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  • richardmitnick 2:02 pm on September 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Understanding ghost particle interactions", , , Neutrinos, , Scientists often refer to the neutrino as the ​“ghost particle.”   

    From Argonne National Laboratory: “Understanding ghost particle interactions” 

    Argonne Lab
    News from From Argonne National Laboratory

    September 28, 2020
    Joseph E. Harmon

    Cross sections of neutrino-nucleus interactions versus energy. Improved agreement between experiment and model calculations clearly shown for case of nucleon pair rather than single nucleon. Inset shows neutrino interacting with nucleus and ejecting a lepton. Credit: Image by Argonne National Laboratory.

    Scientists often refer to the neutrino as the ​“ghost particle.” Neutrinos were one of the most abundant particles at the origin of the universe and remain so today. Fusion reactions in the sun produce vast armies of them, which pour down on the Earth every day. Trillions pass through our bodies every second, then fly through the Earth as though it were not there.

    “While first postulated almost a century ago and first detected 65 years ago, neutrinos remain shrouded in mystery because of their reluctance to interact with matter,” said Alessandro Lovato, a nuclear physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

    Lovato is a member of a research team from four national laboratories that has constructed a model to address one of the many mysteries about neutrinos — how they interact with atomic nuclei, complicated systems made of protons and neutrons (“nucleons”) bound together by the strong force. This knowledge is essential to unravel an even bigger mystery — why during their journey through space or matter neutrinos magically morph from one into another of three possible types or flavors.

    To study these oscillations, two sets of experiments have been undertaken at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (MiniBooNE and NOvA).


    FNAL NOvA Near Detector.

    In these experiments, scientists generate an intense stream of neutrinos in a particle accelerator, then send them into particle detectors over a long period of time (MiniBooNE) or five hundred miles from the source (NOvA).

    FNAL/NOvA experiment map.

    Knowing the original distribution of neutrino flavors, the experimentalists then gather data related to the interactions of the neutrinos with the atomic nuclei in the detectors. From that information, they can calculate any changes in the neutrino flavors over time or distance. In the case of the MiniBooNE and NOvA detectors, the nuclei are from the isotope carbon-12, which has six protons and six neutrons.

    “Our team came into the picture because these experiments require a very accurate model of the interactions of neutrinos with the detector nuclei over a large energy range,” said Noemi Rocco, a postdoc in Argonne’s Physics division and Fermilab. Given the elusiveness of neutrinos, achieving a comprehensive description of these reactions is a formidable challenge.

    The team’s nuclear physics model of neutrino interactions with a single nucleon and a pair of them is the most accurate so far. ​“Ours is the first approach to model these interactions at such a microscopic level,” said Rocco. ​“Earlier approaches were not so fine grained.”

    One of the team’s important findings, based on calculations carried out on the now-retired Mira supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), was that the nucleon pair interaction is crucial to model neutrino interactions with nuclei accurately. The ALCF is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    MIRA IBM Blue Gene Q supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.

    “The larger the nuclei in the detector, the greater the likelihood the neutrinos will interact with them,” said Lovato. ​“In the future, we plan to extend our model to data from bigger nuclei, namely, those of oxygen and argon, in support of experiments planned in Japan and the U.S.”

    Rocco added that ​“For those calculations, we will rely on even more powerful ALCF computers, the existing Theta system and upcoming exascale machine, Aurora.”

    ANL ALCF Theta Cray XC40 supercomputer.

    Depiction of ANL ALCF Cray Intel SC18 Shasta Aurora exascale supercomputer.

    Scientists hope that, eventually, a complete picture will emerge of flavor oscillations for both neutrinos and their antiparticles, called ​“antineutrinos.” That knowledge may shed light on why the universe is built from matter instead of antimatter — one of the fundamental questions about the universe.

    The paper, titled ​“Ab Initio Study of (νℓ,ℓ−) and (¯νℓ,ℓ+) Inclusive Scattering in 12C: Confronting the MiniBooNE and T2K CCQE Data,” is published in Physical Review X. Besides Rocco and Lovato, authors include J. Carlson (Los Alamos National Laboratory), S. Gandolfi (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and R. Schiavilla (Old Dominion University/Jefferson Lab).

    The present research is supported by the DOE Office of Science. The team received ALCF computing time through DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program.

    See the full article here .


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    Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    About the Advanced Photon Source

    The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory is one of the world’s most productive X-ray light source facilities. The APS provides high-brightness X-ray beams to a diverse community of researchers in materials science, chemistry, condensed matter physics, the life and environmental sciences, and applied research. These X-rays are ideally suited for explorations of materials and biological structures; elemental distribution; chemical, magnetic, electronic states; and a wide range of technologically important engineering systems from batteries to fuel injector sprays, all of which are the foundations of our nation’s economic, technological, and physical well-being. Each year, more than 5,000 researchers use the APS to produce over 2,000 publications detailing impactful discoveries, and solve more vital biological protein structures than users of any other X-ray light source research facility. APS scientists and engineers innovate technology that is at the heart of advancing accelerator and light-source operations. This includes the insertion devices that produce extreme-brightness X-rays prized by researchers, lenses that focus the X-rays down to a few nanometers, instrumentation that maximizes the way the X-rays interact with samples being studied, and software that gathers and manages the massive quantity of data resulting from discovery research at the APS.

    This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.
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    Argonne Lab Campus

  • richardmitnick 9:40 am on September 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ice­Cube made history in 2013 when it reported intercepting the first extra­galactic neutrinos., Neutrinos, P-ONE will consist of seven groups of 10 detector strings creat­ing an instrument volume of about 3 km3., , , The new facility will be located at a depth of about 2.6 km in the Cas­cadia Basin some 200 km from the coast of British Columbia., ,   

    From physicsworld.com: “Astronomers plan huge neutrino observatory in the Pacific Ocean” 

    From physicsworld.com

    18 Sep 2020
    Edwin Cartlidge

    Ocean bound: P-ONE will consist of seven groups of 10 detector strings, creating an instrument larger than the existing IceCube experiment (pictured). (Courtesy: IceCube Collaboration/NSF.)

    Astrophysicists in Germany and North America have published plans to build the world’s larg­est neutrino telescope on the sea floor off the coast of Canada.

    The Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment (P-ONE) is designed to snare very-high-energy neutrinos generated by extreme events from beyond our galaxy.

    Neutrino telescopes observe the Čerenkov radiation that is emitted when neutrinos passing through the Earth interact very occasionally with atomic nuclei resulting in the production of fast-moving secondary particles. Being uncharged and exceptionally inert, neutrinos can penetrate gas and dust as they travel through the universe, allowing astronomers in principle to identify the exceptionally energetic phenomena that generate them. Photons from such events, in contrast, are absorbed on their journey.

    The world’s largest neutrino tele­scope, known as IceCube, consists of dozens of strings of photomultiplier tubes suspended in holes drilled deep into the ice at the South Pole.

    U Wisconsin IceCube neutrino observatory

    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector at the South Pole.

    IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration.

    Lunar Icecube.

    IceCube DeepCore annotated .

    IceCube neutrino detector interior.

    IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration.

    Lunar Icecube.

    IceCube DeepCore annotated.

    IceCube PINGU annotated.

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated.

    IceCube Gen-2 DeepCore PINGU annotated.

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated.

    Covering a volume of 1 km3, Ice­Cube made history in 2013 when it reported intercepting the first extra­galactic neutrinos. Four years later it then recorded an event that could be tied to a very distant, bright galactic nucleus known as a blazar, thanks to concurrent gamma-ray observations.

    According to P-ONE head, Elisa Resconi at the University of Munich, IceCube’s 2017 result strictly speak­ing only constitutes “evidence” for the blazar source. To really claim a discovery and pinpoint the origin of other cosmic neutrinos, she argues, requires the construction of addi­tional neutrino observatories as well as the extension of IceCube. “We are now on the verge of opening up neutrino astronomy,” she says, “but if we base this process on just one telescope it could take a really long time, perhaps decades.”

    Heading underwater

    P-ONE will consist of seven groups of 10 detector strings creat­ing an instrument volume of about 3 km3. Being larger than IceCube, it will detect rarer, higher-energy neutrinos, and will be most sensi­tive at a few tens rather than a hand­ful of teraelectronvolts. It will also observe a different part of the sky, mainly capturing neutrinos from the southern hemisphere rather than the north. But there will be some over­lap between the two, says Resconi, potentially allowing independent observations of the same event.

    The new facility will be located at a depth of about 2.6 km in the Cas­cadia Basin, some 200 km from the coast of British Columbia. As such, it will take advantage of pre-existing infrastructure – an 800 km-long loop of fibre-optic cable operated by the University of Victoria’s Ocean Net­works Canada that supplies power and ferries data to and from existing sea-floor instruments.

    Having already confirmed that this site has the necessary optical prop­erties by sending down two initial strings of light emitters and sensors in 2018, the P-ONE collaboration are now planning to deploy a steel cable with addi­tional detectors to investigate the site – including spectrometers, lidars and a muon detector. The plan then, says Resconi, is to install the first part of the observatory – a ring containing seven 1 km-long strings – around the end of 2023. And if that succeeds, the researchers will then apply for the bulk of the $50–100m needed to complete the project, with personnel costs adding roughly $100m more.

    Resconi hopes that the full obser­vatory will be installed and taking data by the end of the decade. But she describes this timeline as “very ambitious”. In addition to delays caused by the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic, she says it will be a challenge to ensure that the detec­tors work as planned – given the huge pressures and the presence of salt and sea creatures, which together make the seabed such a harsh environment.

    Indeed, scientists had already planned on operating a cubic-kilome­tre scale neutrino telescope known as KM3NeT on the floor of the Mediter­ranean Sea back in 2014, which was delayed to 2020.

    KM3NeT Digital Optical Module (DOM) in the laboratory .www.km3net.org.

    Artist’s expression of the KM3NeT neutrino telescope.

    According to col­laboration member Feifei Huang, just two of the 230 strings due to be installed off the coast of southern Italy are so far in place, while another site in French waters currently has six out of a planned 115 strings running – with completion not foreseen until 2026 and 2024 respectively.

    Resconi says that part of the problem with that project is a lack of specialist personnel, with the physicists essentially doing everything themselves – for example, their self-built junction boxes, which connect cables on the sea floor, having failed. She hopes that the experience acquired by Ocean Networks Canada will mean a similar fate can be avoided for P-ONE. With 30 or 40 people dedicated to laying cables in the ocean, she says that her team “can focus on the physics”.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 10:28 am on September 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Powerful New Observatory Will Taste Neutrinos’ Flavors", As neutrinos arrive at the detector from the nuclear power plants several kilometers away only about 30 percent of them will remain in their original identity., , Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in the U.S., Existing evidence shows that two of the flavors are close in mass and that the third one is different., How do the masses of the three known types of neutrinos compare to one another?, Hyper-Kamiokande (Hyper-K) in Japan., JUNO can also catch the so-called geoneutrinos from below Earth’s surface., JUNO Underground Observatory at Kaiping Jiangmen in Southern China., JUNO will detect and study neutrinos from other sources: anywhere between 10 and 1000 of the particles from the sun per day and a sudden influx if a supernova explodes at a certain distance from Earth, JUNO will use two nearby nuclear power plants as neutrino sources., Neutrinos, Once operational JUNO expects to see roughly 60 such signals a day., ,   

    From Scientific American: “Powerful New Observatory Will Taste Neutrinos’ Flavors” 

    From Scientific American

    September 22, 2020
    Ling Xin

    Aerial photograph taken on June 23, 2019, shows the construction site of the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) in southern China’s province of Guangdong. Credit: Liu Dawei Alamy.

    JUNO Underground Observatory, at Kaiping, Jiangmen in Southern China.

    Neutrinos are the oddballs of the subatomic particle family. They are everywhere, pouring in from the sun, deep space, and Earth and zipping through our bodies by the trillions every second. The particles are so tiny that they seldom interact with anything, making them extremely elusive and hard to study. Moreover, though neutrinos come in different types, or flavors, they can switch from one type to another as they travel near the speed of light. These weird behaviors, scientists believe, might point toward insights about the history of the universe and the future of physics.

    After nearly six years of excavation, a gigantic neutrino laboratory is taking shape in the rolling hills of southern China, about 150 kilometers west of Hong Kong. The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) will be one of the world’s most powerful neutrino experiments, along with the Hyper-Kamiokande (Hyper-K) in Japan and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in the U.S.

    Hyper-Kamiokande, a neutrino physics laboratory to be located underground in the Mozumi Mine of the Kamioka Mining and Smelting Co. near the Kamioka section of the city of Hida in Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

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

    SURF DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    Using two nearby nuclear power plants as neutrino sources, JUNO will aim to learn more about these particles and answer a fundamental question: How do the masses of the three known types of neutrinos compare to one another? Though researchers know the particles have a small amount of mass, the exact amount is unknown. Existing evidence shows that two of the flavors are close in mass and that the third one is different. But scientists do not know if that third type is heavier or lighter than the others: the former scenario is called the “normal mass ordering,” and the latter is named the “inverted mass ordering.”

    The mass ordering of the neutrino is a key parameter for researchers to determine, says theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.

    “In fact, all kinds of other things depend on the answer to that question,” he adds. For instance, the answer can help scientists better estimate the total mass of neutrinos in the universe and determine how they have influenced the formation of the cosmos and the distribution of galaxies. Even though neutrinos are the lightest of all known matter particles, there are so many of them in space that they must have had a big effect on the way ordinary matter is distributed. Understanding how neutrino masses are ordered could also help explain why the particles have mass at all, which contradicts earlier predictions.

    More than 650 scientists, nearly half of whom are outside China, have been working on JUNO, which was first proposed in 2008. Later this year or in early 2021 researchers will start assembling the experiment’s 13-story-tall spherical detector. Inside, it will be covered by a total of 43,000 light-detecting phototubes and filled with 20,000 metric tons of specially formulated liquid. At 700 meters below the ground, once in a blue moon, an electron antineutrino (the specific type of particle that is produced by a nuclear reactor) will bump into a proton and trigger a reaction in the liquid, which will result in two flashes of light less than a millisecond apart. “This little ‘coincidence’ will count as a reactor neutrino signal,” says particle physicist Juan Pedro Ochoa-Ricoux of the University of California, Irvine, who co-leads one of the two phototube systems for JUNO.

    As neutrinos arrive at the detector from the nuclear power plants several kilometers away, only about 30 percent of them will remain in their original identity. The rest will have switched to other flavors, according to Jun Cao, a deputy spokesperson for JUNO at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the project’s leading institution.

    The observatory will be able to measure this percentage with great precision.

    Once operational, JUNO expects to see roughly 60 such signals a day. To have a statistically convincing answer to the mass ordering question, however, scientists need 100,000 signals—which means the experiment must run for years to find it. In the meantime JUNO will detect and study neutrinos from other sources, including anywhere between 10 and 1,000 of the particles from the sun per day and a sudden influx of thousands of them if a supernova explodes at a certain distance from Earth.

    JUNO can also catch the so-called geoneutrinos from below Earth’s surface, where radioactive elements such as uranium 238 and thorium 232 go through natural decay. So far studying geoneutrinos is the only effective way to learn how much chemical energy is left down there to drive our planet, says geologist William McDonough of the University of Maryland, who has been involved in the experiment since its early days. “JUNO is a game changer in this regard,” he says. Though all the existing detectors in Japan, Europe and Canada combined can see about 20 events per year, JUNO alone should detect more than 400 geoneutrinos annually.

    Right now the experiment is dealing with a flooding issue that has delayed the construction schedule by two years, says Yifang Wang, a JUNO spokesperson and director of IHEP. Engineers need to pump out 120,000 metric tons of underground water every day, but the water level has dropped significantly. It is not uncommon to run into flooding issues while building underground labs—an issue also experienced by the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario.

    Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, , no longer operating.

    Wang believes that the problem will be solved before construction is completed.

    JUNO should be up and running by late 2022 or early 2023, Wang says. Toward to end of this decade, it will be joined by DUNE and Hyper-K. Using accelerator-based neutrinos, DUNE will be able to measure the particle’s mass ordering with the greatest precision. It will also study a crucial parameter called CP violation, a measure of how differently neutrinos act from their antimatter counterparts. This measurement could reveal whether the tiny particles are part of the reason the majority of the universe is made of matter. “JUNO’s result on the neutrino mass ordering will help DUNE make the best possible discovery and measurement of CP violation,” Lykken says. The former experiment, along with the other neutrino observatories in development, could also reveal something scientists have not predicted. The history of neutrino studies shows that these particles often behave unexpectedly, Lykken says. “I suspect that the combination of these experiments is going to produce surprises,” he adds.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 2:13 pm on September 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ICEBERG tests future neutrino detector systems with ‘beautiful’ results", , , , Neutrinos   

    From Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: “ICEBERG tests future neutrino detector systems with ‘beautiful’ results” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    September 18, 2020
    Zack Savitsky

    The international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, hosted by Fermilab, will be huge.

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

    SURF DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    In fact, with more than 1,000 collaborators from over 30 countries and five continents, it’s the largest international science project ever hosted in the U.S.

    To prepare for this massive endeavor, the particle physics community has been taking DUNE technologies for thorough test drives. Over the last decade, the particle detectors ICARUS, MicroBooNE and LArIAT at Fermilab and the ProtoDUNE detectors at CERN have all contributed in one way or another to compiling the deep background knowledge needed to build and operate DUNE, a neutrino detector that will use liquid argon and advanced electronics to capture the passage of the famously elusive particles.




    Cern ProtoDune.

    In 2019, DUNE preparations entered a new stage as Fermilab established a new testing facility for DUNE detectors: The Integrated Cryostat and Electronics Built for Experimental Research Goals, or ICEBERG.

    Fermilab’s ICEBERG particle detector.

    “DUNE’s primary goal is to measure and understand very particular properties of the neutrino, and ICEBERG is a facility where we can confirm that the detector components we’re designing reach the specifications necessary for DUNE to be successful,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, a graduate student at the University of Michigan working on ICEBERG’s photon detectors.

    The most abundant matter particles in the universe, neutrinos provide a valuable testing ground for particle physics theories. They hardly interact with anything, and they oscillate between three different states as they travel.

    Physics experiments such as DUNE make use of the properties of neutrinos to illuminate differences between matter and antimatter, perhaps explaining why the universe seems to be dominated by matter. Neutrinos may also teach us about the proton’s lifetime and black hole formations along the way.

    Fermilab accelerators will shoot an underground beam of neutrino particles 800 miles through Earth’s crust — from Fermilab in Illinois to the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

    SURF-Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA.

    At each site, a detector will measure the composition of the beam and analyze how the particles have shape-shifted along their flight. Since neutrinos are so weakly interacting, the detectors have to be massive and ultrasensitive. They’re essentially giant tubs of liquid argon that get bombarded with the tiny particles.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF.

    Occasionally, one of the neutrinos will interact with the argon and produce charged particles and photons, both of which are detected by various sensors in DUNE. The detector in ICEBERG is in effect a miniature version of the DUNE component that tracks these particles.

    There’s no need to send highly elusive neutrinos to particle detectors while simply testing the functionality of the system. When stationed above ground, detectors can also pick up traces from cosmic rays — created when high-energy particles from outer space hit the atmosphere — much more consistently.

    In many ways, ICEBERG is a crystal ball for DUNE — lending insight on its future obstacles and requirements.

    The cosmic-ray signatures allow physicists to test the DUNE electronics above ground with charge-tracking and photon-detection systems. Plus, because the cosmic rays are abundant on Earth’s surface and easier to detect than neutrinos, the prototypes can be smaller and require much less precious argon.

    The liquid argon used for ICEBERG would fill the bed of a pickup truck. DUNE, by comparison, requires enough argon to fill 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools. DUNE researchers are currently testing the second of several combinations of new and proven electronics with ICEBERG.

    “The scientists, engineers and technical staff work together to find ways to continually improve the ICEBERG and keep all its support infrastructure running,” said Kelly Hardin, a Fermilab technician who works on all liquid-argon detectors at Fermilab.

    This event display shows three views of a cosmic muon interacting with liquid argon in the ICEBERG cryostat. Image: ICEBERG collaboration.

    Once this series of tests ends, the chosen electronics and photon sensors are expected to be tested in one of the ProtoDUNE detectors before being mass-produced for use in DUNE.

    “So far, the whole ICEBERG detector and associate infrastructure are operating properly,” said Shekhar Mishra, Fermilab scientist and ICEBERG project lead. “The measurements are coming out very nice. We’ve seen beautiful tracks and detected photons.”

    The process of operating and maintaining this and other prototype detectors gets scientists ready for the big league: DUNE. An international project of its magnitude requires rigorous assurance checks and thorough preparation.

    “ICEBERG has given me a chance to get my hands dirty and turn some screws,” said Ivan Caro Terrazas, a graduate student at Colorado State University working on ICEBERG’s particle-tracking systems. “It amazes me how much coordination is required for a detector as small as ICEBERG, let alone DUNE itself.”

    In many ways, ICEBERG is a crystal ball for DUNE — lending insight on its future obstacles and requirements.

    “Even by running ICEBERG, a micro-DUNE, we’re learning a lot about what we’re going to need to build, operate and manage this massive detector,” Mishra said. “ICEBERG is a collaborative effort of laboratories and institutions around the globe. We rely on our diverse team to push through challenges and accomplish our goals.”

    Collaborators work together to make the ICEBERG particle detector a successful tool for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. Left photo, taken in 2019: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab. Right photo, taken in August 2020: Kathrine Laureto.

    See the full article here.


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    FNAL Icon

    Tevatron schematic map

    Fermilab Wilson Hall.

    Fermilab campus.

    FNAL/MINERvA Photo Reidar Hahn.


    FNAL Muon g-2 studio.

    FNAL Short-Baseline Near Detector under construction.

    FNAL Mu2e solenoid.

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF.


    FNAL Don Lincoln.


    FNAL Cryomodule Testing Facility.

    FNAL MINOS Far Detector in the Soudan Mine in northern Minnesota.

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

    CERN Proto Dune.

    FNAL/NOvA experiment map.

    FNAL NOvA Near Detector.


    FNAL Holometer.

  • richardmitnick 6:04 pm on September 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Neutrinos could reveal how fast radio bursts are launched", , , , , Neutrinos,   

    From Science News: “Neutrinos could reveal how fast radio bursts are launched” 

    From Science News

    September 16, 2020
    Lisa Grossman

    The elusive particles would be hard to catch, but they’d be a smoking gun, researchers say.

    Magnetars, highly magnetized stellar corpses like the one illustrated here, could be the source of two different cosmic enigmas: fast radio bursts and high-energy neutrinos, a new study suggests. Credit: draco-zlat/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

    For over a decade, astronomers have puzzled over the origins of fast radio bursts, brief blasts of radio waves that come mostly from distant galaxies. During that same period, scientists have also detected high-energy neutrinos, ghostly particles from outside the Milky Way whose origins are also unknown.

    A new theory suggests that the two enigmatic signals could come from a single cosmic source: highly active and magnetized neutron stars called magnetars. If true, that could fill in the details of how fast radio bursts, or FRBs, occur. However, finding the “smoking gun” — catching a simultaneous neutrino and radio burst from the same magnetar — will be challenging because such neutrinos would be rare and hard to find, says astrophysicist Brian Metzger of Columbia University. He and his colleagues described the idea in a study posted September 1 at arXiv.org [Neutrino Counterparts of Fast Radio Bursts].

    Even so, “this paper gives a possible link between what I think are two of the most exciting mysteries in astrophysics,” says astrophysicist Justin Vandenbroucke of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who hunts for neutrinos but was not involved in the new work.

    More than 100 fast radio bursts have been detected, but most are too far away for astronomers to see what drives the blasts of energy. Dozens of possible explanations have been debated, from stellar collisions to supermassive black holes to rotating stellar corpses called pulsars to pulsars orbiting black holes (SN: 1/10/18). Some astronomers have even invoked signals from aliens.

    But in the last few years, magnetars have emerged as a top contender. “We don’t know what the engines are of fast radio bursts, but there’s growing confidence that some fraction of them is coming from flaring magnetars,” Metzger says.

    That confidence got a boost in April, when astronomers detected the first radio burst coming from within the Milky Way galaxy (SN: 6/4/20). The burst was close enough — about 30,000 light-years away — that astronomers could trace it back to a young, active magnetar called SGR 1935+2154. “It’s really like a Rosetta stone for understanding FRBs,” Vandenbroucke says.

    There are several ways that magnetars could emit the bursts, Metzger says. The blasts of radio waves could come from close to the neutron star’s surface, for example. Or shock waves produced after the magnetar burped out an energetic flare, similar to those emitted by the sun, could create the radio waves.

    Only those shock waves would produce neutrinos and fast radio bursts at the same time, Metzger says. Here’s how: Some magnetars emit flares repeatedly, enriching their surroundings with charged particles. Crucially, each flare would excavate some protons from the neutron star’s surface. Other situations could give a magnetar a halo of electrons, but protons would come only from the magnetar itself. If the magnetar has a halo of electrons, adding protons to the mix sets the stage for the double dose of cosmic phenomena.

    As the next flare runs into the protons released by the previous flare, it would accelerate protons and electrons in the same direction at the same speeds. This “ordered dance” of electrons could give rise to the fast radio burst by converting the energy of the electrons’ movement into radio waves, Metzger says. And the protons could go through a chain reaction that results in a single high-energy neutrino per proton.

    Together with astrophysicists Ke Fang of Stanford University and Ben Margalit of the University of California, Berkeley, Metzger calculated the energies of any neutrinos that would have been produced by the fast radio burst seen in April. The team found those energies matched those that could be detected by the IceCube neutrino observatory in Antarctica.

    But IceCube didn’t detect any neutrinos from that magnetar in April, says Vandenbroucke, who has been searching for signs of neutrinos from fast radio bursts in IceCube data since 2016. That’s not surprising, though. Because neutrinos from FRBs are expected to be rare, detecting any will be challenging, and would probably require a particularly bright magnetar flare to be aimed directly at Earth.

    Vandenbroucke has made bets with his students on other aspects of their research, but he says he won’t put any money down on whether he’ll see a neutrino from a fast radio burst in his lifetime. “There’s too much uncertainty,” he says.

    Still, he’s optimistic. “Even detecting one neutrino from one [fast radio burst] would be a discovery, and it would take only one lucky FRB to produce a detectable neutrino,” he says.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 11:52 am on September 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Revealing the secrets of high-energy cosmic particles", , , , , Neutrinos, , ,   

    From Technische Universität München: “Revealing the secrets of high-energy cosmic particles” 

    Techniche Universitat Munchen

    From Technische Universität München

    Prof. Dr. Elisa Resconi
    Liesel Beckmann Professor for Experimental Physics with cosmic Particles
    Technische Universität München
    James-Franck-Straße 1, 85748
    Garching DE
    Tel.: +49 89 289 12442

    P-ONE: Initiative for a new, large-scale Neutrino Observatory in the Pacific Ocean.

    The “IceCube” neutrino observatory deep in the ice of the South Pole has already brought spectacular new insights into cosmic incidents of extremely high energies.

    U Wisconsin IceCube neutrino observatory


    IceCube neutrino detector interior.

    IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration.

    Lunar Icecube.

    IceCube DeepCore annotated.

    IceCube PINGU annotated.

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated.

    In order to investigate the cosmic origins of elementary particles with even higher energies, Prof. Elisa Resconi from the Technische Universität München (TUM) has now started an international initiative to build a neutrino telescope several cubic kilometers in size in the northeastern Pacific.

    Design of the planned P-ONE neutrino telescope in the Pacific Ocean (left). The telescope will have a modular structure and consist of seven identical detector segments (right), the first of which will be installed in 2023/24. Credit: Image: E. Resconi / TUM

    Astronomers observe the light that comes to us from distant celestial objects to explore the Universe. However, light does not tell us much about the highest energy events beyond our Galaxy, such as the jets of active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts or supernovae, because photons in the upper gamma-ray range lose their extreme energies on their long way through the Universe through interaction with other particles.

    Just like light, neutrinos traverse space at the speed of light (almost) but interact extremely rarely with other particles. They maintain their energy and direction, which makes them unique messengers of the highest energy universe.

    Messenger of distant cosmic events

    Since 2013, when the IceCube Neutrino Observatory detected extragalactic neutrinos for the first time, astrophysicists have been striving to understand from which cosmic sources they come and which physical mechanism has accelerated them to such extreme energies.

    However, to solve the puzzle, more detectors with even larger volumes than that of the cubic-kilometre sized IceCube Observatory are required. Because neutrinos cannot be observed directly, only through Čerenkov radiation, the detectors must be located in ice or in water.

    Initiative for a new neutrino telescope in the Pacific

    Prof. Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center 1258 and Liesel-Beckmann Chair for Experimental Physics with Cosmic Particles at TUM, has now started an international initiative for a new neutrino telescope located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada: the Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment (P-ONE).

    For that purpose, Resconi has partnered with a facility of the University of Victoria, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), one of the world’s largest and most advanced cabled ocean observatories for a new neutrino telescope located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada: the Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment (P-ONE).

    Ideal conditions for a neutrino observatory

    The ONC network node in the Cascadia basin at a depth of 2660 meters was selected for P-ONE. The extensive abyssal plain offers ideal conditions for a neutrino observatory spanning several cubic kilometres.

    In summer 2018, ONC anchored a first pathfinder experiment in the Cascadia basin: the STRAW (Strings for Absorption length in water) experiment, two 140-meter-long strings equipped with light emitters and sensors to determine the attenuation of light in the ocean water, a parameter crucial for the design of P-ONE. In September 2020, STRAW-b will be installed, a 500 m steel cable with additional detectors. Both experiments were developed and built by Resconi’s research group at the TUM Physics Department.

    Next steps in 2023/24

    The first segment of P-ONE, the Pacific Ocean Neutrino Explorer, a ring with seven 1000-meter-long strings with 20 detectors each, is planned to be installed in ONC’s marine operation season in 2023/24 in collaboration with various Canadian universities.

    “Astrophysical neutrinos have unlocked new potential for significantly advancing our knowledge of the extreme universe,” says Darren Grant, professor at the Michigan State University, USA, and spokesperson of the IceCube collaboration. “P-ONE represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate large-scale neutrino detector deployment in the deep ocean, a critical step towards reaching the goal of a globally connected neutrino observatory that would provide peak all-sky sensitivity to these ideal cosmic messengers.”

    Elisa Resconi anticipates P-ONE with its seven segments to be completed by the end of the decade. “The experiment will then be perfectly equipped to uncover the provenance of the extragalactic neutrinos,” says Resconi, “but what’s more, high-energy neutrinos also hold the potential to reveal the nature of dark matter.”

    Aboard the John P. Tully a team of Ocean Networks Canada is preparing to anchor the STRAW exploration experiment in the Cascadia Basin in the Pacific Ocean (summer 2018). Credit: Image: Ocean Networks Canada.


    M. Agostini et al.: The Pacific Ocean Neutrino Experiment
    Nature Astronomy, Sept. 8, 2020.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     Technische Universität München Campus

    Technische Universität München is one of Europe’s top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. The university also forges strong links with companies and scientific institutions across the world. TUM was one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence. Moreover, TUM regularly ranks among the best European universities in international rankings.

  • richardmitnick 6:10 pm on August 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Supernova cooling constraint", "Supernovae could enable the discovery of new Muonic physics", , , , , , MPG Institute for Astrophysics, Neutrinos, ,   

    From MPG Institute for Astrophysics and Stanford University via phys.org: “Supernovae could enable the discovery of new Muonic physics” 

    From MPG Institute for Astrophysics, Garching


    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University



    August 27, 2020
    Ingrid Fadelli

    Artistic illustration of SN1987a. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton.

    SN1987a from NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in Jan. 2017 using its Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

    SN 1987A remnant, imaged by ALMA. The inner region is contrasted with the outer shell, lacy white and blue circles, where the blast wave from the supernova is colliding with the envelope of gas ejected from the star prior to its powerful detonation. Image credit: ALMA / ESO / NAOJ / NRAO / Alexandra Angelich, NRAO / AUI / NSF.

    A supernova, the explosion of a white-dwarf or massive star, can create as much light as billions of normal stars. This transient astronomical phenomenon can occur at any point after a star has reached its final evolutionary stages.

    Supernovae are thought to be associated with extreme physical conditions, far more extreme than those observed during any other known astrophysical phenomenon in the universe, excluding the Big Bang. In supernovae that involve a massive star, the star’s core can collapse into a neutron star, while the rest of it is expelled in the explosion.

    During these violent stellar explosions, temperatures in the newborn neutron star can reach over 600 billion degrees, and densities can be up to 10 times greater than those in atomic nuclei. The hot neutron star resulting from this type of supernova is a significant source of neutrinos and could thus be an ideal model for particle physics studies.

    For several decades, astronomers and astrophysicists have been trying to prepare for the occurrence of a supernova, devising theoretical and computational models that could aid the current understanding of this fascinating cosmological event. These models could help to analyze and better understand new data collected using state-of-the-art detectors and other instruments, particularly those designed to measure neutrinos and gravitational waves.

    Back in 1987, researchers were able to observe neutrinos produced in a supernova for the first and, so far, only time, using instruments known as neutrino detectors. These neutrinos had traveled to Earth over a time period of approximately ten seconds, thus, their observation provided a measurement of the rate at which the remains of a supernova were able to cool down.

    For decades now, this measurement was seen as the limit in how quickly exotic particles can cool a supernova remnant. Since it was first introduced in 1987, this point of reference, known as the “supernova cooling constraint,” has been extensively used to investigate extensions of the standard model, the primary theory of particle physics describing fundamental forces in the universe.

    Credit: Bollig et al.

    Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany and Stanford University have recently carried out a study investigating the potential of supernovae as platforms to unveil new physics beyond the standard model. Their paper, published in Physical Review Letters, specifically explores the role that muons, particles that resemble electrons but have far larger masses, could play in the cooling of supernova remnants.

    “While the concept of ‘supernova cooling constraints’ has been around for decades, the community has only recently begun to appreciate the role that muons can play in supernovae, and as a result, very little work had been done on how new particles that couple primarily to muons could affect the cooling,” William DeRocco, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “We realized that by running cutting-edge simulations of muons in supernovae, we could place a cooling bound on these exotic couplings, and that was how the project was born.”

    The recent study featured in Physical Review Letters was the result of a collaboration between two teams of researchers, one at the Max Planck Institute and one at Stanford. The team at the Max Planck Institute, comprised by Robert Bolling and Hans-Thomas Janka, ran a series of supernova simulations that included Muonic effects, while also incorporating some of the most recent findings about the physics of supernovae.

    These simulations led to the creation of the largest existing library of supernova profiles including muons, which is now publicly available and can be accessed by all astrophysics researchers worldwide. Subsequently, De Rocco and the rest of the team at Stanford used this library to compute production rates of axion-like particles, trying to determine where in the parameter space their production would violate the cooling constraint delineated in 1987.

    “More and more detailed models of the complex processes in supernovae still allow us to use the 33-year-old neutrino measurements connected with Supernova 1987A to learn new aspects about particle phenomena, which are difficult to explore in lab experiments,” Janka told Phys.org. “William and Peter contacted my postdoc Robert and myself with their novel ideas by email, so we teamed up to join forces on this research project during the COVID-19 lockdown on both sides, communicating via email and in video meetings.”

    DeRocco, Janka, and their colleagues demonstrated that supernovae could be powerful laboratory models to hunt for new muonic physics, something that was not fully appreciated until now. Their work has already inspired other research teams to seek for exotic physics beyond the standard model by studying muons in supernovae. In the future, this paper could thus pave the way towards new fascinating discoveries about particles in the universe and cosmological phenomena.

    “I think there’s a still a wealth of information that supernovae can provide us on possible extensions of the standard model,” DeRocco said. “So far, we have only seen the neutrinos of one galactic supernova, but the rate at which supernovae go off in our galaxy is estimated to be about twice per century, so we have a good chance of seeing another in the next few decades. With the significantly advanced detectors that we built since 1987, the information we would receive from the observation of the next galactic supernova is vast and exciting to speculate on. Perhaps it is in supernova neutrinos that we will make our first observation of beyond standard model physics!”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University campus. No image credit

    Stanford University

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

    MPG Institute for Astrophysics Campus

    The Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, usually called the MPA for short, is one of about 80 autonomous research institutes within the Max-Planck Society. These institutes are primarily devoted to fundamental research. Most of them carry out work in several distinct areas, each led by a senior scientist who is a “Scientific Member” of the Max-Planck Society.

    The MPA was founded in 1958 under the direction of Ludwig Biermann. It was an offshoot of the MPI für Physik which at that time had just moved from Göttingen to Munich. In 1979 the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) came to Munich from Geneva, and as part of the resulting reorganisation the MPA (then under its second director, Rudolf Kippenhahn) moved to a new site in Garching, just north of the Munich city limits.

    The new building lies in a research park barely 50 metres from ESO headquarters and is physically connected to the buildings which house the MPI für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE). This park also contains two other large research institutes, the MPI für Plasmaphysik (IPP) and the MPI für Quantenoptik (MPQ), as well as many of the scientific and engineering departments of the Technische Universität München (TUM). The MPA is currently led by a Board of four directors, Guinevere Kauffmann, Eiichiro Komatsu, Volker Springel, and Simon White.

  • richardmitnick 9:50 am on August 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Searching for transient neutrino sources with the help of gamma rays", , High-Altitude Water Čerenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory, , Neutrinos,   

    From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration: “Searching for transient neutrino sources with the help of gamma rays” 

    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector at the South Pole

    From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration

    26 Aug 2020
    Madeleine O’Keefe

    2017 was a momentous year for the field of multimessenger astronomy. In August, a neutron star collision produced a gravitational wave that was observed by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations at nearly the exact same time a gamma-ray burst was detected by the Fermi space telescope.

    MIT /Caltech Advanced aLigo

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    NASA/Fermi LAT

    NASA/Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope

    A month later, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory recorded an astrophysical neutrino event that was followed by a weeklong gamma-ray flare detected by the Fermi and MAGIC telescopes.

    MAGIC Čerenkov telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garfia, La Palma, Spain), Altitude 2,396 m (7,861 ft)

    These landmark detections proved that astronomers could gain a more complete understanding of the universe by combining observations of different wavelengths and, for the first time since 1987 when a supernova was last observed, different messenger particles from a variety of detectors across the globe.

    Understanding how and where these messenger particles are produced, and using these observations to explore the physics of the universe, requires an ongoing stream of multimessenger detections. The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON) can help with that. Created in 2013 to facilitate the interaction of different observatories, AMON recently commissioned real-time multimessenger alerts that notify the astrophysical community when two or more observatories detect an interesting “coincidence” of events that may be worthy of follow-up observations. Their analysis takes advantage of abundant subthreshold data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and the High-Altitude Water Čerenkov (HAWC) gamma-ray observatory.

    HAWC High Altitude Čerenkov Experiment, a
    US Mexico Europe collaboration located on the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano in the Mexican state of Puebla at an altitude of 4100 meters(13,500ft), at WikiMiniAtlas 18°59′41″N 97°18′30.6″W. searches for cosmic rays

    In a paper submitted today to The Astrophysical Journal, the AMON team, together with the IceCube and HAWC collaborations, presents the analysis approach that they developed and reveal the first results from their analysis, as applied to three years of archival data from 2015 to 2018. Among those three years, they identified two coincident events that met their criteria for distribution as a public alert, but there were no particularly important astronomical sources seen near either position. Going forward, real-time analyses of data from the IceCube and HAWC observatories will allow interesting coincidences to be identified and reported as they happen, enabling quick follow-up observations from astronomers around the world.

    Sky maps of the two statistically interesting coincidences found in three years of archival IceCube and HAWC data. Positions of the individual events are marked with dots. The best-fit combined positions are marked with a cross. Credit: AMON, HAWC Collaboration, IceCube Collaboration.

    The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is an array of over 5,000 light sensors frozen into a cubic kilometer of ice below the surface at the South Pole. HAWC, located in a very different, mountainside environment in Puebla, Mexico, is an array of 300 aboveground water tanks that hold four light sensors each. Both are designed to observe Cherenkov radiation—light emitted when charged particles travel at close to the speed of light in ice or water—that is produced by high-energy particles sent to Earth by the most cataclysmic events in the universe.

    The bulk of the data collected by IceCube and HAWC are dominated by background particles produced in Earth’s atmosphere, rather than in cosmic sources, making it difficult to determine whether any individual event is of interest for astrophysical studies. But there could still be signal events hidden among those subthreshold data. And that’s where AMON comes in.

    The AMON algorithm is designed to analyze subthreshold data from IceCube and HAWC in real time. It looks for coincidences between IceCube neutrino events and HAWC “hotspots”—locations on the sky where a higher-than-expected number of gamma-ray events were observed over the course of a day. To be considered a coincident event, the neutrino event must have arrived within a window of time that matches the HAWC hotspot and must be close to the HAWC hotspot localization on the sky. Once a coincidence is found and reported, researchers can carry out follow-up observations to identify any new or unusual sources near that position.

    In their paper, the researchers report a systematic analysis of archival IceCube and HAWC data, from June 2015 to August 2018, with the AMON algorithm. Within the three years of nearly continuous data collection by both observatories, two coincident neutrino–gamma-ray clusters were judged sufficiently interesting that they would have been distributed as public alerts if the analysis had been running in real time. The analysis shows that both coincidences are very rare—with one occurring once per year and the second every 30 years—but still not rare enough to support a claim that they must be from cosmic sources.

    Next, the researchers referred to astronomical catalogs in search of interesting or unusual objects that might have emitted neutrinos and gamma rays near the two coincident clusters. They found some known galaxies and quasars but no sources so unusual that they stood out on their own. Still, the story isn’t over; follow-up optical or X-ray observations of select nearby sources might provide further clues as to whether they are related to the reported neutrino–gamma-ray clusters.

    “These events illustrate the power of this approach to be able to identify statistically rare clusters of neutrinos and gamma rays—cosmic ‘needles in a haystack,’ as it were—as intended,” says Hugo Alberto Ayala Solares, a postdoctoral researcher at Pennsylvania State University and the lead on this analysis.

    In November 2019, AMON, IceCube, and HAWC initiated the real-time version of this analysis. A couple of months later, on February 2, the first real-time alert from this system went out, but this cluster also did not lead to any high-confidence association with a source.

    Next time a statistically rare coincidence of neutrinos and gamma rays is observed, AMON systems will once again send out an alert to AMON follow-up partners as well as the astrophysical community through the Gamma-Ray Coordinates Network (GCN). “If the universe is in a generous mood, these observations may lead to discovery of the next multimessenger source,” says Derek Fox, a co-principal investigator of AMON and associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University.

    As shown by the events in 2017, having information from all possible messengers helps researchers obtain a better picture of a variety of astrophysical phenomena. Implementing searches in real time, as with AMON, will advance the field of multimessenger astronomy further and bring us closer to a deeper understanding of the universe.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    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.

    IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration

    Lunar Icecube

    IceCube DeepCore annotated

    IceCube PINGU annotated

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated

    U Wisconsin IceCube Gen2 facility

  • richardmitnick 1:36 pm on August 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "IceCube-Gen2 will open a new window on the universe", , Neutrinos,   

    From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration: “IceCube-Gen2 will open a new window on the universe” 

    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector at the South Pole

    From U Wisconsin IceCube Collaboration

    18 Aug 2020
    Madeleine O’Keefe

    On December 18, 2010, IceCube’s final DOM (digital optical module) was lowered into a hole in the ice at the South Pole. After seven years of construction—and many more years of international collaboration around design and planning—the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was complete. The detector now had 5,160 DOMs on 86 cables (“strings”) frozen into a cubic kilometer of the Antarctic glacier ice, waiting for signals from tiny, ghostlike particles from outer space called neutrinos.

    Since then, IceCube has done exactly what it was built to do: use astrophysical neutrinos to peer into the otherwise indiscernible universe, where light and other particles are obstructed. In the past decade, the IceCube Collaboration has published over 150 papers on astrophysics, neutrino physics, dark matter, glaciology, cosmic ray physics, instrumentation, and much more. Most notably, IceCube detected the first high-energy astrophysical neutrinos in 2013 and led the effort in the first-ever identification of a source of extragalactic neutrinos and high-energy cosmic rays in 2018—a discovery that proved the potential of neutrinos in multimessenger astronomy.


    But to make new physics discoveries and continue to probe the mysteries of the universe, bigger and more sensitive detectors are needed. Enter IceCube-Gen2.

    In a white paper recently submitted to the Journal of Physics G, the international IceCube-Gen2 Collaboration outlines the need for and design of a next-generation extension of IceCube. By adding new optical and radio instruments to the existing detector, IceCube-Gen2 will increase the annual rate of cosmic neutrino observations by an order of magnitude, and its sensitivity to point sources will increase to five times that of IceCube.

    “IceCube-Gen2 will build upon two discoveries by IceCube,” says Albrecht Karle, an IceCube-Gen2 coordinator based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “One is the presence of a large cosmic neutrino flux at high energies; the other is the exceptional clarity of the ice. By optimizing the design, we can scale the detector up by one order of magnitude with very similar instrumentation.”

    Projected to be completed in 2033 with construction costs around $350 million, IceCube-Gen2 is designed to address some of the biggest questions in multimessenger astronomy and neutrino physics.

    U Wisconsin IceCube Gen2 facility

    “Publishing a white paper is an important milestone for every future research project,” says Markus Ackermann, head of the IceCube group at DESY in Zeuthen, Germany. “With this document, we want to share our enthusiasm about the scientific potential of IceCube-Gen2 with the broader scientific community and outline a path toward the realization of this exciting project.”

    IceCube-Gen2’s design is a major endeavor that will entail years of construction. The first step is already underway with the NSF-sponsored IceCube Upgrade, which will add seven strings with new and enhanced optical modules to DeepCore, the center of the IceCube array. The next phase will be to add the rest of the 120 new strings, which will be spaced about 240 meters apart in a sunflower-like pattern around IceCube that is designed to encompass a large volume while avoiding “corridors” through which misleading signals may pass. The new optical modules, which should be able to collect nearly three times as many photons as current IceCube DOMs, will be spaced 16 meters apart on the string, between 1.3 and 2.6 kilometers below the surface, resulting in a total detector volume of nearly eight cubic kilometers.

    Near the surface, IceCube-Gen2 will have a new radio component made up of detector “stations” covering an area of approximately 500 square kilometers. Each station consists of three strings holding radio antennas that will be deployed close to the surface of the ice. This array will detect radio emission generated in the ice by particle showers, allowing scientists to reconstruct the energy of the shower and arrival direction of the neutrino.

    Top view of the envisioned IceCube-Gen2 Neutrino Observatory facility at the South Pole. From left to right: The radio array consisting of 200 stations. IceCube-Gen2 strings in the optical high-energy array, with 120 new strings (shown as orange points) spaced 240 m apart and instrumented with optical modules over a vertical length of 1.25 km. The total instrumented volume in this design is 7.9 times larger than the current IceCube detector array (blue points). On the far right, the layout for the seven IceCube Upgrade strings relative to existing IceCube strings is shown. Credit: IceCube Collaboration

    IceCube-Gen2 is designed to address some of the mysteries that persist in neutrino and multimessenger astronomy. Specifically, the extension will allow us to resolve the high-energy neutrino sky at energies higher than ever before (energies up to EeV, or 10^18 eV), investigate cosmic particle acceleration through multimessenger observations, reveal the sources and propagation of the highest energy particles in the universe, and probe fundamental physics with high-energy neutrinos. These advancements will shape the next era of multimessenger astronomy and revolutionize our understanding of the high-energy universe.

    “Over the past 30 years we have seen the exciting evolution of neutrino observations, from first neutrino detections using early instruments deployed deep in glacial ice sheets to the long-sought discovery of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos with IceCube,” says Darren Grant of Michigan State University, spokesperson for the current IceCube Collaboration. “IceCube-Gen2 represents the timely opportunity to build on existing expertise and technological advances to move from the discovery era to precision neutrino astronomy.”

    The collaboration already knows that IceCube-Gen2 is logistically possible. The construction of IceCube demonstrated the ability to build and deploy instruments on time and on budget in an Antarctic glacier at the South Pole—one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet. While there will be logistics challenges in such a large project, the collaboration is prepared to meet them, always taking into account that South Pole is hosting a multitude of scientific projects with their own logistical needs.

    From a global perspective, IceCube-Gen2 will transform the multimessenger astrophysics landscape; once built, the extended detector will join a network of other large-scale observatories that survey the sky in gamma rays, gravitational waves, and cosmic rays.

    “Neutrinos are but a recent addition to the palette of tools that help us explore the cosmos,” says Olga Botner, head of the IceCube group at Uppsala University in Sweden. “While IceCube opened a new window onto the distant, violent universe, with IceCube-Gen2 we will look further, with more precision and over a larger energy range. IceCube-Gen2 will play an essential role in the era of multimessenger astronomy, paving the way for new, groundbreaking discoveries.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    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.

    IceCube employs more than 5000 detectors lowered on 86 strings into almost 100 holes in the Antarctic ice NSF B. Gudbjartsson, IceCube Collaboration

    Lunar Icecube

    IceCube DeepCore annotated

    IceCube PINGU annotated

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated

    U Wisconsin IceCube Gen2 facility

  • richardmitnick 12:09 pm on August 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Crews install LBNF conveyor system above US-85", , , Neutrinos,   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: “Crews install LBNF conveyor system above US-85” 

    SURF logo

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility

    Homestake Mining Company

    August 3, 2020
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    Crews use a crane to place a segment of the conveyor system on its support bents, above U.S. Highway 85 in Lead, South Dakota. The conveyor will carry rock removed during excavation for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, which will house the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment’s Far Detector underground at Sanford Lab. Photo courtesy KAJV.

    The most publicly visible milestone of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility’s (LBNF) pre-excavation work, a conveyor system, now extends over U.S. Highway 85 in Lead, South Dakota.

    “It’s the most visible, but far from the only work that has been happening over the past year to support the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility,” said Christopher Mossey, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) Deputy Director for the LBNF/DUNE-US Project.

    Installation of the conveyor is one of a series of infrastructure strengthening projects undertaken to prepare the Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) for its role as LBNF’s Far Site. Such projects lay the groundwork for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), the most ambitious particle physics experiment on U.S. soil, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Fermilab.

    “The LBNF project is making wonderful progress sitewide at Sanford Lab, and it’s great to see this visible example of the team’s hard work now safely in place,” said Mike Headley, executive director of Sanford Lab.

    Supporting excavation

    Almost a mile underground, on the 4850 Level of Sanford Lab, massive caverns must be excavated to house DUNE’s Far Detector. This will require the excavation of approximately 800,000 tons of rock, and the conveyor system will be instrumental in the removal of this rock.

    Once excavated, the rock is hoisted up the Ross Shaft, where it will be crushed in the Ross crusher and deposited onto the conveyor system. The first section of the conveyor system will transport rock from the Ross crusher through the tramway, a half-mile tunnel that was used by Homestake Mining Company (Homestake) to transport ore near the end of the twentieth century. The second segment carries the rock from the tramway, down a hill, over the highway and into the Open Cut, an open pit mining area excavated by Homestake in the 1980s.

    This graphic depicts the path excavated rock will take from the 4850 Level to the Open Cut in Lead, SD. Graphic courtesy Fermilab

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    “The conveyor truss across US-85 marks the end of the one-and-three-quarter-mile journey that excavated rock will take as the caverns are excavated to support DUNE,” Mossey said.

    Emulating Lead’s history

    The conveyor structure will seem familiar to those who lived in Lead in the 1980s. In 1986, Homestake built a conveyor over U.S. Highway 85 to carry ore from the Open Cut Crushing Plant to a stockpile and reclamation system near the South Mill. The conveyor transported an estimated 12.37 million tons of crushed ore before it was shut down in 1998, then dismantled in 2001 and 2002.

    Built in 1986, the Homestake Mining Company conveyor transported crushed ore over US-85 for over a decade. Photo courtesy of Steve Mitchell and Mark Zwaschka.

    During the design stage of the contemporary conveyor, LBNF engineers consulted the City of Lead’s Historic Preservation Commission to create a design that was “respectful to the history of Lead,” said Joshua Willhite, Fermilab LBNF Far-Site Conventional Facilities Manager. As a result, the design includes elements that resemble Homestake’s original structure.

    Constructing the conveyor

    Kiewit-Alberici Joint Venture (KAJV), the contractor for the LBNF pre-excavation work, began work on the conveyor system in late 2019. To support the system, crews rehabilitated the tramway, modified the berm of the Open Cut and installed structural support bents, or frames.

    This summer, crews began installing the steel truss structure, which will house the conveyor system. In late July, tourists and locals alike watched from a distance as a 200-foot crane deftly lifted truss segments and placed them atop structural support bents. After a concerted effort to install the truss over the highway, crews are now working to complete the rest of the 4,216-foot conveyor.

    Crews with Kiewit-Alberici Joint Venture (KAJV) work to install the conveyor truss over US-85. Photo courtesy KAJV.

    One step closer to DUNE

    Initial blasting for LBNF-DUNE has already begun underground on the 3650 Level, as crews work to increase ventilation to the 4850 Level worksite. Soon, crews will begin blasting on the 4850 Level.

    “This initial blasting will generate the rock we will use to commission the rock handling system,” Willhite said. “That will further prepare us for the start of the large excavation.”

    During excavation, expected to take three years, workers will blast and drill to remove 800,000 tons of rock to make a home for the gigantic detector and its support systems. During excavation, the conveyor system will run about 10 hours each day, transporting between 1,500 and 2,500 tons of rock daily.

    More than 800,000 tons of rock will be excavated for LBNF/DUNE. The rock will be deposited into the Open Cut, an open pit mining area excavated by Homestake in the 1980s. Photo by Matthew Kapust.

    Safety comes first

    During this project, the safety and health of the crews and community has remained a steadfast priority.

    “In performing this work, it is clear that safety is the number one priority,” Willhite said, noting that KAJV delayed installation of the final over-the-highway conveyor segment to ensure that the crane could be operated safely. “And that’s just one of many examples where KAJV was focused on the safety of their employees and the community.”

    Sanford Lab is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy. Our mission is to advance compelling underground, multidisciplinary research in a safe work environment and to inspire and educate through science, technology, and engineering. Visit Sanford Lab at http://www.SanfordLab.org.

    Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC, a joint partnership between the University of Chicago and the Universities Research Association Inc. Visit Fermilab’s website at http://www.fnal.gov.

    The Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.

    A special thank you to Steven Mitchell and his text Nuggets to Neutrinos, for providing information about and photos of Homestake Mining Company’s conveyance in Lead, South Dakota.

    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.

    LBNL LZ project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA, will replace LUX 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.

    LUX’s mission was to scour the universe for WIMPs, vetoing all other signatures. It would continue to do just that for another three years before it was decommissioned in 2016.

    In the midst of the excitement over first results, the LUX collaboration was already casting its gaze forward. Planning for a next-generation dark matter experiment at Sanford Lab was already under way. Named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), the next-generation experiment would increase the sensitivity of LUX 100 times.

    SLAC physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.
    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”
    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    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.

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


    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF

    The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with GERDA for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.


    CASPAR is a low-energy particle accelerator that allows researchers to study processes that take place inside collapsing stars.

    The scientists are using space in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, to work on a project called the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). CASPAR uses a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. If successful, their findings could help complete our picture of how the elements in our universe are built. “Nuclear astrophysics is about what goes on inside the star, not outside of it,” said Dan Robertson, a Notre Dame assistant research professor of astrophysics working on CASPAR. “It is not observational, but experimental. The idea is to reproduce the stellar environment, to reproduce the reactions within a star.”

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