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  • richardmitnick 4:03 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Neutrinos,   

    From FNAL: “New U.S. and CERN agreements open pathways for future projects” 

    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.

    May 11, 2017
    No writer credit found.

    1
    The CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Photo: CERN

    The U.S. Department of Energy and CERN establish contributions for next-generation experiments and scientific infrastructure located both at CERN and in the United States

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) last week signed three new agreements securing a symbiotic partnership for scientific projects based both in the United States and Europe. These new agreements, which follow from protocols signed by both agencies in 2015, outline the contributions CERN will make to the neutrino program hosted by Fermilab in the United States and the U.S. Department of Energy’s contributions to the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider upgrade program at CERN.

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    Researchers, engineers and technicians at CERN are currently designing detector technology for the U.S. neutrino research program hosted by Fermilab.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice


    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford


    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF


    FNAL/DUNE Near Site Layout


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

    Neutrinos are nearly massless, neutral particles that interact so rarely with other matter that trillions of them pass through our bodies each second without leaving a trace. These tiny particles could be key to a deeper understanding of our universe, but their unique properties make them very difficult to study. Using intense particle beams and sophisticated detectors, Fermilab currently operates three neutrino experiments (NOvA, MicroBooNE and MINERvA) and has three more in development, including the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) and two short-baseline experiments on the Fermilab site, one of which will make use of the Italian ICARUS detector, currently being prepared for transport from CERN.

    FNAL/NOvA experiment map

    FNAL/MicrobooNE

    FNAL/MINERvA

    FNAL/ICARUS


    INFN Gran Sasso ICARUS, since moved to FNAL

    The Long Baseline Neutrino Facility will provide the infrastructure needed to support DUNE both on the Fermilab site in Illinois and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. Together, LBNF/DUNE represent the first international megascience project to be built at a DOE national laboratory.


    3
    Deep science at the frontier of physics

    The first agreement, signed last week, describes CERN’s provision of the first cryostat to house the massive DUNE detectors in South Dakota, which represent a major investment by CERN to the U.S.-hosted neutrino program. This critical piece of technology ensures that the particle detectors can operate below a temperature of minus 300 degrees Celsius, allowing them to record the traces of neutrinos as they pass through.

    The agreement also formalizes CERN’s support for construction and testing of prototype DUNE detectors. Researchers at CERN are currently working in partnership with Fermilab and other DUNE collaborating institutions to build prototypes for the huge subterranean detectors which will eventually sit a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. These detectors will capture and measure neutrinos generated by Fermilab’s neutrino beam located 800 miles away. The prototypes developed at CERN will test and refine new methods for measuring neutrinos, and engineers will later integrate this new technology into the final detector designs for DUNE.

    The agreement also lays out the framework and objectives for CERN’s participation in Fermilab’s Short Baseline Neutrino Program, which is assembling a suite of three detectors to search for a hypothesized new type of neutrino. CERN has been refurbishing the ICARUS detector that originally searched for neutrinos at INFN’s Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy and will ship it to Fermilab later this spring.

    Gran Sasso LABORATORI NAZIONALI del GRAN SASSO

    More than 1,700 scientists and engineers from DOE national laboratories and U.S. universities work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments hosted at CERN. The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle collider, used to discover the Higgs boson in 2012 and now opening new realms of scientific discovery with higher-energy and higher-intensity beams. U.S. scientists, students, engineers and technicians contributed critical accelerator and detectors components for the original construction of the LHC and subsequent upgrades, and U.S. researchers continue to play essential roles in the international community that maintains, operates and analyzes data from the LHC experiments.

    The second agreement concerns the next phase of the LHC program, which includes an upgrade of the accelerator to increase the luminosity, a measurement of particle collisions per second. Scientists and engineers at U.S. national laboratories and universities are partnering with CERN to design powerful focusing magnets that employ state-of-the-art superconducting technology. The final magnets will be constructed by both American and European industries and then installed inside the LHC tunnel. The higher collision rate enabled by these magnets will help generate the huge amount of data scientists need in order to search and discover new particles and study extremely rare processes.

    American experts funded by DOE will also contribute to detector upgrades that will enable the ATLAS and CMS experiments to withstand the deluge of particles emanating from the LHC’s high-luminosity collisions. This work is detailed in the third agreement. These upgrades will make the detectors more robust and provide a high-resolution and three-dimensional picture of what is happening when rare particles metamorphose and decay. Fermilab will be a hub of upgrade activity for both the LHC accelerator and the CMS experiment upgrades, serving as the host DOE laboratory for the High-Luminosity LHC Accelerator Upgrade and the CMS Detector Upgrade projects.

    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 2:53 pm on May 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Astrophysical neutrinos, , Neutrinos,   

    From U Wisconsin IceCube: “Searching for neutrino sources with IceCube cascade events” 

    icecube
    U Wisconsin IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory

    09 May 2017
    Sílvia Bravo

    Astrophysical neutrinos show up with two different signatures in IceCube: tracks and cascades. The direction of tracks, produced by muon neutrino charged interactions, can be reconstructed with an angular resolution of less than a degree. On the other hand, the direction of cascade events, produced by muon neutrino neutral interactions or electron and tau neutrino interactions, can only be reconstructed with a resolution of 10-20 degrees.

    Most IceCube efforts to identify the first sources of astrophysical neutrinos have concentrated on tracks, especially those with an origin in the Northern Hemisphere, where the atmospheric muon background is almost negligible. Now, the IceCube Collaboration presents the first search for neutrino sources using cascade events with an energy above 1 TeV. Although no significant clustering was observed, this method provides an independent technique to search for astrophysical neutrino sources. These results have just been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.

    1
    Two-year starting cascade sky map in equatorial coordinates (J2000). The sky map shows pre-trial p-values for all locations in the sky. The grey curve indicates the galactic plane, and the grey dot indicates the galactic center.

    From May 2010 to May 2012, IceCube detected 263 cascades that started in the detector. Using those, researchers have looked for point-like sources anywhere in the sky, for neutrinos correlated with an a priori catalog, and for neutrinos associated with the galactic plane.

    The all-sky search looking for deviations from the isotropic expectation did not find any significant clustering, nor did the search for emission from the galactic plane. Researchers have also searched for neutrino emission correlated to catalog sources, which allowed setting upper limits on the flux from each object in the catalog.

    Even though no significant clustering was observed, the study shows that these cascades provide a better sensitivity to sources in the southern sky.

    “It is very challenging to obtain a high-purity selection of muon neutrino events from the southern sky in IceCube,” says Mike Richman, a researcher at Drexel University and a corresponding author of this paper. “Cascade events are easier to distinguish from the large cosmic ray muon background, which results in a much lower energy threshold for sources in the southern sky.”

    The source searches were performed with a sample of cascade events previously studied in the context of spectral measurements over the entire sky. The angular resolution is much better for tracks, but since the cascade channel benefits from a low rate of atmospheric backgrounds, it offers a complementary view of southern sources.

    The collaboration is now working on improvements that will reduce the angular resolution for IceCube cascades and provide a better understanding of the relevant systematics.

    See the full article here .

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    ICECUBE neutrino detector
    IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. The IceCube telescope is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. In addition, exploring the background of neutrinos produced in the atmosphere, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves; their energies far exceed those produced by accelerator beams. IceCube is the world’s largest neutrino detector, encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:48 pm on May 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Biology opportunities, Engineering, , Geology of the site has been well-characterized, Global footprint, Global footprint depth, International investment and cooperation, , Neutrinos, , Science access, Science with national priority, , Surface footprint, Two shafts for safety and redundancy, Us Department of High Energy Physics   

    From SURF: “Science impact” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    1

    The Sanford Underground Research Facility supports world-leading research in particle and nuclear physics and other science disciplines. While still a gold mine, the facility hosted Ray Davis’s solar neutrino experiment, which shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics. His work is a model for other experiments looking to understand the nature of the universe.

    The Facility’s depth, rock stability and history make it ideal for sensitive experiments that need to escape cosmic rays. The impacts on science can be seen worldwide.

    2

    In 2014, the Department of Energy’s High Energy Physics committee prioritized physics experiments, making neutrino and dark matter projects high-priority. Sanford Lab houses two experiments named in the P-5 report:

    Lux Zeplin project at SURF

    (LZ) and LBNF/DUNE.

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


    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF


    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    FNAL LBNF DUNE Organization Chart


    FNAL/DUNE Near Site Layout

    Science with national priority

    In 2014, the Department of Energy’s High Energy Physics committee prioritized physics experiments, making neutrino and dark matter projects high-priority. Sanford Lab houses two experiments named in the P-5 report: LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) and LBNF/DUNE.

    LZ, a second-generation dark matter experiment, will continue the search for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), while LBNF/DUNE, the largest mega-science project ever on U.S. soil, will study the properties of neutrinos.

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    International investment and cooperation

    4

    Global footprint

    Competition for underground lab space is fierce. Once the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) construction is complete, Sanford Lab will host approximately 25 percent of the total volume of underground laboratory space in the world.

    The sheer amount of space (7700 acres underground) and existing infrastructure make the site highly attractive for future experiments in a variety of disciplines.

    5

    Global footprint depth

    Sanford Lab is the deepest underground lab in the U.S. at 1,490 meters. The average rock overburden is approximately 4300 meters water equivalent for existing laboratories on the 4850 Level. Space in operating laboratories has a strong track record of meeting experiment needs.

    Surface footprint

    The local footprint of the facility includes 186 acres on the surface. Facilities at both the Yates and Ross surface campuses office researchers administrative support, office space, communications and education and public outreach. The Waste Water Treatment Plant handles and processes waste materials and a warehouse for shipping and receiving.

    Underground footprint

    Of the 370 total miles of underground space, Sanford Lab maintains approximately 12 for science at various levels, including the 300, 800, 1700, 2000, 4100, and 4850 levels. The Davis Campus on the 4850 Level is a world-class laboratory space that houses experiment for neutrinoless double-beta decay and dark matter.

    Sanford Lab hosts a variety of research projects in many discipline. Researchers from around the globe use the facility to learn more about our universe, life underground and the unique geology of the region. The site also allows scientists to share and foster growth within the science community.

    The site also encourages cooperation between many countries and institutions. For the first time in its history, CERN is investing in an experiment outside of the European Union with its $90 million commitment to LBNF/DUNE.

    8

    Two shafts for safety and redundancy

    Construction on the Ross Shaft began in 1932, with the first skip of ore hoisted in 1934. The steel shaft reaches 5,000 feet and was in operation until 2002 when the Homestake Mine closed. While the Yates Shaft is used for primary access, both the Ross and Yates shafts are conduits for power, optical fiber and ventilation.

    Refurbishment of the Ross Shaft infrastructure is underway and includes the replacement of the steel and ground support. Modernizing the Ross Shaft is critical to carving out the space needed to house LNBF/DUNE. Nearly 850,000 tons of rock will be hoisted through the Ross during excavation for the experiment.

    Science access

    The Yates Shaft, which was raised in 1939 and reaches the 4850 Level, is the primary access point for scientists and others who work underground at Sanford Lab. The hoists convey equipment and materials used to build and maintain experiments, enhance infrastructure and excavate caverns.

    Researchers often have similar requirements for space, power, data connections and other utilities and share common infrastructure throughout the facility.

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    Geology of the site has been well-characterized

    Geotechnical properties of some rock formations at Sanford Lab are ideal for large excavations for laboratory space. Before excavating, engineers study the character of the rock using new and existing core drilled from throughout the former Homestake mine.

    7 main rock formations and rhyolite intrusives
    27,870 drill holes throughout the facility
    39,760 boxes of core from 2,688 drill holes
    Sanford Lab maintains a database with more than 58,000 entries representing 1,740 drill holes

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    Biology opportunities

    The isolation from surface microorganisms results in different environmental conditions. Temperature, humidity, variety of niches, different rock formations, access to water and seepage from various sources create unique opportunities to study extreme forms of life.

    Research teams from the NASA Astrobiology Institute,the Desert Research Institute, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Black Hills State University and other institutions from around the world, conduct research on several levels of the facility hoping to understand how these life forms survive in such extreme conditions.

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    Engineering

    The Sanford Underground Research Facility offers a variety of environments in which engineers can test real-world applications and new technologies. And the rich history of the Homestake Mine, which includes a vast archive of core samples, allows engineers to better understand how to excavate caverns for new experiments.

    LZ, a second-generation dark matter experiment, will continue the search for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), while LBNF/DUNE, the largest mega-science project ever on U.S. soil, will study the properties of neutrinos.

    See 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 12:31 pm on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Neutrinos   

    From IceCube Neutrino Expriment: Video – “Uncharted Cosmos: Mapping the Universe with IceCube” 

    icecube
    IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory


    Watch, enjoy,learn.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    ICECUBE neutrino detector
    IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. The IceCube telescope is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. In addition, exploring the background of neutrinos produced in the atmosphere, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves; their energies far exceed those produced by accelerator beams. IceCube is the world’s largest neutrino detector, encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:39 pm on May 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Neutrinos, ,   

    From Symmetry: “Sterile neutrino search hits roadblock at reactors” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    05/04/17
    Kathryn Jepsen

    1
    LBNL

    A new result from the Daya Bay collaboration reveals both limitations and strengths of experiments studying antineutrinos at nuclear reactors.

    As nuclear reactors burn through fuel, they produce a steady flow of particles called neutrinos. Neutrinos interact so rarely with other matter that they can flow past the steel and concrete of a power plant’s containment structures and keep on moving through anything else that gets in their way.

    Physicists interested in studying these wandering particles have taken advantage of this fact by installing neutrino detectors nearby. A recent result using some of these detectors demonstrated both their limitations and strengths.

    The reactor antineutrino anomaly

    In 2011, a group of theorists noticed that several reactor-based neutrino experiments had been publishing the same, surprising result: They weren’t detecting as many neutrinos as they thought they would.

    Or rather, to be technically correct, they weren’t seeing as many antineutrinos as they thought they would; nuclear reactors actually produce the antimatter partners of the elusive particles. About 6 percent of the expected antineutrinos just weren’t showing up. They called it “the reactor antineutrino anomaly.”

    The case of the missing neutrinos was a familiar one. In the 1960s, the Davis experiment located in Homestake Mine in South Dakota reported a shortage of neutrinos coming from processes in the sun.

    3
    Construction of the Homestake Mine tank. BNL.

    Other experiments confirmed the finding. In 2001, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario demonstrated that the missing neutrinos weren’t missing at all; they had only undergone a bit of a costume change.

    SNOLAB, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

    Neutrinos come in three types. Scientists discovered that neutrinos could transform from one type to another. The missing neutrinos had changed into a different type of neutrino that the Davis experiment couldn’t detect.

    Since 2011, scientists have wondered whether the reactor antineutrino anomaly was a sign of an undiscovered type of neutrino, one that was even harder to detect, called a sterile neutrino.

    A new result from the Daya Bay experiment in China not only casts doubt on that theory, it also casts doubt on the idea that scientists understand their model of reactor processes well enough at this time to use it to search for sterile neutrinos.

    The word from Daya Bay

    The Daya Bay experiment studies antineutrinos coming from six nuclear reactors on the southern coast of China, about 35 miles northeast of Hong Kong. The reactors are powered by the fission of uranium. Over time, the amount of uranium inside the reactor decreases while the amount of plutonium increases. The fuel is changed—or cycled—about every 18 months.

    The main goal of the Daya Bay experiment was to look for the rarest of the known neutrino oscillations. It did that, making a groundbreaking discovery after just nine weeks of data-taking.

    But that wasn’t the only goal of the experiment. “We realized right from the beginning that it is important for Daya Bay to address as many interesting physics problems as possible,” says Daya Bay co-spokesperson Kam-Biu Luk of the University of California, Berkeley and the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    For this result, Daya Bay scientists took advantage of their enormous collection of antineutrino data to expand their investigation to the reactor antineutrino anomaly.

    Using data from more than 2 million antineutrino interactions and information about when the power plants refreshed the uranium in each reactor, Daya Bay physicists compared the measurements of antineutrinos coming from different parts of the fuel cycle: early ones dominated by uranium through later ones dominated by both uranium and plutonium.

    n theory, the type of fuel producing the antineutrinos should not affect the rate at which they transform into sterile neutrinos. According to Bob Svoboda, chair of the Department of Physics at the University of California, Davis, “a neutrino wouldn’t care how it got made.” But Daya Bay scientists found that the shortage of antineutrinos existed only in processes dominated by uranium.

    Their conclusion is that, once again, the missing neutrinos aren’t actually missing. This time, the problem of the missing antineutrinos seems to stem from our understanding of how uranium burns in nuclear power plants. The predictions for how many antineutrinos the scientists should detect may have been overestimated.

    “Most of the problem appears to come from the uranium-235 model (uranium-235 is a fissile isotope of uranium), not from the neutrinos themselves,” Svoboda says. “We don’t fully understand uranium, so we have to take any anomaly we measured with a grain of salt.”

    This knock against the reactor antineutrino anomaly does not disprove the existence of sterile neutrinos. Other, non-reactor experiments have seen different possible signs of their influence. But it does put a damper on the only evidence of sterile neutrinos to have come from reactor experiments so far.

    Other reactor neutrino experiments, such as NEOS in South Korea and PROSPECT in the United States will fill in some missing details.

    4
    NEOS

    5
    Prospect. BNL

    NEOS scientists directly measured antineutrinos coming from reactors in the Hanbit nuclear power complex using a detector placed about 80 feet away, a distance some scientists believe is optimal for detecting sterile neutrinos should they exist. PROSPECT scientists will make the first precision measurement of antineutrinos coming from a highly enriched uranium core, one that does not produce plutonium as it burns.

    A silver lining

    The Daya Bay result offers the most detailed demonstration yet of scientists’ ability to use neutrino detectors to peer inside running nuclear reactors.

    “As a study of reactors, this is a tour de force,” says theorist Alexander Friedland of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “This is an explicit demonstration that the composition of the reactor fuel has an impact on the neutrinos.”

    Some scientists are interested in monitoring nuclear power plants to find out if nuclear fuel is being diverted to build nuclear weapons.

    “Suppose I declare my reactor produces 100 kilograms of plutonium per year,” says Adam Bernstein of the University of Hawaii and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “Then I operate it in a slightly different way, and at the end of the year I have 120 kilograms.” That 20-kilogram surplus, left unmeasured, could potentially be moved into a weapons program.

    Current monitoring techniques involve checking what goes into a nuclear power plant before the fuel cycle begins and then checking what comes out after it ends. In the meantime, what happens inside is a mystery.

    Neutrino detectors allow scientists to understand what’s going on in a nuclear reactor in real time.

    Scientists have known for decades that neutrino detectors could be useful for nuclear nonproliferation purposes. Scientists studying neutrinos at the Rovno Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine first demonstrated that neutrino detectors could differentiate between uranium and plutonium fuel.

    Most of the experiments have done this by looking at changes in the aggregate number of antineutrinos coming from a detector. Daya Bay showed that neutrino detectors could track the plutonium inventory in nuclear fuel by studying the energy spectrum of antineutrinos produced.

    “The most likely use of neutrino detectors in the near future is in so-called ‘cooperative agreements,’ where a $20-million-scale neutrino detector is installed in the vicinity of a reactor site as part of a treaty,” Svoboda says. “The site can be monitored very reliably without having to make intrusive inspections that bring up issues of national sovereignty.”

    Luk says he is dubious that the idea will take off, but he agrees that Daya Bay has shown that neutrino detectors can give an incredibly precise report. “This result is the best demonstration so far of using a neutrino detector to probe the heartbeat of a nuclear reactor.”

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 11:12 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 50 years of discoveries, , , Neutrinos, On July 21 2000 Fermilab announced the first direct evidence for a particle called the tau neutrino   

    From FNAL: “50 years of discoveries and innovations at Fermilab: tau neutrino” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    April 27, 2017
    No writer credit

    This year Fermilab celebrates a half-century of groundbreaking accomplishments. In recognition of the lab’s 50th birthday, we will post (in no particular order) a different innovation or discovery from Fermilab’s history every day between April 27 and June 15, the date in 1967 that the lab’s employees first came to work.

    The list covers important particle physics measurements, advances in accelerator science, astrophysics discoveries, theoretical physics papers, game-changing computing developments and more. While the list of 50 showcases only a small fraction of the lab’s impressive resume, it nevertheless captures the breadth of the lab’s work over the decades, and it reminds us of the remarkable feats of ingenuity, engineering and technology we are capable of when we work together to do great science.

    1. Fermilab DONUT experiment discovers tau neutrino

    On July 21, 2000, Fermilab announced the first direct evidence for a particle called the tau neutrino, the third kind of neutrino known to particle physicists. It had been hypothesized but never directly observed until the 2000 discovery, which was made by the DONUT (Direct Observation of the Nu Tau) experiment at Fermilab. The other two types, the electron neutrino and the muon neutrino, had been discovered in 1956 and 1962, respectively.

    1
    No image caption. No image credit.

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

    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 9:27 am on March 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Last but not least the poly shield, , , Neutrinos, ,   

    From SURF: “Last, but not least, the poly shield” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    March 13, 2017
    Constance Walter

    1
    Vince Guiseppe stands next to an extra lead brick monolith, which keeps the shield sealed if a working module needs to be removed for service. Credit: Constance Walter

    For nearly seven years, the Majorana Demonstrator Project’s “shield team” has been building the six-layered shield that surrounds the experiment on the 4850 Level. In early March, they placed the last piece of polyethylene on the outermost layer of the shield.

    “I’m proud of what the team has produced,” said Vince Guiseppe, assistant professor of physics at the University of South Carolina. “This was a complicated project. Every layer was added at the right time and fit perfectly.”


    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment

    The Majorana collaboration uses germanium crystals to look for a rare form of radioactive decay called neutrinoless double-beta decay. The discovery could determine whether the neutrino is its own antiparticle. Its detection could help explain why matter exists. The shield is critical to the success of the experiment.

    Each layer of the shield was designed to target certain forms of radiation. “The closer the layer is to the experiment, the greater its impact,” Guiseppe said.

    The most important layer is the electroformed copper that sits closest to the experiment. Comprised of 40, half-inch thick copper plates, it was grown and machined underground. “This is clearly the hallmark of our shield system in terms of purity and cleanliness protocols,” Guiseppe said. Surrounding that portion of the shield, is a 2-inch thick layer of ultrapure commercial copper.

    Next is a “castle” built with 3,400 lead bricks. Two portable monoliths, each holding 570 bricks, support the cryostats filled with strings of germanium detectors and cryogenic hardware, what Guiseppe calls “the heart of the experiment.”

    An aluminum box encapsulating the lead castle protects the experiment from naturally occurring radon. Every minute, the team injects eight liters of nitrogen gas to purge the air within the enclosure. “We don’t want any lab air getting in.”

    Attached to the aluminum box are scintillating plastic “veto panels” designed to detect muons, the most penetrating of all cosmic rays.

    Finally, there’s the 12 inches of polyethylene enclosing the entire experiment, including the cryogenics (chilled water heat exchangers moderate the temperature). The poly slows down neutrons that could cause very rare backgrounds. Why worry about such rare events? High-energy neutrons can bounce through just about anything, including the 22 inches of lead and copper shielding. If a neutron hits a copper atom, it could create a gamma ray right next to the experiment.

    “The poly is the final defense against backgrounds in an experiment that requires extreme quiet,” Guiseppe said.

    The entire shield, weighing 145,000 pounds, rests on an over floor made of steel with channels for the poly.

    Jared Thompson, a research assistant, began his work with Majorana in 2010, etching lead bricks for the shield. In fact, in March 2014, he placed the last brick on the castle. And he was part of the group that recently placed the last piece of poly.

    “It’s really exciting,” Thompson said. “A complete shield could mean a whole new data set down the road.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    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
    LBNE

     
  • richardmitnick 2:46 pm on March 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CERN Proto Dune, , Neutrinos, Researchers face engineering puzzle, , , Transporting Argon   

    From Symmetry: “Researchers face engineering puzzle” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    03/07/17
    Daniel Garisto

    How do you transport 70,000 tons of liquid argon nearly a mile underground?


    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Nearly a mile below the surface of Lead, South Dakota, scientists are preparing for a physics experiment that will probe one of the deepest questions of the universe: Why is there more matter than antimatter?
    FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA


    SURF


    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab

    Because neutrinos interact with matter so rarely and so weakly, DUNE scientists need a lot of material to create a big enough target for the particles to run into. The most widely available (and cost effective) inert substance that can do the job is argon, a colorless, odorless element that makes up about 1 percent of the atmosphere.

    The researchers also need to place the detector full of argon far below Earth’s surface, where it will be protected from cosmic rays and other interference.

    “We have to transfer almost 70,000 tons of liquid argon underground,” says David Montanari, a Fermilab engineer in charge of the experiment’s cryogenics. “And at this point we have two options: We can either transfer it as a liquid or we can transfer it as a gas.”

    Either way, this move will be easier said than done.

    Liquid or gas?

    The argon will arrive at the lab in liquid form, carried inside of 20-ton tanker trucks. Montanari says the collaboration initially assumed that it would be easier to transport the argon down in its liquid form—until they ran into several speed bumps.

    Transporting liquid vertically is very different from transporting it horizontally for one important reason: pressure. The bottom of a mile-tall pipe full of liquid argon would have a pressure of about 3000 pounds per square inch—equivalent to 200 times the pressure at sea level. According to Montanari, to keep these dangerous pressures from occurring, multiple de-pressurizing stations would have to be installed throughout the pipe.

    Even with these depressurizing stations, safety would still be a concern. While argon is non-toxic, if released into the air it can reduce access to oxygen, much like carbon monoxide does in a fire. In the event of a leak, pressurized liquid argon would spill out and could potentially break its vacuum-sealed pipe, expanding rapidly to fill the mine as a gas. One liter of liquid argon would become about 800 liters of argon gas, or four bathtubs’ worth.

    Even without a leak, perhaps the most important challenge in transporting liquid argon is preventing it from evaporating into a gas along the way, according to Montanari.

    To remain a liquid, argon is kept below a brisk temperature of minus 180 degrees Celsius (minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit).

    “You need a vacuum-insulated pipe that is a mile long inside a mine shaft,” Montanari says. “Not exactly the most comfortable place to install a vacuum-insulated pipe.”

    To avoid these problems, the cryogenics team made the decision to send the argon down as gas instead.

    Routing the pipes containing liquid argon through a large bath of water will warm it up enough to turn it into gas, which will be able to travel down through a standard pipe. Re-condensers located underground act as massive air conditioners will then cool the gas until becomes a liquid again.

    “The big advantage is we no longer have vacuum insulated pipe,” Montanari says. “It is just straight piece of pipe.”

    Argon gas poses much less of a safety hazard because it is about 1000 times less dense than liquid argon. High pressures would be unlikely to build up and necessitate depressurizing stations, and if a leak occurred, it would not expand as much and cause the same kind of oxygen deficiency.

    The process of filling the detectors with argon will take place in four stages that will take almost two years, Montanari says. This is due to the amount of available cooling power for re-condensing the argon underground. There is also a limit to the amount of argon produced in the US every year, of which only so much can be acquired by the collaboration and transported to the site at a time.

    1
    Illustration by Ana Kova

    Argon for answers

    Once filled, the liquid argon detectors will pick up light and electrons produced by neutrino interactions.

    Part of what makes neutrinos so fascinating to physicists is their habit of oscillating from one flavor—electron, muon or tau—to another. The parameters that govern this “flavor change” are tied directly to some of the most fundamental questions in physics, including why there is more matter than antimatter. With careful observation of neutrino oscillations, scientists in the DUNE collaboration hope to unravel these mysteries in the coming years.

    “At the time of the Big Bang, in theory, there should have been equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe,” says Eric James, DUNE’s technical coordinator. That matter and antimatter should have annihilated, leaving behind an empty universe. “But we became a matter-dominated universe.”

    James and other DUNE scientists will be looking to neutrinos for the mechanism behind this matter favoritism. Although the fruits of this labor won’t appear for several years, scientists are looking forward to being able to make use of the massive detectors, which are hundreds of times larger than current detectors that hold only a few hundred tons of liquid argon.

    Currently, DUNE scientists and engineers are working at CERN to construct Proto-DUNE, a miniature replica of the DUNE detector filled with only 300 tons of liquid argon that can be used to test the design and components.


    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    “Size is really important here,” James says. “A lot of what we’re doing now is figuring out how to take those original technologies which have already being developed… and taking it to this next level with bigger and bigger detectors.”

    To search for that answer, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, will look at minuscule particles called neutrinos. A beam of neutrinos will travel 800 miles through the Earth from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to the Sanford Underground Research Facility, headed for massive underground detectors that can record traces of the elusive particles.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 9:35 pm on March 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Neutrinos, ,   

    From NC State via phys.org: “Calculations show close Ia supernova should be neutrino detectable offering possibility of identifying explosion type” 

    NC State bloc

    North Carolina State University

    phys.org

    phys.org

    1
    Density contour plots including deflagration (white) and detonation (green) surfaces. Credit: arXiv:1609.07403 [astro-ph.HE]

    A team of researchers at North Carolina State University has found that current and future neutrino detectors placed around the world should be capable of detecting neutrinos emitted from a relatively close supernova. They also suggest that measuring such neutrinos would allow them to explain what goes on inside of a star during such an explosion—if the measurements match one of two models that the team has built to describe the inner workings of a supernova.

    Supernovae have been classified into different types depending on what causes them to occur—one type, called a la supernova, occurs when a white dwarf pulls in enough material from a companion, eventually triggering carbon fusion, which leads to a massive explosion. Researchers here on Earth can see evidence of a supernova by the light that is emitted. But astrophysicists would really like to know more about the companion and the actual process that occurs inside the white dwarf leading up to the explosion—and they believe that might be possible by studying the neutrinos that are emitted.

    In this new effort, a team led by Warren Wright calculated that neutrinos from a relatively nearby supernova should be detectable by current sensors already installed and working around the planet and by those that are in the works. Wright also headed two teams that have each written a paper describing one of two types of models that the team has built to describe the process that occurs in the white dwarf leading up to the explosion—both teams have published their work in the journal Physical Review Letters.

    The first model is called the deflagration-to-detonation transition; the second, the gravitationally confined detonation. Both are based on theory regarding interactions inside of the star and differ mostly in how spherically symmetric they are. The two types would also emit different kinds and amounts of neutrinos, which is why the team is hoping that the detectors capable of measuring them will begin to do so. That would allow the teams to compare their models against real measurable data, and in so doing, perhaps finally offer some real evidence of what occurs when stars explode.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    NC State campus

    NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we’re a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, the humanities and social sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine.

    NC State students, faculty and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government and nonprofit partners to solve them. Our 34,000-plus high-performing students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:04 pm on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos,   

    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.

    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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