review the day’s safety and procedure overviews. You can hear their chatter, and often laughter, echo down the drift. Later, an espresso steams in a researcher’s mug in the Davis Campus while he checks his email for updates from the surface. Other workers motor slowly to the Ross Campus, passing an unassuming sign on the side of the drift that reads: Future Sight of LBNF/DUNE, reminding them that even more neighbors are about to move in.

    “While the facility was once an active mine with a deep legacy, it’s now a laboratory making its own rich history in science,” said Headley.

    Sanford Lab is a place where life is lived in the extremes, a place of vibrant growth—a place that is anything but abandoned.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.
    LUX/Dark matter experiment at SURFLUX/Dark matter experiment at SURF

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment, also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

    Fermilab LBNE

  • richardmitnick 4:47 pm on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A New Single-Photon Sensor for Quantum Imaging, , Berkeley Quantum, Figuring out how to extend the search for dark matter particles, From Quantum Gravity to Quantum Technology, , LBNL Lux Zeplin project at SURF, News Center A Quantum Leap Toward Expanding the Search for Dark Matter, , , U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics, University of Massachusetts Amherst,   

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: “News Center A Quantum Leap Toward Expanding the Search for Dark Matter” 

    Berkeley Logo

    From Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

    September 24, 2018
    Glenn Roberts Jr.
    (510) 486-5582

    A visualization of a massive galaxy cluster that shows dark matter density (purple filaments) overlaid with the gas velocity field. (Credit: Illustris Collaboration)

    Figuring out how to extend the search for dark matter particles – dark matter describes the stuff that makes up an estimated 85 percent of the total mass of the universe yet so far has only been measured by its gravitational effects – is a bit like building a better mousetrap…that is, a mousetrap for a mouse you’ve never seen, will never see directly, may be joined by an odd assortment of other mice, or may not be a mouse after all.

    Now, through a new research program supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics (HEP), a consortium of researchers from the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), UC Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will develop sensors that enlist the seemingly weird properties of quantum physics to probe for dark matter particles in new ways, with increased sensitivity, and in uncharted regions. Maurice Garcia-Sciveres, a Berkeley Lab physicist, is leading this Quantum Sensors HEP-Quantum Information Science (QIS) Consortium.

    Quantum technologies are emerging as promising alternatives to the more conventional “mousetraps” that researchers have previously used to track down elusive particles. And the DOE, through the same HEP office, is also supporting a collection of other research efforts led by Berkeley Lab scientists that tap into quantum theory, properties, and technologies in the QIS field.

    These efforts include:

    Unraveling the Quantum Structure of Quantum Chromodynamics in Parton Shower Monte Carlo Generators – This effort will develop computer programs that test the interactions between fundamental particles in extreme detail. Current computer simulations are limited by classical algorithms, though quantum algorithms could more accurately model these interactions and could provide a better way to compare with and understand particle events measured at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle collider. Berkeley Lab’s Christian Bauer, a senior research scientist, will lead this effort.
    Quantum Pattern Recognition (QPR) for High-Energy Physics –Increasingly powerful particle accelerators require vastly faster computer algorithms to monitor and sort through billions of particle events per second, and this effort will develop and study the potential of quantum-based algorithms for pattern recognition to reconstruct charged particles. Such algorithms have the potential for significant speed improvements and increased precision. Led by Berkeley Lab physicist and Divisional Fellow Heather Gray, this effort will involve high-energy physics and high-performance computing expertise in Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and at the Lab’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and also at UC Berkeley.
    Skipper-CCD, a New Single-Photon Sensor for Quantum Imaging – For the past six years, Berkeley Lab and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) have been collaborating in the development of a detector for astrophysics experiments that can detect the smallest individual unit of light, known as a photon. This Skipper-CCD detector was successfully demonstrated in the summer of 2017 with an incredibly low noise that allowed the detection of even individual electrons. As a next step, this Fermilab-led effort will seek to image pairs of photons that exist in a state of quantum entanglement, meaning their properties are inherently related – even over long distances – such that the measurement of one of the particles necessarily defines the properties of the other. Steve Holland, a senior scientist and engineer at Berkeley Lab who is a pioneer in the development of high-performance silicon detectors for a range of uses, is leading Berkeley Lab’s participation in this project.
    Geometry and Flow of Quantum Information: From Quantum Gravity to Quantum Technology –This effort will develop quantum algorithms and simulations for properties, including error correction and information scrambling, that are relevant to black hole theories and to quantum computing involving highly connected arrays of superconducting qubits – the basic units of a quantum computer. Researchers will also compare these with more classical methods. UC Berkeley is heading up this research program, and Irfan Siddiqi, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and founding director of the Center for Quantum Coherent Science at UC Berkeley, is leading Berkeley Lab’s involvement.
    Siddiqi is also leading a separate research program, Field Programmable Gate Array-based Quantum Control for High-Energy Physics Simulations with Qutrits, that will develop specialized tools and logic families for high-energy-physics-focused quantum computing. This effort involves Berkeley Lab’s Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division.

    These projects are also part of Berkeley Quantum, a partnership that harnesses the expertise and facilities of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley to advance U.S. quantum capabilities by conducting basic research, fabricating and testing quantum-based devices and technologies, and educating the next generation of researchers.

    Also, across several of its offices, the DOE has announced support for a wave of other R&D efforts (see a related news release) that will foster collaborative innovation in quantum information science at Berkeley Lab, at other national labs, and at partner institutions.

    At Berkeley Lab, the largest HEP-funded QIS-related undertaking will include a multidisciplinary team in the development and demonstration of quantum sensors to look for very-low-mass dark matter particles – so-called “light dark matter” – by instrumenting two different detectors.

    One of these detectors will use liquid helium at a very low temperature where otherwise familiar phenomena such as heat and thermal conductivity display quantum behavior. The other detector will use specially fabricated crystals of gallium arsenide (see a related article), also chilled to cryogenic temperatures. The ideas for how these experiments can search for very light dark matter sprang from theory work at Berkeley Lab.

    “There’s a lot of unexplored territory in low-mass dark matter,” said Natalie Roe, director of the Physics Division at Berkeley Lab and the principal investigator for the Lab’s HEP-related quantum efforts. “We have all the pieces to pull this together: in theory, experiments, and detectors.”

    This image of the Andromeda Galaxy, taken from a 1970 study by astronomers Vera Rubin and W. Kent Ford Jr., shows points (dots) that were tracked at different distances from the galaxy center. The selected points unexpectedly were found to rotate at a similar rate, which provides evidence for the existence of dark matter. (Credit: Vera Rubin, W. Kent Ford Jr.)

    Garcia-Sciveres, who is leading the effort in applying quantum sensors to the low-mass dark matter search, noted that other major efforts – such as the Berkeley Lab-led LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) experiment that is taking shape in South Dakota – will help root out whether dark matter particles known as WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) exist with masses comparable to that of atoms. But LZ and similar experiments are not designed to detect dark matter particles of much lower masses.

    LBNL Lux Zeplin project at SURF

    “The traditional WIMP dark matter experiments haven’t found anything yet,” he said. “And there is a lot of theoretical work on models that favor particles of a lower mass than experiments like LZ can measure,” he added. “This has motivated people to really look hard at how you can detect very-low-mass particles. It’s not so easy. It’s a very small signal that has to be detected without any background noise.”

    Researchers hope to develop quantum sensors that are better at filtering out the noise of unwanted signals. While a traditional WIMP experiment is designed to sense the recoil of an entire atomic nucleus after it is “kicked” by a dark matter particle, very-low-mass dark matter particles will bounce right off nuclei without affecting them, like a flea bouncing off an elephant.

    The goal of the new effort is to sense the low-mass particles via their energy transfer in the form of very feeble quantum vibrations, which go by names like “phonons” or “rotons,” for example, Garcia-Sciveres said.

    “You would never be able to tell that an invisible flea hits an elephant by watching the elephant. But what if every time an invisible flea hits an elephant at one end of the herd, a visible flea is flung away from an elephant at the other end of the herd?” he said.

    “You could use these sensors to watch for such slight signals in a very cold crystal or superfluid helium, where an incoming dark matter particle is like the invisible flea, and the outgoing visible flea is a quantum vibration that must be detected.”

    The particle physics community has held some workshops to brainstorm the possibilities for low-mass dark matter detection. “This is a new regime. This is an area where there aren’t even any measurements yet. There is a promise that QIS techniques can help give us more sensitivity to the small signals we’re looking for,” Garcia-Sciveres added. “Let’s see if that’s true.”

    The demonstration detectors will each have about 1 cubic centimeter of detector material. Dan McKinsey, a Berkeley Lab faculty senior scientist and UC Berkeley physics professor who is responsible for the development of the liquid helium detector, said that the detectors will be constructed on the UC Berkeley campus. Both are designed to be sensitive to particles with a mass lighter than protons – the positively charged particles that reside in atomic nuclei.

    A schematic for low-mass dark matter particle detection in a planned superfluid helium (He) experiment. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    The superfluid helium detector will make use of a process called “quantum evaporation,” in which rotons and phonons cause individual helium atoms to be evaporated from the surface of superfluid helium.

    Kathryn Zurek, a Berkeley Lab physicist and pioneering theorist in the search for very-low-mass dark matter particles who is working on the quantum sensor project, said the technology to detect such “whispers” of dark matter didn’t exist just a decade ago but “has made major gains in the last few years.” She also noted, “There had been a fair amount of skepticism about how realistic it would be to look for this light-mass dark matter, but the community has moved more broadly in that direction.”

    There are many synergies in the expertise and capabilities that have developed both at Berkeley Lab and on the UC Berkeley campus that make it a good time – and the right place – to develop and apply quantum technologies to the hunt for dark matter, Zurek said.

    Theories developed at Berkeley Lab suggest that certain exotic materials exhibit quantum states or “modes” that low-mass dark matter particles can couple with, which would make the particles detectable – like the “visible flea” referenced above.

    “These ideas are the motivation for building these experiments to search for light dark matter,” Zurek said. “This is a broad and multipronged approached, and the idea is that it will be a stepping stone to a larger effort.”

    The new project will draw from a deep experience in building other types of particle detectors, and R&D in ultrasensitive sensors that operate at the threshold where an electrically conducting material becomes a superconductor – the “tipping point” that is sensitive to the slightest fluctuations. Versions of these sensors are already used to search for slight temperature variations in the relic microwave light that spans the universe.

    At the end of the three-year demonstration, researchers could perhaps turn their sights to more exotic types of detector materials in larger volumes.

    “I’m excited to see this program move forward, and I think it will become a significant research direction in the Physics Division at Berkeley Lab,” she said, adding that the program could also demonstrate ultrasensitive detectors that have applications in other fields of science.

    More info:

    Read a news release that summarizes all of the Berkeley Lab quantum information science awards announced Sept. 24
    Berkeley Lab to Build an Advanced Quantum Computing Testbed
    About Berkeley Quantum

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    A U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory Operated by the University of California

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