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  • richardmitnick 2:42 pm on April 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos,   

    From Ethan Siegel: “Why Massive Neutrinos Are The Future Of Physics” 

    Starts with a bang
    Starts with a Bang

    Nov 3, 2015
    Ethan Siegel

    1
    Image credit: Tomasz Barszczak, via http://www.ps.uci.edu/~tomba/sk/tscan/compare_mu_e/.

    They won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, but their legacy’s just beginning.

    “I know all about neutrinos, and my friend here knows about everything else in astrophysics.” -John Bahcall, neutrino scientist

    If you want to describe the Universe we live in today, from a physical point of view, there are only three things you need to understand:

    What different types of particles are allowed to be present within it,
    What the laws are that govern the interactions between all those different particles, and
    What initial conditions the Universe starts off with.

    If you give a scientist all of those things and an arbitrary amount of calculational power, they can reproduce the entirety of the Universe we experience today, limited only by the quantum uncertainty inherent to our experience.

    Universe map Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey
    Universe map Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point, NM, USA
    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point, NM, USA

    In the 1960s, what we generally know as the Standard Model of elementary particles and their interactions came about, describing six quarks, three charged leptons, three massless neutrinos, along with the single photon for the electromagnetic force, the three W-and-Z bosons for the weak force, the eight gluons for the strong nuclear force, and the Higgs boson alongside them, to give mass to the fundamental particles in the Universe.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles , with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.
    The Standard Model of elementary particles , with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    Along with gravity, which is governed by Einstein’s general relativity, this accounts for the full suite of behavior of every individual particle ever directly detected.

    There are some mysteries that we don’t understand right now about the Universe, such as:

    why there’s more matter than antimatter,
    why there’s CP-violation in the weak interactions but not the strong interactions,
    what the nature of dark matter in the Universe is,
    why the fundamental constants and particle masses have the values they do,
    or where dark energy comes from.

    But for the particles that we have, the Standard Model does it all. Or rather, the Standard Model did it all, until we started looking closely at the almost invisible signals coming from the Sun: the neutrinos.

    Sun. Kelvinsong in Wikipedia
    Sun. Kelvinsong in Wikipedia

    The Sun is powered by nuclear fusion, where hydrogen nuclei are fused together at the tremendous temperatures and energies in the Sun’s core into helium. In the process, they emit large amounts of energy in the form of photons, and also energetic neutrinos. For every four protons that you fuse into a helium nucleus — the net result of fusion in the Sun — you produce two neutrinos. More specifically, you produce two anti-electron neutrinos, a very specific flavor of neutrino.

    Yet when we compute how many neutrinos ought to be produced, and we calculate how many we ought to be able to observe on Earth given our current technology, we only see about a third of the expected number: around 34%.

    Borexino Solar Neutrino detector
    INFN/Borexino Solar Neutrino detector, Gran Sasso, Italy

    Throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, most scientists lambasted either the experimental procedures used to detect these neutrinos, or decried the model of the Sun, claiming that something must be wrong. Yet as both theory and experiment improved, these results held up. It was almost like the neutrinos were disappearing, somehow. There was a radical theory proposed, however: that there was some new physics beyond the Standard Model that was at play, giving a tiny but non-zero mass to all the neutrinos, which would allow them to mix together. When they pass through matter and interact — ever so slightly — with it, this mixing enabled one flavor of neutrino (electron, muon or tau) to oscillate into a different one.

    3
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Strait.

    It was only when we gained the capabilities to detect these other flavors of neutrino, at both Super-Kamiokande and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, that we learned that these neutrinos weren’t missing after all, but were transforming from one flavor (the electron-type) into another (the muon or tau type)!

    Super-Kamiokande experiment Japan
    Super-Kamiokande experiment Japan

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

    We now know that all the neutrinos generated are electron (anti)neutrinos, but by time they reach us on Earth, they’re split ⅓, ⅓, ⅓ between the three flavors. Moreover, we’ve measured their masses from these experiments, determining that they’re somewhere between about 1 and a few hundred milli-electron-Volts, or less than one millionth the mass of the next-lightest particle: the electron.

    4
    Image credit: Hitoshi Murayama of http://hitoshi.berkeley.edu/.

    Yes, neutrinos oscillate from one flavor to another, and yes, they have mass. But the real reason it matters is this: for the first time, we have evidence that the particles in the Standard Model — the known, discovered particles in the Universe — have properties that aren’t described by the Standard Model at all!

    There’s more physics out there to be discovered, and this is the first clue of what it might be. So while high energies and the LHC haven’t seen any signs of it, the lowest mass particles show us that there’s more out there than we currently know. And that’s a mystery that’s only expected to deepen the more closely we look.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

    “Starts With A Bang! is a blog/video blog about cosmology, physics, astronomy, and anything else I find interesting enough to write about. I am a firm believer that the highest good in life is learning, and the greatest evil is willful ignorance. The goal of everything on this site is to help inform you about our world, how we came to be here, and to understand how it all works. As I write these pages for you, I hope to not only explain to you what we know, think, and believe, but how we know it, and why we draw the conclusions we do. It is my hope that you find this interesting, informative, and accessible,” says Ethan

     
  • richardmitnick 9:02 pm on April 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos, Rapid City Journal,   

    From Rapid City Journal via SURF: “Neutrino project could bring elevated conveyor over downtown Lead” 

    SURF logo
    Sanford Underground levels

    Sanford Underground Research facility

    4.25.16

    1

    Apr 24, 2016
    Tom Griffith

    2

    LEAD | An experiment now in its infancy nearly a mile underground has the potential to put this former gold mining camp on the map as the home for groundbreaking science that could help unravel the mysteries of the universe.

    Plans for the groundbreaking project solidified some now that Congress is considering mark-ups in President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget, which begins Oct. 1, that include $45 million for start-up of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment at Lead’s Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE
    FNAL LBNF/DUNE
    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF
    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    The project received another dose of Congressional support last week when U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., added a provision to a sweeping energy bill that would create a new Congressional subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council specifically focused on high energy physics projects like those underway in Lead.

    And the project could alter the look of downtown Lead, where a proposal has been made to build an elevated conveyor system across Main Street to carry an estimated 800,000 tons of waste rock from the lab site into the open cut at Homestake Gold Mine.

    While the two acronyms — DUNE and SURF — seem like attractions of a beachfront holiday, they in fact represent man’s most serious attempts to date to understand the origins of our planet. The proposed DUNE project alone involves a collaboration of more than 800 scientists from roughly 150 institutions in 28 countries and with a price-tag estimated at $1 billion to $1.4 billion, about half of which would be spent in the Black Hills.

    That would make it the largest, most expensive project in South Dakota history.

    “I don’t think you could state the importance of the project too strongly,” said Mike Headley, executive director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. “This is an international science mega-project. If you look at the current suite of experiments around the world and those planned in the future, this would be the largest in scale.

    “To draw a parallel, it would include international involvement on the scale of the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, where the Higgs Boson was discovered,” Headley added.

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

    The Sanford Lab, occupying the massive 8,000-foot deep former Homestake Gold Mine which operated for 125 years in Lead, and the SDSTA have spent years planning for the DUNE, to be placed at the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility construction site at the 4,850-foot level.

    Sanford Underground Research Facility Interior
    Sanford Underground levels
    SURF

    In fact, private, state and federal funds are being used to refurbish the Ross Shaft, a $30 million project begun in August 2012, now 70 percent complete, that’s on track for completion in September 2017, Headley explained.

    Reconstruction of the Ross Shaft is critical to making room for the DUNE, which would require contractors to excavate 800 million tons of rock — nearly twice that removed from Mount Rushmore in the 1927-1941 carving of the four presidential portraits.

    All of that rock has to go someplace, so SURF has already reached an easement agreement with Barrick, the Canadian-based owners of the former Homestake Mine and its massive Open Cut, to deposit the excavated rock in the open pit. But, for some, getting it there has become an issue.

    SURF recently requested an easement from the city of Lead allowing it to build an elevated, covered conveyor spanning Main Street near Gold Run Park to transport the rock to its final resting place in the open cut. Representatives of SURF, including Headley, have appeared at the last two Lead City Commission meetings to provide project overviews and answer questions and concerns.

    “I do have a few concerns regarding the decision to construct a conveyor belt across a major highway that is a main thoroughfare for our community,” said Commissioner Denise Parker. Many of those concerns, including potential dust, debris and noise, have been brought to her attention by local residents, she said.

    “While I know that the lab officials are taking every precaution they can think of, there are no guarantees as to the outcomes and as of today, I have seen no memorandum of understanding stating the parameters of liabilities,” Parker noted. “I am deeply concerned that there is no definitive tear-down schedule after the digging and rock moving evolution is completed and there is no longer a need for the conveyor belt.”

    Headley said excavation and onsite construction during the peak of activity in the early 2020s, could bring 180 new workers to the SURF on a daily basis, including construction contractors, scientists and other partners. Those workers would not necessarily be added to the 130 employees the Science Authority currently employs at the SURF, he said.

    Parker said she would welcome new jobs in a town depressed since the closure of the Homestake in 2002, and the potential for the DUNE to put her community on the map of ground-breaking science.

    “When I think that our small community may very well be on the cutting edge of the science of tomorrow, it is almost incomprehensible,” she said. “When one hears of Los Alamos, they think of atomic and hydrogen bombs. I can only wonder what future generations potentially could think of when they hear of the city of Lead, South Dakota; hopefully, something synonymous with peace.”

    Mayor-Elect Ron Everett, contacted last week, said he believed SURF’s plan for a conveyor was preferable to another option SURF explored to remove the tons of rock that could lead to 40,000-60,000 round-trip truck loads to move the rock to another site.

    “There have been some concerns expressed about dust and what (the overhead conveyor) will look like, but I am all in favor of granting the easement,” said Everett, who assumes the mayor’s post May 2. “It’s the safest and most efficient way to move that rock out of the mine.”

    Everett, who recently retired as an executive with mining company Wharf Resources, said he views it as his mission to have Lead capitalize on all of the employment, housing and economic development potential of what the DUNE can bring to the Northern Hills.

    “I think people ought to be very excited about the DUNE project,” he said. “It will be an exciting time for Lead over the next 10 years and we want to capitalize on all the economic benefits that will come with this. We want good paying jobs in Lead.”

    Headley said city officials and others naturally gravitate to the economic development, employment and financial aspects of the DUNE. But, he said local residents shouldn’t discount the educational opportunities that students at schools and universities throughout the South Dakota and the U.S. would experience from the collaboration of scientists and advanced experiments coming to the Black Hills.

    “Folks may not think what could potentially happen here in the next few years in terms of educational opportunities, and the advancement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education for grades K-12,” Headley said.

    “The education of our kids is an area that will be profoundly and positively impacted as this project moves forward. After all, we have the brightest minds on the planet coming here to do their life’s work.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    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. 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 11:46 am on April 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , FNAL ANNIE, Neutrinos   

    From FNAL: “ANNIE finds a home at Fermilab” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    April 20, 2016
    Rashmi Shivni

    FNAL ANNIE
    Carrie McGivern prepares photomultiplier tubes during the ANNIE detector assembly. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    If you’ve passed by the old SciBooNE hall at Fermilab in the last couple of months, you might have heard a bit of commotion. A little experiment with big ambitions just finished moving in this week after a year’s worth of planning and research. The Accelerator Neutrino-Neutron Interaction Experiment, called ANNIE, recently settled down and began taking phase one data on April 15.

    “We want to better understand the nature of neutrino interactions by looking at their effects on an atom’s nucleus,” said Matthew Wetstein, a co-spokesperson for the ANNIE project and a Fermilab visiting scientist from Iowa State University. ANNIE will be the first realization of a new kind of detector in a large neutrino experiment. The technology will help look for particle interactions that are hard to distinguish in other detectors, he said.

    The ANNIE team aims to study phenomena and techniques relevant to neutrino energy and proton decay measurements through the use of a water Cherenkov detector loaded with a chemical element called gadolinium and surrounded by never before used photosensors called large-area picosecond photodetectors (LAPPDs).

    Light travels slower in a medium such as glass, water or other transparent materials than in air or in a vacuum. Sometimes, light travels slow enough in these materials that particles can overtake it. That’s why Cherenkov detectors are common in neutrino experiments. When neutrinos hit atoms in such media, the resulting free-flying electrically charged particles emit their own light, known as Cherenkov radiation, and these detectors record this light, allowing scientists to identify the type of particle and calculate its energy. In ANNIE’s case, neutrinos streaming down the Fermilab Booster Neutrino Beam will strike water molecules in the detector and knock off neutrons. Neutrons are electrically neutral and do not emit Cherenkov radiation, so they need to be detected some other way. After the initial neutrino-nucleus collisions, the gadolinium salts in the water effectively capture the neutrons and subsequently emit photons, which can be detected by photosensors.

    “Neutrons have always been a challenging particle to detect,” Wetstein said. “We hope ANNIE can determine how many neutrons are produced when neutrinos interact.”

    Observing this neutron release is useful because neutrons carry some energy with them that was transferred from the neutrino collision. Physicists believe higher-energy neutrino-nucleus interactions produce a larger number of knocked-off neutrons. To test this, ANNIE physicists will use accelerator-born neutrinos that have an energy level similar to atmospheric neutrinos, which have some of the highest-energy yields. The ANNIE team aims to understand how tagging free-flying neutrons can help them differentiate between a possible proton-decay signal and background noise from the neutrinos.

    1
    The ANNIE detector was lowered into the SciBooNE Building at Fermilab on February 29. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    One of the best ways for the team to determine the effects of neutron tagging is to use the LAPPDs, a photosensor technology that researchers had been developing for nearly five years prior to the 2015 proposal for ANNIE. These sensors are currently in the commercialization phase.

    LAPPDs are based on a technology called microchannel plates, which are tiny arrays with densely packed, tinier tubes that detect light. Conventional photodetectors, for physics research and commercial use, have single-pixel resolutions. In large neutrino experiments, these single-pixel phototubes can detect, for example, only one “blob” of charge coming from three separate photons in a neutrino-nucleus collision. Now with LAPPDs, scientists can read each individual photon, retrace where the photon came from and determine the time the light was emitted roughly 10 times better than previous photodetectors.

    Think of it as tracing photons’ movements at the scale of 50 to 60 trillionths of a second.

    High-precision timing with LAPPDs and accurate neutron tagging with the gadolinium-loaded water detector takes neutrino and proton-decay research to another level.

    Thirty collaborators, including postdoctoral researchers and students, were very active in building and installing the electronics, water systems and photodetection tubes.

    “We’ve done an excellent job of working together and making it happen as quickly as possible,” said Mayly Sanchez, a co-spokesperson for the ANNIE project and an Intensity Frontier fellow at Fermilab.

    Now that the ANNIE detector is in its home in the Fermilab SciBooNE building and taking data, the collaboration is preparing to analyze their results.

    “For phase one, we will be doing some neutrino background measurements for the ultimate physics measurements that we want to do,” Sanchez said. “The physics measurement in phase two will have an impact both in our knowledge of neutrino interactions and as the first application of a new photodetector technology in high-energy physics.”

    Phase one, supported by Fermilab, will continue until the Fermilab accelerator shutdown begins in July. The main physics experimentation and R&D studies will take place during phase two, which awaits funding. ANNIE researchers, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation, will later compare results from both phases to see what the experiment yields.

    “We learned what it takes to get an experiment like ANNIE off the ground at Fermilab,” Wetstein said. “I’m really proud that we got the whole thing from basically a big proposal to a fully designed experiment to turning all of our systems on within a year.”

    ANNIE’s collaborating institutions are Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, Iowa State University, Ohio State University, Queen Mary University of London, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Davis, University of California, Irvine, University of Chicago and University of Sheffield.

    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 4:02 pm on April 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos,   

    From phys.org: “First high-energy neutrino traced to an origin outside of the Milky Way” 

    physdotorg
    phys.org

    1
    a, The Fermi/LAT γ-ray light curve is shown as two-week binned photon fluxes between 100 MeV and 300 GeV (black), the Bayesian blocks light curve (blue), and the HESE-35 time stamp (red line). The HESE period (May 2010 to May 2013) and the included outburst time range are highlighted in colour. Only statistical uncertainties are considered and shown at a 1 sigma confidence level.

    b, VLBI images show the core region at 8.4 GHz from 13 November 2011 (2011.87), 16 September 2012 (2012.71) and 14 March 2013 (2013.20) in uniform colour scale. 1 mas corresponds to about 8.3 pc. All contours start at 3.3 mJy beam−1 and increase logarithmically by factors of 2. The images were convolved with the enclosing beam from all three observations of 2.26 mas × 0.79 mas at a position angle of 9.5°, which is shown in the bottom left. The peak flux density increases from 1.95 Jy beam−1 (April 2011) to 5.62 Jy beam−1 (March 2013). Credit: Nature Physics (2016) doi:10.1038/nphys3715

    An international team of researchers has spotted the first instance of a high-energy neutrino collision from a source outside of the Milky Way, marking what they describe as a significant discovery. In their paper* published in the journal Nature Physics, the team describes their work at the South Pole Neutrino Observatory, the details pertaining to the sighting and why they believe their discovery may lead to a new era in neutrino astrophysics.

    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector
    IceCube neutrino detector interior
    U Wisconsin ICECUBE neutrino detector

    Neutrino’s are massless and have no charge and very seldom interact with other matter—the exception is when they collide head on with another particle. Scientists have been studying neutrinos for several years, believing that they may hold the key to understanding many parts of the universe that remain otherwise hidden from our view. To see evidence of them, researchers fill large underground tanks with different types of fluids and then use extremely sensitive sensors to capture very brief flashes of light which are emitted when a neutrino collides with something in the fluid. The team with this latest effort has taken a different approach, they have placed sensors around a kilometer sized ice cube 2.5 kilometers beneath the surface, in a location near the South Pole. The sensors capture the brief flashes that occur when neutrinos collide with particles in the ice.

    Capturing evidence of collisions does not happen very often, but when it does, it sets off a chain of events that center around trying to ascertain where the neutrino came from—most come from the sun or cosmic rays striking our atmosphere. But back in 2012, the team captured evidence of what they described as the most powerful yet, registering two petavolts. Following that discovery, the team used data from radio telescopes, and in particular data from a galaxy that has been named KS B1424-418—astrophysicists have been studying it for several decades and it had been observed to undergo a change in shape during the time period 2011 to 2014. After much analysis, the team confirmed that the neutrino collision they observed was due to an emission from that very galaxy, making it the first neutrino collision to be traced back to a source outside of the Milky Way.

    Science paper:
    Coincidence of a high-fluence blazar outburst with a PeV-energy neutrino event

    See the full article here .

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    About Phys.org in 100 Words

    Phys.org™ (formerly Physorg.com) is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004, Phys.org’s readership has grown steadily to include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:57 am on April 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos,   

    From Symmetry: “Five fascinating facts about DUNE” 

    Symmetry Mag
    Symmetry

    04/14/16
    Lauren Biron

    One: The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will look for more than just neutrinos.

    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment is a project of superlatives.

    FNAL Dune & LBNF
    FNAL Dune & LBNF

    It will use the world’s most intense neutrino beam and largest neutrino detector to study the weirdest and most abundant matter particles in the universe. More than 800 scientists from close to 30 countries are working on the project to crack some long-unanswered questions in physics. It’s part of a worldwide push to discover the missing pieces that could explain how the known particles and forces created the universe we live in. Here’s a two-minute animation that shows how the project will work:


    Access mp4 video here .

    Here are a few more surprising facts about DUNE you might not know:
    1. Engineers will use a mile-long fishing line to aim the neutrino beam from Illinois to South Dakota.

    DUNE will aim a neutrino beam 800 miles (1300 kilometers) straight through the Earth from Fermilab to the Sanford Underground Research Facility—no tunnel necessary.

    Fermilab Wilson Hall
    Fermilab Wilson Hall

    SURF logo

    Sanford Underground levels
    Sanford Underground levels

    Although the beam spreads as it travels, like a flashlight beam, it’s important to aim the center of the beam as precisely as possible at DUNE so that the maximum number of neutrinos can create a signal. Since neutrinos are electrically neutral, they can’t be steered by magnets after they’ve been created. Hence everything must be properly aligned—to within a fraction of a millimeter—when the neutrinos are made, emerging from the collisions of protons with carbon atoms.

    Properly aligning the neutrino beam means using the Global Positioning System (GPS) to relate Sanford Lab’s underground map to the coordinates of Fermilab’s geographic system, making sure everything speaks the same location language. Part of the process requires mapping points underground to points on the Earth’s surface. To do this, the alignment crew will drop what might be the longest plumb line in the world down the 4850-foot (1.5-kilometer) mineshaft. The current plan is to use very strong fishing line—a mile of it—attached to a heavy weight that is immersed in a barrel of oil to dampen the movement of the pendulum. A laser tracker will record the precise location of the line.

    2. Mining crews will move enough rock for two Empire State Buildings up a 14-by-20-foot shaft.

    To create caverns that are large enough to host the DUNE detectors, miners need to blast and remove more than 800,000 tons of rock from a mile underground. That’s the equivalent of 8 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, a comparison often made by Chris Mossey, project director for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (the name of the facility that will support DUNE). Mossey knows a thing or two about aircraft carriers: He happens to be a retired commander of the US Navy’s Naval Facilities Engineering Council and oversaw the engineering, construction and maintenance services of US Navy facilities. But not everyone is that familiar with aircraft carriers, so alternatively you can impress your friends by saying that crews will move the weight equivalent of 2.2 Empire State Buildings, 80 Eiffel Towers, 4700 blue whales or 18 billion(ish) Twinkies.

    3. The interior of the DUNE detectors will have about the same average temperature as Saturn’s atmosphere.

    Argon, an element that makes up almost one percent of the air we breathe, will be the material of choice to fill the DUNE detectors, albeit in its liquid form. As trillions of neutrinos pass through the transparent argon, a handful will interact with an argon nucleus and produce other particles. Those, in turn, will create light and knock loose electrons. Both can be recorded and turned into data that show exactly when and how a neutrino interacted. To keep the argon liquid, the cryogenics system will have to maintain a temperature of around minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 184 degrees Celsius. That’s slightly colder than the average temperature of the icy ammonia clouds on the upper layer of Saturn’s atmosphere.

    4. The design of DUNE’s detector vessels is inspired by huge transport ships for gas.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF
    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    DUNE’s set of four detectors will be the largest cryogenic instrument ever installed deep underground. You know who else needs to store and cool large volumes of liquid? The gas industry, which liquefies natural gas to transport it around the world using huge ships with powerful refrigerators. DUNE’s massive, insulated vessels will feature a membrane system that is similar to that used by liquid natural gas transport ships. A stainless steel frame sits inside an insulating layer, sandwiched between aluminum sheets. Multiple layers provide the strength to keep the liquid argon right where it should be—interacting with neutrinos.

    5. DUNE will look for more than just neutrinos.

    Then why did they name the experiment after the neutrino? Well, most of the experiment is designed to study neutrinos—how they change as they move through space, how they arrive from exploding stars, how neutrinos differ from their antimatter partners, and how they interact with other matter particles. At the same time, the large size of the DUNE detectors and their shielded location a mile underground also make them the perfect tool to continue the search for signs of proton decay. Some theories predict that protons (one of the building blocks that make up the atoms in your body) have a very long but finite lifetime. Eventually they will decay into other particles, creating a signal that DUNE hopes to discover. Fortunately for our atoms, the proton’s estimated lifespan is much longer than the time our universe has existed so far. Because proton decay is expected to be such a rare event, scientists need to monitor lots of protons to catch one in the act—and seventy thousand tons of argon atoms means around 1034 protons (that’s a 1 with 34 zeroes after it), which isn’t too shabby.

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 4:58 pm on April 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos,   

    From phys.org: “Physicists analyze first electron neutrino data from NOvA Experiment” 

    physdotorg
    phys.org

    April 13, 2016

    1
    This is the telltale track of an electron neutrino in the [FNAL] NOvA Neutrino Experiment’s Far Detector. Credit: Image courtesy of the NOvA collaboration.

    Mayly Sanchez clicked to a presentation slide showing the telltale track of an electron neutrino racing through the 14,000-ton Far Detector of the NOvA Neutrino Experiment.

    FNAL NOvA experiment
    FNAL NOvA experiment

    Since that detector started full operations in November 2014, two analyses of data from the long-distance experiment have made the first experimental observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos. One analysis found 11 such transitions. And, Sanchez wrote on her slide, “All 11 of them are absolutely gorgeous.”

    The 260 members of the NOvA collaboration have just reported the experiment’s initial findings in two papers: One in Physical Review Letters* describes the first appearance of electron neutrinos in the NOvA experiment; another in Physical Review D – Rapid Communications** describes the disappearance of muon neutrinos in the experiment.

    Taken together, the papers offer insights into fundamental neutrino properties such as mass, the way neutrinos change, or oscillate, from one type to another and whether neutrinos are a key to the dominance of matter in the universe.

    Sanchez – an Iowa State associate professor of physics and astronomy who is also an Intensity Frontier Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab near Chicago – is one of the leaders of the NOvA experiment. She serves on the experiment’s executive committee and co-leads the analysis of electron neutrino appearance in the Far Detector.

    The paper about electron neutrino appearance reports two, independent analyses of detector data: One found six cases of the muon neutrinos sent to the Far Detector oscillating into electron neutrinos. The other found 11 oscillations. If there were no oscillations, researchers predicted there would be one electron neutrino observed in the Far Detector.

    Sanchez said the flickering electron neutrino tracks she helped analyze prove the experiment can do what it was designed to do. That’s spotting and measuring neutrinos after they make the 500-mile, 3-millisecond journey from Fermilab to the Far Detector in northern Minnesota. (That detector is huge – 344,000 plastic cells within a structure 200 feet long, 50 feet high and 50 feet wide, making it the world’s largest freestanding plastic structure.)

    “The big news here is we observed electron neutrino appearance,” Sanchez said.

    If the calibrations and parameters had been just a little off, “We might not have seen anything,” she said. “When you design an experiment like this, you hope that nature is kind to you and allows you to do a measurement.”

    In this case, physicists are detecting and measuring mysterious and lightweight neutrinos. They’re subatomic particles that are among the most abundant in the universe but almost never interact with matter. They’re created in nature by the sun, by collapsing stars and by cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere. They’re also created by nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

    There are three types of neutrinos – electron, muon and tau. As they travel at almost the speed of light, they oscillate from one type to another. Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur B. McDonald of Canada won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their contributions to the independent, experimental discoveries of neutrino oscillation.

    The NOvA experiment has three main physics goals: make the first observations of muon neutrinos changing to electron neutrinos, determine the tiny masses of the three neutrino types and look for clues that help explain how matter came to dominate antimatter in the universe.

    At the beginning of the universe, physicists believe there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter. That’s actually a problem because matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they touch.

    But the universe still exists. So something happened to throw off that balance and create a universe full of matter. Could it be that neutrinos decayed asymmetrically and tipped the scales toward matter?

    The NOvA experiment, as it takes more and more neutrino data, could provide some answers.

    Sanchez likes the data she’s seen: “These are absolutely stunning electron neutrino events. We’ve looked at them and they’re textbook perfect – all 11 of them so far.”

    *Science paper
    First measurement of muon-neutrino disappearance in NOvA

    Science team:
    P. Adamson12, C. Ader12, M. Andrews12, N. Anfimov22, I. Anghel1,20, K. Arms27, E. Arrieta-Diaz33, A. Aurisano8, D. S. Ayres1, C. Backhouse6, M. Baird18, B. A. Bambah16, K. Bays6, R. Bernstein12, M. Betancourt27, V. Bhatnagar29, B. Bhuyan14, J. Bian27, K. Biery12, T. Blackburn35, V. Bocean12, D. Bogert12, A. Bolshakova22, M. Bowden12, C. Bower18, D. Broemmelsiek12, C. Bromberg24, G. Brunetti12, X. Bu12, A. Butkevich19, D. Capista12, E. Catano-Mur20, T. R. Chase27, S. Childress12, B. C. Choudhary11, B. Chowdhury31, T. E. Coan33, J. A. B. Coelho39, M. Colo42, J. Cooper12, L. Corwin32, D. Cronin-Hennessy27, A. Cunningham38, G. S. Davies18, J. P. Davies35, M. Del Tutto12, P. F. Derwent12, K. N. Deepthi16, D. Demuth25, S. Desai27, G. Deuerling12, A. Devan42, J. Dey12, R. Dharmapalan1, P. Ding12, S. Dixon12, Z. Djurcic1, E. C. Dukes40, H. Duyang31, R. Ehrlich40, G. J. Feldman15, N. Felt15, E. J. Fenyves38,*, E. Flumerfelt36, S. Foulkes12, M. J. Frank40, W. Freeman12, M. Gabrielyan27, H. R. Gallagher39, M. Gebhard18, T. Ghosh13, W. Gilbert27, A. Giri17, S. Goadhouse40, R. A. Gomes13, L. Goodenough1, M. C. Goodman1, V. Grichine23, N. Grossman12, R. Group40, J. Grudzinski1, V. Guarino1, B. Guo31, A. Habig26, T. Handler36, J. Hartnell35, R. Hatcher12, A. Hatzikoutelis36, K. Heller27, C. Howcroft6, J. Huang37, X. Huang1, J. Hylen12, M. Ishitsuka18, F. Jediny10, C. Jensen12, D. Jensen12, C. Johnson18, H. Jostlein12, G. K. Kafka15, Y. Kamyshkov36, S. M. S. Kasahara27, S. Kasetti16, K. Kephart12, G. Koizumi12, S. Kotelnikov23, I. Kourbanis12, Z. Krahn27, V. Kravtsov33, A. Kreymer12, Ch. Kulenberg22, A. Kumar29, T. Kutnink20, R. Kwarciancy12, J. Kwong27, K. Lang37, A. Lee12, W. M. Lee12, K. Lee5, S. Lein27, J. Liu42, M. Lokajicek2, J. Lozier6, Q. Lu12, P. Lucas12, S. Luchuk19, P. Lukens12, G. Lukhanin12, S. Magill1, K. Maan29, W. A. Mann39, M. L. Marshak27, M. Martens12, J. Martincik10, P. Mason36, K. Matera12, M. Mathis42, V. Matveev19, N. Mayer39, E. McCluskey12, R. Mehdiyev37, H. Merritt18, M. D. Messier18, H. Meyer41, T. Miao12, D. Michael6,*, S. P. Mikheyev19,*, W. H. Miller27, S. R. Mishra31, R. Mohanta16, A. Moren26, L. Mualem6, M. Muether41, S. Mufson18, J. Musser18, H. B. Newman6, J. K. Nelson42, E. Niner18, A. Norman12, J. Nowak27, Y. Oksuzian40, A. Olshevskiy22, J. Oliver15, T. Olson39, J. Paley12, P. Pandey11, A. Para12, R. B. Patterson6, G. Pawloski27, N. Pearson27, D. Perevalov12, D. Pershey6, E. Peterson27, R. Petti31, S. Phan-Budd43, L. Piccoli12, A. Pla-Dalmau12, R. K. Plunkett12, R. Poling27, B. Potukuchi21, F. Psihas18, D. Pushka12, X. Qiu34, N. Raddatz27, A. Radovic42, R. A. Rameika12, R. Ray12, B. Rebel12, R. Rechenmacher12, B. Reed32, R. Reilly12, D. Rocco27, D. Rodkin19, K. Ruddick27, R. Rusack27, V. Ryabov23, K. Sachdev27, S. Sahijpal29, H. Sahoo1, O. Samoylov22, M. C. Sanchez1,20, N. Saoulidou12, P. Schlabach12, J. Schneps39, R. Schroeter15, J. Sepulveda-Quiroz1,20, P. Shanahan12, B. Sherwood27, A. Sheshukov22, J. Singh29, V. Singh4, A. Smith27, D. Smith32, J. Smolik10, N. Solomey41, A. Sotnikov22, A. Sousa8, K. Soustruznik7, Y. Stenkin19, M. Strait27, L. Suter1, R. L. Talaga1, M. C. Tamsett35, S. Tariq12, P. Tas7, R. J. Tesarek12, R. B. Thayyullathil9, K. Thomsen26, X. Tian31, S. C. Tognini13, R. Toner15, J. Trevor6, G. Tzanakos3,*, J. Urheim18, P. Vahle42, L. Valerio12, L. Vinton35, T. Vrba10, A. V. Waldron35, B. Wang33, Z. Wang40, A. Weber28,30, A. Wehmann12, D. Whittington18, N. Wilcer12, R. Wildberger27, D. Wildman12,*, K. Williams12, S. G. Wojcicki34, K. Wood1, M. Xiao12, T. Xin20, N. Yadav14, S. Yang8, S. Zadorozhnyy19, J. Zalesak2, B. Zamorano35, A. Zhao1, J. Zirnstein27, and R. Zwaska12 (NOvA Collaboration)

    Affiliations:
    1Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA
    2Institute of Physics, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 18 221 Prague, Czech Republic
    3Department of Physics, University of Athens, Athens 15771, Greece
    4Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India
    5Physics and Astronomy Department, UCLA, Box 951547, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547, USA
    6California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
    7Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, 11 636, Prague 1, Czech Republic
    8Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA
    9Department of Physics, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi 682 022, India
    10Czech Technical University in Prague, Brehova 7, 11 519 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    11Department of Physics & Astrophysics, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
    12Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, Illinois 60510, USA
    13Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO 74690-900, Brazil
    14Department of Physics, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, India
    15Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
    16School of Physics, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500 046, India
    17Department of Physics, IIT Hyderabad, Hyderabad 502 205, India
    18Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
    19Institute for Nuclear Research of Russian, Academy of Sciences 7a, 60th October Anniversary prospect, Moscow 117312, Russia
    20Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA
    21Department of Physics and Electronics, University of Jammu, Jammu Tawi 180 006, J&K, India
    22Joint Institute for Nuclear Research Joliot-Curie, 6 Dubna, Moscow region 141980, Russia
    23Nuclear Physics Department, Lebedev Physical Institute, Leninsky Prospect 53, 119991 Moscow, Russia
    24Department of Physics & Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
    25Math, Science and Technology Department, University of Minnesota–Crookston, Crookston, Minnesota 56716, USA
    26Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Minnesota–Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota 55812, USA
    27School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
    28Subdepartment of Particle Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH, United Kingdom
    29Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh 106 014, India
    30Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Didcot OX11 0QX, United Kingdom
    31Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA
    32South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701, USA
    33Department of Physics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, USA
    34Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
    35Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, United Kingdom
    36Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, 1408 Circle Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA
    37Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1600, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
    38Physics Department, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, USA
    39Department of Physics and Astonomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA
    40Department of Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
    41Physics Division, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmout Street, Wichita, Kansas 67220, USA
    42Department of Physics, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, USA
    43Department of Physics, Winona State University, P.O. Box 5838, Winona, Minnesota 55987, USA

    *Deceased.

    **Science paper:
    First Measurement of Electron Neutrino Appearance in NOvA

    Science team:
    P. Adamson12, C. Ader12, M. Andrews12, N. Anfimov22, I. Anghel1,20, K. Arms27, E. Arrieta-Diaz33, A. Aurisano8, D. S. Ayres1, C. Backhouse6, M. Baird18, B. A. Bambah16, K. Bays6, R. Bernstein12, M. Betancourt27, V. Bhatnagar29, B. Bhuyan14, J. Bian27, K. Biery12, T. Blackburn35, V. Bocean12, D. Bogert12, A. Bolshakova22, M. Bowden12, C. Bower18, D. Broemmelsiek12, C. Bromberg24, G. Brunetti12, X. Bu12, A. Butkevich19, D. Capista12, E. Catano-Mur20, T. R. Chase27, S. Childress12, B. C. Choudhary11, B. Chowdhury31, T. E. Coan33, J. A. B. Coelho39, M. Colo42, J. Cooper12, L. Corwin32, D. Cronin-Hennessy27, A. Cunningham38, G. S. Davies18, J. P. Davies35, M. Del Tutto12, P. F. Derwent12, K. N. Deepthi16, D. Demuth25, S. Desai27, G. Deuerling12, A. Devan42, J. Dey12, R. Dharmapalan1, P. Ding12, S. Dixon12, Z. Djurcic1, E. C. Dukes40, H. Duyang31, R. Ehrlich40, G. J. Feldman15, N. Felt15, E. J. Fenyves38,*, E. Flumerfelt36, S. Foulkes12, M. J. Frank40, W. Freeman12, M. Gabrielyan27, H. R. Gallagher39, M. Gebhard18, T. Ghosh13, W. Gilbert27, A. Giri17, S. Goadhouse40, R. A. Gomes13, L. Goodenough1, M. C. Goodman1, V. Grichine23, N. Grossman12, R. Group40, J. Grudzinski1, V. Guarino1, B. Guo31, A. Habig26, T. Handler36, J. Hartnell35, R. Hatcher12, A. Hatzikoutelis36, K. Heller27, C. Howcroft6, J. Huang37, X. Huang1, J. Hylen12, M. Ishitsuka18, F. Jediny10, C. Jensen12, D. Jensen12, C. Johnson18, H. Jostlein12, G. K. Kafka15, Y. Kamyshkov36, S. M. S. Kasahara27, S. Kasetti16, K. Kephart12, G. Koizumi12, S. Kotelnikov23, I. Kourbanis12, Z. Krahn27, V. Kravtsov33, A. Kreymer12, Ch. Kulenberg22, A. Kumar29, T. Kutnink20, R. Kwarciancy12, J. Kwong27, K. Lang37, A. Lee12, W. M. Lee12, K. Lee5, S. Lein27, J. Liu42, M. Lokajicek2, J. Lozier6, Q. Lu12, P. Lucas12, S. Luchuk19, P. Lukens12, G. Lukhanin12, S. Magill1, K. Maan29, W. A. Mann39, M. L. Marshak27, M. Martens12, J. Martincik10, P. Mason36, K. Matera12, M. Mathis42, V. Matveev19, N. Mayer39, E. McCluskey12, R. Mehdiyev37, H. Merritt18, M. D. Messier18, H. Meyer41, T. Miao12, D. Michael6,*, S. P. Mikheyev19,*, W. H. Miller27, S. R. Mishra31, R. Mohanta16, A. Moren26, L. Mualem6, M. Muether41, S. Mufson18, J. Musser18, H. B. Newman6, J. K. Nelson42, E. Niner18, A. Norman12, J. Nowak27, Y. Oksuzian40, A. Olshevskiy22, J. Oliver15, T. Olson39, J. Paley12, P. Pandey11, A. Para12, R. B. Patterson6, G. Pawloski27, N. Pearson27, D. Perevalov12, D. Pershey6, E. Peterson27, R. Petti31, S. Phan-Budd43, L. Piccoli12, A. Pla-Dalmau12, R. K. Plunkett12, R. Poling27, B. Potukuchi21, F. Psihas18, D. Pushka12, X. Qiu34, N. Raddatz27, A. Radovic42, R. A. Rameika12, R. Ray12, B. Rebel12, R. Rechenmacher12, B. Reed32, R. Reilly12, D. Rocco27, D. Rodkin19, K. Ruddick27, R. Rusack27, V. Ryabov23, K. Sachdev27, S. Sahijpal29, H. Sahoo1, O. Samoylov22, M. C. Sanchez1,20, N. Saoulidou12, P. Schlabach12, J. Schneps39, R. Schroeter15, J. Sepulveda-Quiroz1,20, P. Shanahan12, B. Sherwood27, A. Sheshukov22, J. Singh29, V. Singh4, A. Smith27, D. Smith32, J. Smolik10, N. Solomey41, A. Sotnikov22, A. Sousa8, K. Soustruznik7, Y. Stenkin19, M. Strait27, L. Suter1, R. L. Talaga1, M. C. Tamsett35, S. Tariq12, P. Tas7, R. J. Tesarek12, R. B. Thayyullathil9, K. Thomsen26, X. Tian31, S. C. Tognini13, R. Toner15, J. Trevor6, G. Tzanakos3,*, J. Urheim18, P. Vahle42, L. Valerio12, L. Vinton35, T. Vrba10, A. V. Waldron35, B. Wang33, Z. Wang40, A. Weber28,30, A. Wehmann12, D. Whittington18, N. Wilcer12, R. Wildberger27, D. Wildman12,*, K. Williams12, S. G. Wojcicki34, K. Wood1, M. Xiao12, T. Xin20, N. Yadav14, S. Yang8, S. Zadorozhnyy19, J. Zalesak2, B. Zamorano35, A. Zhao1, J. Zirnstein27, and R. Zwaska12 (NOvA Collaboration)

    Affiliations:
    1Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA
    2Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
    3Department of Physics, University of Athens, Athens 15771, Greece
    4Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India
    5Physics and Astronomy Department, UCLA, Box 951547, Los Angeles, California 90095-1547, USA
    6California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
    7Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Physics, Prague, Czech Republic
    8Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA
    9Department of Physics, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi 682 022, India
    10Czech Technical University in Prague, Brehova 7, 115 19 Prague 1, Czech Republic
    11Department of Physics & Astrophysics, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India
    12Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, Illinois 60510, USA
    13Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiánia, Goiás 74690-900, Brazil
    14Department of Physics, IIT Guwahati, Guwahati 781 039, India
    15Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
    16School of Physics, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500 046, India
    17Department of Physics, IIT Hyderabad, Hyderabad 502 205, India
    18Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
    19Institute for Nuclear Research of Russian Academy of Sciences, 7a 60th October Anniversary Prospect, Moscow 117312, Russia
    20Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA
    21Department of Physics and Electronics, University of Jammu, Jammu Tawi, 180 006 Jammu & Kashmir, India
    22Joint Institute for Nuclear Research Joliot-Curie, 6 Dubna, Moscow Region 141980, Russia
    23Nuclear Physics Department, Lebedev Physical Institute, Leninsky Prospect 53, 119991 Moscow, Russia
    24Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
    25Math, Science and Technology Department, University of Minnesota—Crookston, Crookston, Minnesota 56716, USA
    26Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota—Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota 55812, USA
    27School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
    28Subdepartment of Particle Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH, United Kingdom
    29Department of Physics, Panjab University, Chandigarh 106 014, India
    30Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Didcot OX11 0QX, United Kingdom
    31Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA
    32South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701, USA
    33Department of Physics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, USA
    34Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
    35Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, United Kingdom
    36Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, 1408 Circle Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA
    37Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1600, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
    38Physics Department, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688, USA
    39Department of Physics and Astonomy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA
    40Department of Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA
    41Physics Division, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmout Street, Wichita, Kansas 67220, USA
    42Department of Physics, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, USA
    43Department of Physics, Winona State University, P.O. Box 5838, Winona, Minnesota 55987, USA

    *Deceased.

    See the full article here .

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    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

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  • richardmitnick 12:58 pm on April 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Neutrinos,   

    From Yale: “The Missing Link in Particle Physics” 

    Yale University bloc

    Yale University

    March 31, 2016 [Just made available in social media]
    Mary Chukwu

    From Yale

    Dark matter? Particle accelerators? Higgs boson? Particle physics has left the public fascinated, and perhaps puzzled, by its potential implications. Current work on an obscure particle called the neutrino may leave even physicists grasping for answers. Researchers at the Yale Wright Laboratory led by professor Karsten Heeger currently design and implement experiments to investigate if neutrinos are a new form of matter. Such a discovery would require a major revision of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

    The Standard Model of elementary particles , with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.
    The Standard Model of elementary particles , with the three generations of matter, gauge bosons in the fourth column, and the Higgs boson in the fifth.

    According to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, neutrinos are neutral, massless elementary particles—matter that cannot be further subdivided. The neutrino can take three forms, the electron, tau, or muon neutrinos, and can only be acted upon by the universal weak force. The Standard Model attempts to explain the interactions in the subatomic world but cannot account for phenomena such as dark matter and dark energy.

    The Wright Lab’s research on neutrinos is groundbreaking because it shows that the assumptions of the Standard Model are even more flawed than previously thought. In 2016, Heeger shared the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for three experiments showing that neutrinos can change their “flavor” as they travel through space. These changes in flavor—from electron to muon neutrinos, for example—are called neutrino oscillations and show that neutrinos have mass.

    “If you weighed all neutrinos in the universe, their combined mass would equal that of the mass of all the visible stars in the sky,” Heeger explained.

    Heeger’s group is involved in several neutrino experiments to determine the nature and mass of the neutrino and to search for the existence of a possible fourth form of neutrino—the sterile neutrino. One of these, Project 8, makes inferences about neutrinos based on electrons emitted from radioactive beta decay.

    U Washington Project 8 Full setup
    U Washington Project 8 Full setup

    Another project called the Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE) studies a special form of nuclear decay called neutrino-less double beta decay and tests if neutrinos are their own antiparticles.

    CUORE experiment UC Berkeley
    CUORE experiment UC Berkeley

    Every particle has a counterpart antiparticle with the same mass but opposite charge; in the chargeless neutrino’s case, a quantum mechanical property called handedness varies instead. Antineutrinos are directly detected from nuclear reactors and indicate the presence of neutrinos. In ordinary double beta decay, two neutrons within a nucleus change into two protons and emit two electrons and two antineutrinos. However, in neutrino-less double beta decay, two neutrons are converted into two protons and two electrons are emitted—no antineutrinos. This is possible only if neutrinos are their own antiparticle.

    The Precision Oscillation and Spectrum Experiment (PROSPECT) investigates neutrinos taken from an active nuclear reactor.

    Yale Precision Oscillation and Spectrum Neutrino Experiment
    Yale Precision Oscillation and Spectrum Neutrino Experiment

    What distinguishes this project is its short baseline, or distance between the neutrino source and detector—10 meters rather than the usual hundreds. The experiment measures the variation in neutrino flavor—the neutrino oscillation—over short distances. Results could provide evidence for the sterile neutrino, which is unaffected by the weak force and thus an entirely new form of matter.

    The discovery of the sterile neutrino would be no less than a “paradigm-shift for the whole [scientific] community,” said Danielle Norcini, a graduate student working on PROSPECT.

    Findings about whether neutrinos are their own antiparticles and whether sterile neutrinos exist could require a revision of the long-standing Standard Model of Particle Physics.

    “If neutrinos are their own antiparticles, then there has to be a new term in the [Standard Model] that describes how particles get their mass…there has to be more than just the Higgs boson. If we discover sterile neutrinos, then there would have to be a whole new class of matter [added to the theory],” Heeger said.

    Aside from its implications in theoretical physics, neutrino research has tangible applications. Beyond the laboratories of experimental physics, advanced forms of neutrino detection would prove valuable to nuclear reactor monitoring. Neutrinos from a reactor core can describe the contents of the reactor, including the type of radioactive fuel used and the type of radioactive decay occurring. Some of the unique advantages of neutrino detection include its harmlessness, as neutrinos do not affect humans physically, as well as the neutrinos’ ability to pass through any barrier unimpeded—no man-made method can hide their presence.

    In addition, neutrinos are integral to the grand scheme of the universe as we know it.

    “Without neutrinos, supernovae wouldn’t happen. Supernovae are important for producing the elements that we are made of,” Heeger said.

    Future Wright Lab research will further the scientific understanding of neutrinos and particle physics with applications that extend into cosmology and astrophysics.

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    Yale postdoctoral researcher Thomas Langford and PROSPECT collaborator Nathaniel Bowden from Livermore National Laboratory with the PROSPECT test detector (metal box on left) performing test measurements at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. Image courtesy of Karsten Heeger.

    See the full article here .

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    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University Campus

    Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, museums, and administrative support offices. Approximately 11,250 students attend Yale.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:37 pm on April 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Neutrinos, ,   

    From FNAL: “Heavy neutrinos: Leave no stone unturned” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    April 8, 2016
    Bo Jayatilaka

    While the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC yielded considerable evidence that the Higgs mechanism is responsible for some particles having mass and others not, it does not help explain why massive particles have the specific masses they do. Over a decade prior to the discovery of the Higgs boson, experiments studying neutrinos produced by the sun and by particle accelerators made the astounding discovery that neutrinos have mass, albeit in incredibly tiny amounts. The question du jour about neutrino masses shifted immediately from “Do neutrinos have mass?” to “Why are neutrino masses what they are?”

    Physicists naturally attack this question from as many angles as possible. A significant focus of the scientific efforts of Fermilab center on studying neutrinos produced by the Fermilab accelerator complex in order to probe this question. An experiment like CMS, designed to measure highly interactive particles, can’t directly detect neutrinos at all and might seem to be left on the sidelines in this quest. However, a popular family of theories suggests that there is an additional family of neutrino linked to the garden-variety neutrinos we know of. This linking mechanism between the known neutrinos and their exotic cousins is known as a “seesaw mechanism,” as it forces one type to become massive when the others become lightweight. Searching for unknown but massive particles is exactly what the CMS detector was designed to do.

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    The CMS experiment has searched for such heavy neutrinos, focusing on the case where the heavy neutrino is of the Majorana type, meaning that it is its own antiparticle. As Don Lincoln explains about one of the first such searches, the production and decay of a heavy Majorana neutrino results in the signature of two leptons (electrons or muons) of the same electric charge along with jets. A more recent search at CMS used the full 8-TeV data set and focused on events in which the same-charged leptons were muons.

    To ensure that no stone remains unturned in the search for heavy Majorana neutrinos, the analysis of 8-TeV data has been updated* to include events with like-charged electron pairs and like-charged pairings of an electron and a muon.-

    Unfortunately, as with the previous searches, no evidence of a heavy neutrino was seen. However, the inclusion of electron and electron-muon pair events allowed CMS physicists to place significantly more stringent limits on the possible masses of heavy Majorana neutrinos. With Run 2 of the LHC under way, you can expect searches for Majorana neutrinos to push into ever higher masses.

    *Search for heavy Majorana neutrinos in e+/- e+/- plus jets and e+/- mu+/- plus jets events in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s) = 8 TeV
    CMS Collaboration

    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 5:44 pm on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos, The sun sets for six months   

    From IceCube: “Week 12 at the Pole” 

    icecube
    IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory

    06 Apr 2016
    Jean DeMerit
    Images by Christian Krueger, IceCube/NSF

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    A mushroom cloud … at the South Pole? What’s going on down there? What’s going on is actually a rising full moon getting distorted by the atmosphere. Pretty cool image. The moon is reflecting a bright sun that officially set last week at the Pole, not to reappear for another six months. But what a gorgeous sunset it was. The image below shows a nice indoor view, where the sharp line of the horizon—bright orange sky contrasted with cold blue ground—extends through a row of windows in the galley.

    Activities? The station held their traditional sunset dinner, which had not only duck but also lobster on the menu. Nice. It was also time to remove the flags from the ceremonial South Pole for the winter. One minute they were there, the next they were gone (almost). Finally, some shenanigans were apparently in order, as shown by winterover Christian posing as if to cut the cables and say good-bye to IceCube as they had just said good-bye to the sun.

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    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 5:56 pm on March 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos   

    From FNAL: “Bonnie Fleming is new deputy chief research officer for neutrino science” 

    FNAL II photo

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

    March 30, 2016
    Leah Hesla

    1
    Bonnie Fleming

    The strategic plan for U.S. particle physics, captured in the 2014 P5 report, strongly recommended the national pursuit of neutrino physics, calling it one of the five science drivers for particle physics research in the United States.

    In recognition of the importance of neutrino science to Fermilab’s mission, Director Nigel Lockyer recently created a new, neutrino-focused directorate-level position: deputy chief research officer overseeing the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment and the Short-Baseline Neutrino Program.

    FNAL Dune & LBNF
    FNAL Dune & LBNF

    FNAL Short-Baseline Near Detector
    FNAL Short-Baseline Near Detector

    On Jan. 1, scientist Bonnie Fleming stepped into the new role.

    Fleming has long been a part of the Fermilab community, having worked on Fermilab experiments since 1997. She is currently co-spokesperson for the MicroBooNE experiment and a professor at Yale University. Previously she served as spokesperson for ArgoNeuT, a neutrino R&D experiment.

    FNAL/Microboone
    FNAL/Microboone

    “We want people to know that Fermilab is the neutrino capital of the world and that our efforts in neutrino physics are truly international,” Fleming said.

    As deputy CRO for the lab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program and DUNE, Fleming will work to gather support for Fermilab neutrino experiments from scientists and decision makers around the world, including the neutrino community, Congress, federal agencies and the public.

    She takes over part of the previous responsibilities of Greg Bock, who was until last year the laboratory’s sole deputy CRO. With the introduction of Fleming’s position, Bock will be able to focus on other important research areas: LHC, muon experiments and projects, and the cosmic frontier. Both work under the supervision of Deputy Director Joe Lykken.

    “I am thrilled about Bonnie moving into this new role,” Lykken said. “We worked closely together on the P5 committee, so I am acutely aware of Bonnie’s broad view of particle physics and commitment to the P5 plan.”

    Only a few months into the new job, Fleming has already helped establish the Neutrino Physics Center, which she co-coordinates with Fermilab scientists Deborah Harris and Stephen Parke. The NPC will enable researchers from around the world to participate in Fermilab’s expanding neutrino program.

    “She is a visionary scientist whose international stature and forward-looking achievements are an inspiration for what we are trying to accomplish more generally with this laboratory,” Lykken said.

    Fleming said that carrying out Fermilab’s mission is as much about forming connections as it is about doing excellent science.

    “I’m excited to represent neutrino science on behalf of the laboratory,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to be part of making it happen.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Fermilab Campus

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

     
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