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

    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

    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.


    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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    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 3:21 pm on October 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Leah Hesla, ,   

    From LC Newsline: “From the world to America: seeding superconducting accelerator technology through the ILC” 

    Linear Collider Collaboration header
    Linear Collider Collaboration

    2 October 2014
    Leah Hesla

    The superconducting technology at the heart of the future International Linear Collider is one of the outstanding innovations of the machine’s design. Of international heritage, ILC-type superconducting acceleration has borne American offspring, including technology for the newest kid on the block, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s light source LCLS II, scheduled to begin operations in late 2018.


    “ILC development is a breeding ground for LCLS II,” said Hasan Padamsee, head of Fermilab’s Technical Division and renowned SCRF expert. “Without that available technology, you couldn’t dream of applications that are now spread around for different purposes.”

    Central to the technology are superconducting cavities – niobium structures through which particles hurtle at close to the speed of light. To be superconducting, the cavities need to be kept cold, so researchers work diligently on cryogenic systems to refrigerate them efficiently.

    LCLS II will use superconducting radio-frequency technology, or SCRF, to generate extremely bright electron beams – not to investigate quarks and leptons, as the ILC will do – but to take snapshots of cellular structures and chemical reactions.

    “It’s a remarkable example of different corners of science in our country coming together for a common purpose,” said SLAC’s Marc Ross, cryosystems manager for LCLS II and former Americas region project manager for the Global Design Effort, the original governing entity for the ILC.

    Developments in superconducting accelerator technology at the ILC has begotten innovations in other accelerators for nuclear physics, materials sciences and in high-intensity proton accelerators for neutrino beams or muon beams.

    International roots

    Of course, the ILC’s superconducting radio-frequency technology has its own ancestry.

    SCRF had significantly advanced the field of particle physics around the world by 2004, when an international group of scientists was deciding on the acceleration technology to be implemented in a large, yet-to-be-named future linear collider. They had recognised decades of successful SCRF performance at other previous electron-positron colliders around the globe: CESR at Cornell University in the United States, FLASH at Germany’s DESY, KEK-B and TRISTAN at Japan’s KEK, and LEP II at CERN in France and Switzerland.

    There is also the ILC’s close relative at DESY, the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser, or European XFEL. Of more modest scale than the ILC – it calls for 800 cavities compared with the ILC’s 16,000 – it has served as the ILC’s SCRF training ground.

    “The idea was that, unless you had a more practical twin to serve as a precursor to the ILC, you really wouldn’t be able to demonstrate that you could build a 16,000-cavity machine,” Padamsee said.

    The accelerator community designed and began constructing the superconducting XFEL, planned to be commissioned in 2016. The accelerator will use X-rays to probe molecular structures and extreme states of matter. The free exchange of technological advances between it and the ILC pushed the design of both machines to the cutting edge. The advances would be inherited by future particle accelerators.

    The ILC would also bestow another gift to the next SCRF generation, one that only a machine of its size could offer: an infrastructure necessitated by its incredible scale.

    American heritage

    Early on, the U.S. high-energy physics community built an infrastructure to accommodate the large scale of the International Linear Collider. Pictured here is an ILC-type cryomodule at one of Fermilab’s Industrial Complex buildings. Jefferson and SLAC laboratories, as well as institutions such as Cornell University, were a part of the U.S. infrastructure for ILC SCRF. Credit: Fermilab

    LCLS II and the ILC look nothing alike. LCLS II’s accelerator complex is a tenth of the length of the proposed 31-kilometre International Linear Collider. It will accelerate particles to a far lower energy – 4 GeV versus 500 GeV. LCLS II cavity specifications are very different from those of ILC cavities. Finally, LCLS II will not probe fundamental bits of matter, as the ILC will, but larger-scale, molecular structures.

    ILC schematic
    ILC schematic

    Nevertheless, LCLS II is taking advantage of ILC SCRF technology to graduate from its previous life as a normal-conducting accelerator to a superconducting one. It also draws on the connections formed by the ILC community – connections between scientific disciplines, between economic sectors, between institutions.

    Early on, the ILC connections were born of necessity to help manage its unprecedented scale. Seeing the need for a wide infrastructure to accommodate it, the high-energy physics community got to work.

    In 2007, the US community started gearing up to build prototypes for the now officially named ILC. It began tooling up Fermilab in Illinois, Jefferson Lab in Virginia and SLAC in California, as well as university partners such as Cornell University, to advance SCRF research specifically for the future collider. Because US researchers needed a way to fabricate enough cavities to fill a tunnel nearly one-and-a-half times the length of Manhattan, the community also formed important relationships with industry to enable cavities’ mass production.

    “The successful prototyping for ILC provided a proof of principle – it mitigated the risk of LCLS II,” Ross said. “We know how much these things cost. LCLS II can go ahead with this technology. It’s a dream come true.”

    LCLS II is planned to start operating in late 2018. By then, Ross says, SCRF research in the United States will likely have matured considerably. Fermilab and Jefferson Lab both currently contribute to LCLS II R&D at SLAC.

    “When we’re done, we’ll be able do this for a future cryomodule and to connect innovations in the way a cavity is built,” Ross said. “LCLS II is providing the US system with an opportunity to flex its muscle, so to speak.”

    LCLS II isn’t the only project in the United States taking advantage of the acceleration of SCRF development that the ILC helped establish. Fermilab’s future PIP-II, a plan for upgrading the lab’s accelerator complex to deliver high-intensity particle beams, will borrow from ILC advances in SCRF.

    Global dissemination

    The infrastructure for the international collider isn’t limited to the United States, of course. Laboratories around the world – notably DESY, IHEP in China, KEK – have promoted and continue to nurture SCRF research globally, both for the ILC and for future accelerators.

    The ILC’s SCRF technology and network has transferred across geographic borders and scientific disciplines, perpetuating its technological genes to help fulfil humankind’s penchant for discovery. As researchers press ahead on SCRF advances and build its attendant infrastructure, superconducting radio-frequency technology in the United States will have plenty of other opportunities to apply its strength – even beyond high-energy physics and the ILC.

    See the full article here.

    The Linear Collider Collaboration is an organisation that brings the two most likely candidates, the Compact Linear Collider Study (CLIC) and the International Liner Collider (ILC), together under one roof. Headed by former LHC Project Manager Lyn Evans, it strives to coordinate the research and development work that is being done for accelerators and detectors around the world and to take the project linear collider to the next step: a decision that it will be built, and where.

    Some 2000 scientists – particle physicists, accelerator physicists, engineers – are involved in the ILC or in CLIC, and often in both projects. They work on state-of-the-art detector technologies, new acceleration techniques, the civil engineering aspect of building a straight tunnel of at least 30 kilometres in length, a reliable cost estimate and many more aspects that projects of this scale require. The Linear Collider Collaboration ensures that synergies between the two friendly competitors are used to the maximum.

    Linear Collider Colaboration Banner

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  • richardmitnick 12:34 pm on December 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Leah Hesla, , ,   

    From Fermilab: “Mu2e superconducting cable prototype successful” 

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


    Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
    Leah Hesla

    Last month, members of the Technical Division conducted final tests on the first batch of prototype superconducting cable for the proposed Mu2e experiment. The cable met every prescribed benchmark, carrying over 6,800 amps of electrical current — well above its design current — at 4.2 Kelvin in a magnetic field of 5 Tesla.

    This aluminum-clad niobium-titanium superconductor is a critical component of one of Mu2e’s three magnets, the transport solenoid. As the name implies, the transport solenoid will help transport a beam of muons from its production source to the detector, where scientists will study the particle interactions.

    “This prototype conductor is an important part of our transport solenoid magnet program,” said Giorgio Ambrosio, who is in charge of the transport solenoid design and development. “We know that no superconducting magnet is better than its conductor.”

    Having met this milestone ahead of schedule, members of the Superconducting Materials and Magnet Systems departments will march ahead with the other three superconducting cable prototypes for Mu2e: one for the production solenoid and two for the detector solenoid. They plan to complete the cable prototyping stage in a few months’ time.

    See the full article here.

    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.

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