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  • richardmitnick 3:54 pm on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "To Find Sterile Neutrinos Think Small", , , BeEST experimental program, Neutrinos,   

    From American Physical Society (US) : “To Find Sterile Neutrinos Think Small” 

    AmericanPhysicalSociety

    From American Physical Society (US)

    10.14.21

    Two small-scale experiments may beat the massive machines pursuing evidence of new physics—and could improve cancer treatment.

    Experiments have spotted anomalies hinting at a new type of neutrino, one that would go beyond the standard model of particle physics and perhaps open a portal to the dark sector. But no one has ever directly observed this hypothetical particle.

    1
    The BeEST experimental program, short for “Beryllium Electron-capture with Superconducting Tunnel junctions,” is utilizing complete momentum reconstruction of nuclear electron-capture decay in radioactive beryllium-7 atoms to search for these elusive new “ghost particles.” Credit: Spencer Fretwell, The Colorado School of Mines(US).

    Now a quantum dark matter detector and a proposed particle accelerator dreamt up by machine learning are poised to prove whether the sterile neutrino exists.

    The IsoDAR cyclotron would deliver ten times more beam current than any existing machine, according to the team at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) that designed it.

    2
    A picture of the ion source used by the IsoDAR cyclotron team, which shows the ion beam glowing inside their device. Credit: IsoDAR collaboration.

    Taking up only a small underground footprint, the cyclotron may give definitive signs of sterile neutrinos within five years.

    At the same time, that intense beam could solve a major problem in cancer treatment: producing enough radioactive isotopes for killing cancerous cells and scanning tumors. The beam could produce high quantities of medical isotopes and even let hospitals and smaller laboratories make their own.

    “There is a direct connection between the technology that can be used to understand our universe, and the technology which can be used to save people’s lives,” said Loyd Waites, an MIT PhD candidate who will discuss the plans at the 2021 Fall Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics.

    Of the existing sterile neutrino hunters, one of the most powerful in the world possesses a single detector. The BeEST (pronounced “beast”) may sound like a behemoth, but the experiment uses one quantum sensor to measure nuclear recoils from the “kick” of a neutrino.

    This clean method searches for the mysterious particle without the added hurdle of looking for its interactions with normal matter. Just one month of testing yielded a new benchmark that covers a wide mass range—applicable to much bigger sterile neutrino experiments like “There is a direct connection between the technology that can be used to understand our universe, and the technology which can be used to save people’s lives,” said Loyd Waites, an MIT PhD candidate who will discuss the plans at the 2021 Fall Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics.

    Of the existing sterile neutrino hunters, one of the most powerful in the world possesses a single detector. The BeEST (pronounced “beast”) may sound like a behemoth, but the experiment uses one quantum sensor to measure nuclear recoils from the “kick” of a neutrino.

    This clean method searches for the mysterious particle without the added hurdle of looking for its interactions with normal matter. Just one month of testing yielded a new benchmark that covers a wide mass range—applicable to much bigger sterile neutrino experiments like KATRIN.

    KATRIN experiment aims to measure the mass of the neutrino using a huge device called a spectrometer (interior shown)KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology [Karlsruher Institut für Technologie] (DE)

    The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino KATRIN experiment which is presently being performed at Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe at the KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology [Karlsruher Institut für Technologie] (DE) Campus North site will investigate the most important open issue in neutrino physics.

    “This initial work already excludes the existence of this type of sterile neutrino up to 10 times better than all previous decay experiments,” said Kyle Leach, an associate professor at the Colorado School of Mines, who presents the first round of results (recently reported in Physical Review Letters) at the meeting.

    The BeEST, a collaboration of 30 scientists from 10 institutions in North America and Europe, is also the first project to successfully use beryllium-7, regarded as the ideal atomic nucleus for the sterile neutrino hunt. Next up: scaling the BeEST setup to many more sensors, using new superconducting materials.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    American Physical Society US)
    Physicists are drowning in a flood of research papers in their own fields and coping with an even larger deluge in other areas of physics. How can an active researcher stay informed about the most important developments in physics? Physics highlights a selection of papers from the Physical Review journals. In consultation with expert scientists, the editors choose these papers for their importance and/or intrinsic interest. To highlight these papers, Physics features three kinds of articles: Viewpoints are commentaries written by active researchers, who are asked to explain the results to physicists in other subfields. Focus stories are written by professional science writers in a journalistic style and are intended to be accessible to students and non-experts. Synopses are brief editor-written summaries.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:26 am on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "3 things learned from IceCube's first 10 years", , Neutrinos, ,   

    From The National Science Foundation (US) : “3 things learned from IceCube’s first 10 years” 

    From The National Science Foundation (US)

    October 14, 2021
    Lauren Lipuma

    Neutrinos are tiny, nearly massless elementary particles that rarely interact with normal matter. They were first made during the Big Bang and are continuously produced today by stars, black holes and other cosmic structures. Neutrinos are everywhere – billions pass through a square centimeter of Earth every second – but are difficult to detect and study.

    The largest neutrino observatory in the world, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, consists of thousands of sensors draped through a cubic kilometer of ice at the geographic South Pole. It was built to study cosmic neutrinos – those that come from outside the solar system and are made in powerful cosmic objects like black holes and pulsars.

    Studying neutrinos is important for understanding the makeup of the universe, but IceCube, operated by The University of Wisconsin–Madison (US) and supported by The National Science Foundation (US), was designed to use neutrinos as an astronomical messenger: to tell researchers about the violent, chaotic environments in which they were created.

    In its first decade of operations, the ice-encased detector has given researchers new ways of looking at the cosmos. “Whenever we look at the universe with a new messenger, a particle we hadn’t had the capability to exploit before, we always learn new things,” said Dawn Williams, a physicist at the University of Alabama and member of the IceCube collaboration. The IceCube Observatory was “built to exploit this messenger – to use neutrinos to explore the universe, and we have succeeded … beyond our wildest dreams.”

    Here are three things scientists have learned from IceCube’s first decade of science and a peek at what physicists hope to learn in the future.

    1. High-energy neutrinos are being made outside the solar system.

    One of the first things physicists learned from IceCube is that there is indeed a flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos detectable on Earth. Before IceCube was built, physicists had observed cosmic neutrinos directly only once before, when light and particles from a supernova reached Earth in 1987. Observatories around the world picked up 25 neutrinos from the explosion of a star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small companion galaxy of the Milky Way. But those neutrinos were low in energy. High-energy neutrinos from cosmic accelerators like black holes are much rarer and harder to detect.

    3
    Graphic: Lauren Lipuma

    In 2013, IceCube scientists announced they had detected 28 high-energy neutrinos, which was the first solid evidence for neutrinos coming from cosmic accelerators outside the solar system. These neutrinos were a million times more energetic than those from the 1987 supernova.

    2. Neutrino astronomy is a real thing.

    A few years after discovering a flux of cosmic neutrinos, IceCube accomplished its second major goal: identifying a candidate source of high-energy neutrinos. Physicists knew neutrinos are made in chaotic environments like black holes, but they had never pinpointed a specific object as being a high-energy neutrino “factory.”

    3
    Graphic: Lauren Lipuma.

    In 2017, IceCube scientists picked up a high-energy neutrino they traced to a flaring blazar, a giant elliptical galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its center. Black holes at the center of blazars have twin jets that spew light and elementary particles from their poles.

    That high-energy neutrino triggered IceCube’s automated alert system, which directed telescopes around the world to home in on the area of sky from which the neutrino originated. Several telescopes noticed a flare of gamma rays coming from a blazar about 4 billion light-years away. Astrophysicists concluded that this was the source of both the gamma rays and the high-energy neutrino they observed.

    Physicists then looked at past IceCube observations and found a bigger flux of neutrinos from three years earlier that originated from the same area of the sky – and presumably from the same blazar.

    This discovery was significant not only because it was the first time a high-energy neutrino source had been confirmed, but also because it ushered in the new era of neutrino astronomy: the idea of using neutrinos, rather than light, to study the universe.

    4
    Graphic: Lauren Lipuma.

    “Ten years ago, if I were giving a neutrino astronomy talk, I would have put neutrino astronomy in air quotes,” said Naoko Kurahashi Neilson, a physicist at Drexel University and member of the IceCube collaboration. “Ten years ago, we hadn’t even seen a neutrino from outside our solar system. Now I don’t put air quotes because everybody agrees you can do astronomy with neutrinos.”

    Since then, the IceCube team has identified one more potential cosmic neutrino
    source – the galaxy Messier 77, a starburst galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its center.

    3. IceCube can do fundamental physics.

    Two recent discoveries showed IceCube can help physicists understand the intrinsic properties and behaviors of neutrinos, even though it was not designed to do so. Neutrinos come in three “flavors,” a particle physics term for the species of elementary particles: electron, muon and tau neutrinos. Researchers have so far identified two candidate tau neutrinos.

    Physicists know neutrinos can change their flavor but not fully how or why this happens. IceCube’s observation of the two tau neutrinos means cosmic neutrinos are changing flavor somewhere on their journey across the universe, a process predicted by physics but difficult to observe.

    4
    A simulation of the photon burst detected during the Glashow resonance event. Each photon travels in a straight line until it is deflected by dust or other impurities in the ice surrounding IceCube’s sensors. Photo Credit: Lu Lu, IceCube Collaboration.

    Additionally, researchers detected an electron antineutrino indicative of a Glashow resonance event. This is an extremely rare type of interaction between an electron antineutrino and an atomic electron – a type of particle interaction never observed before. Physicist Sheldon Glashow first theorized the interaction in 1960, but only IceCube’s detection of an electron antineutrino in 2016 proved it happens in reality.

    “It’s incredible that we could actually achieve this,” said Francis Halzen, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and principal investigator of the IceCube collaboration said. “I’m a particle physicist, and this to me is just mind-blowing.

    What’s next for IceCube?

    There are still many unanswered questions about cosmic neutrinos, but scientists suspect some will be answered in the next 10 years.

    5
    The server room at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Photo Credit: Benjamin Eberhardt; ICECUBE/National Science Foundation.

    Halzen hopes IceCube can help physicists understand where cosmic rays – high-energy charged particles that transfer their energy to neutrinos – come from. Unlike neutrinos, cosmic rays are charged, so their paths through the universe are warped by magnetic fields, making it nearly impossible for physicists to know where they came from without other information.

    Kurahashi Neilson hopes researchers can learn more about cosmic particle accelerators and when and how often they spew out neutrinos. “We’re at the tip of an iceberg, right? And we don’t know how big or deep or what shape the iceberg is. We know there are neutrino sources. We’ve maybe seen one or two, so what are the rest? When do they come out? How often? How are they distributed? What does the universe look like in neutrinos?” she said.

    ___________________________________________________________
    U Wisconsin IceCube neutrino observatory


    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 Gen-2 DeepCore PINGU annotated

    IceCube neutrino detector interior.

    IceCube DeepCore annotated.

    IceCube Gen-2 DeepCore PINGU annotated

    DM-Ice II at IceCube annotated.
    ___________________________________________________________

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) (US) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

    We fulfill our mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants — currently about 12,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years — to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the outermost frontiers of knowledge.

    NSF’s goals — discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship — provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization. We like to say that NSF is “where discoveries begin.”

    Many of the discoveries and technological advances have been truly revolutionary. In the past few decades, NSF-funded researchers have won some 236 Nobel Prizes as well as other honors too numerous to list. These pioneers have included the scientists or teams that discovered many of the fundamental particles of matter, analyzed the cosmic microwaves left over from the earliest epoch of the universe, developed carbon-14 dating of ancient artifacts, decoded the genetics of viruses, and created an entirely new state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    NSF also funds equipment that is needed by scientists and engineers but is often too expensive for any one group or researcher to afford. Examples of such major research equipment include giant optical and radio telescopes, Antarctic research sites, high-end computer facilities and ultra-high-speed connections, ships for ocean research, sensitive detectors of very subtle physical phenomena and gravitational wave observatories.

    Another essential element in NSF’s mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-K through graduate school and beyond. The research we fund is thoroughly integrated with education to help ensure that there will always be plenty of skilled people available to work in new and emerging scientific, engineering and technological fields, and plenty of capable teachers to educate the next generation.

    No single factor is more important to the intellectual and economic progress of society, and to the enhanced well-being of its citizens, than the continuous acquisition of new knowledge. NSF is proud to be a major part of that process.

    Specifically, the Foundation’s organic legislation authorizes us to engage in the following activities:

    Initiate and support, through grants and contracts, scientific and engineering research and programs to strengthen scientific and engineering research potential, and education programs at all levels, and appraise the impact of research upon industrial development and the general welfare.
    Award graduate fellowships in the sciences and in engineering.
    Foster the interchange of scientific information among scientists and engineers in the United States and foreign countries.
    Foster and support the development and use of computers and other scientific methods and technologies, primarily for research and education in the sciences.
    Evaluate the status and needs of the various sciences and engineering and take into consideration the results of this evaluation in correlating our research and educational programs with other federal and non-federal programs.
    Provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation and analysis of data on scientific and technical resources in the United States, and provide a source of information for policy formulation by other federal agencies.
    Determine the total amount of federal money received by universities and appropriate organizations for the conduct of scientific and engineering research, including both basic and applied, and construction of facilities where such research is conducted, but excluding development, and report annually thereon to the President and the Congress.
    Initiate and support specific scientific and engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation, national security and the effects of scientific and technological applications upon society.
    Initiate and support scientific and engineering research, including applied research, at academic and other nonprofit institutions and, at the direction of the President, support applied research at other organizations.
    Recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences and engineering. Strengthen research and education innovation in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States.
    Support activities designed to increase the participation of women and minorities and others underrepresented in science and technology.

    At present, NSF has a total workforce of about 2,100 at its Alexandria, VA, headquarters, including approximately 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 450 contract workers and the staff of the NSB office and the Office of the Inspector General.

    NSF is divided into the following seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. Each is headed by an assistant director and each is further subdivided into divisions like materials research, ocean sciences and behavioral and cognitive sciences.

    Within NSF’s Office of the Director, the Office of Integrative Activities also supports research and researchers. Other sections of NSF are devoted to financial management, award processing and monitoring, legal affairs, outreach and other functions. The Office of the Inspector General examines the foundation’s work and reports to the NSB and Congress.

    Each year, NSF supports an average of about 200,000 scientists, engineers, educators and students at universities, laboratories and field sites all over the United States and throughout the world, from Alaska to Alabama to Africa to Antarctica. You could say that NSF support goes “to the ends of the earth” to learn more about the planet and its inhabitants, and to produce fundamental discoveries that further the progress of research and lead to products and services that boost the economy and improve general health and well-being.

    As described in our strategic plan, NSF is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. NSF is tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in a wide range of scientific areas, from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports “high risk, high pay off” ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. And in every case, we ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today’s revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow’s top scientists and engineers.

    Unlike many other federal agencies, NSF does not hire researchers or directly operate our own laboratories or similar facilities. Instead, we support scientists, engineers and educators directly through their own home institutions (typically universities and colleges). Similarly, we fund facilities and equipment such as telescopes, through cooperative agreements with research consortia that have competed successfully for limited-term management contracts.

    NSF’s job is to determine where the frontiers are, identify the leading U.S. pioneers in these fields and provide money and equipment to help them continue. The results can be transformative. For example, years before most people had heard of “nanotechnology,” NSF was supporting scientists and engineers who were learning how to detect, record and manipulate activity at the scale of individual atoms — the nanoscale. Today, scientists are adept at moving atoms around to create devices and materials with properties that are often more useful than those found in nature.

    Dozens of companies are gearing up to produce nanoscale products. NSF is funding the research projects, state-of-the-art facilities and educational opportunities that will teach new skills to the science and engineering students who will make up the nanotechnology workforce of tomorrow.

    At the same time, we are looking for the next frontier.

    NSF’s task of identifying and funding work at the frontiers of science and engineering is not a “top-down” process. NSF operates from the “bottom up,” keeping close track of research around the United States and the world, maintaining constant contact with the research community to identify ever-moving horizons of inquiry, monitoring which areas are most likely to result in spectacular progress and choosing the most promising people to conduct the research.

    NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. We do this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the U.S. The Foundation considers proposals submitted by organizations on behalf of individuals or groups for support in most fields of research. Interdisciplinary proposals also are eligible for consideration. Awardees are chosen from those who send us proposals asking for a specific amount of support for a specific project.

    Proposals may be submitted in response to the various funding opportunities that are announced on the NSF website. These funding opportunities fall into three categories — program descriptions, program announcements and program solicitations — and are the mechanisms NSF uses to generate funding requests. At any time, scientists and engineers are also welcome to send in unsolicited proposals for research and education projects, in any existing or emerging field. The Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) provides guidance on proposal preparation and submission and award management. At present, NSF receives more than 42,000 proposals per year.

    To ensure that proposals are evaluated in a fair, competitive, transparent and in-depth manner, we use a rigorous system of merit review. Nearly every proposal is evaluated by a minimum of three independent reviewers consisting of scientists, engineers and educators who do not work at NSF or for the institution that employs the proposing researchers. NSF selects the reviewers from among the national pool of experts in each field and their evaluations are confidential. On average, approximately 40,000 experts, knowledgeable about the current state of their field, give their time to serve as reviewers each year.

    The reviewer’s job is to decide which projects are of the very highest caliber. NSF’s merit review process, considered by some to be the “gold standard” of scientific review, ensures that many voices are heard and that only the best projects make it to the funding stage. An enormous amount of research, deliberation, thought and discussion goes into award decisions.

    The NSF program officer reviews the proposal and analyzes the input received from the external reviewers. After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the program officer makes an “award” or “decline” recommendation to the division director. Final programmatic approval for a proposal is generally completed at NSF’s division level. A principal investigator (PI) whose proposal for NSF support has been declined will receive information and an explanation of the reason(s) for declination, along with copies of the reviews considered in making the decision. If that explanation does not satisfy the PI, he/she may request additional information from the cognizant NSF program officer or division director.

    If the program officer makes an award recommendation and the division director concurs, the recommendation is submitted to NSF’s Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) for award processing. A DGA officer reviews the recommendation from the program division/office for business, financial and policy implications, and the processing and issuance of a grant or cooperative agreement. DGA generally makes awards to academic institutions within 30 days after the program division/office makes its recommendation.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:22 pm on September 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists assemble final detector of Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program", , , Neutrinos   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “Scientists assemble final detector of Fermilab’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research worldwide.

    September 30, 2021
    Mary Magnuson

    1
    In September, Anne Schukraft looks up to the electrically isolating support hangers that suspend the weight of the cathode and connecting components from above on the Short-Baseline Near Detector. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    With a directive to look for physics beyond the standard model and study the behavior of the universe’s most elusive particles, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Short-Baseline Neutrino Program has a full plate.

    Consisting of three detectors — the Short-Baseline Near Detector, MicroBooNE [below] and ICARUS [below] — the program will expand on Fermilab’s internationally acclaimed neutrino research activities. By studying neutrino properties with these detectors, scientists will learn more about the role these tiny particles play in the universe.

    On the Fermilab campus, the three detectors will sit staggered along a straight line, each probing an intense neutrino beam. SBND, under construction, will be closest to the neutrino beam source, just 110 meters away from the area where protons smash into a target and create a beam of muon neutrinos. MicroBooNE, which began taking data in 2015, sits 360 meters from SBND, and ICARUS, which will begin its physics run this fall, sits 130 meters beyond MicroBooNE.

    Together, these detectors will study neutrino oscillations in unprecedented detail. In this process, a single neutrino can shift between the three known neutrino types as it travels through space. If there is a fourth type of neutrino or if neutrinos behave differently than current theory predicts, scientists expect to find evidence for this new physics in the neutrino oscillation patterns observed by the three detectors.

    When completed, the SBND’s detector will be suspended in a chamber full of liquid argon. When a neutrino enters the chamber and collides with an argon atom, it will send out a spray of charged particles and light, which the detector will record. These signals will provide scientists with the information to reconstruct a precise 3D image of the trajectories of all the particles that emerged from a neutrino-argon collision.

    “You’ll see an image that shows you so much detail, and at such a small scale,” said scientist Anne Schukraft, technical coordinator for the project. “If you compare it to previous generation experiments, it really opens a new world of what you can learn.”

    Getting charged up

    2
    In September, the SBND cathode plane with bottom field cage modules installed in the assembly transport frame. The cathode frame tube structure holds 16 double-sided wavelength-shifting reflective panels, here covered with black plastic to protect from light exposure. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    In battery-powered circuits, electrons flow between the negative and the positive terminals. In SBND, the electrons produced following neutrino collisions will follow the electric field created inside the detector: two anode planes and one negatively charged cathode plane. This is no tiny circuit, however. Each plane measures 5 by 4 meters, and the electric field between the cathode and each anode will be 500 volts per centimeter, with the cathode conducting a whopping 100,000 volts.

    The two anode planes, each made of delicate wires spaced 3 millimeters apart, will cover two opposite-side walls of the cube-shaped detector. They will collect the electrons created by particles emerging from collisions inside the detector, while light sensors behind them will record the photons, or particles of light.

    In the middle of the detector, an upright plane covered with reflective foil will act as the cathode. The assembly team lowered the heavy cathode plane into place in the detector’s steel frame in late July and expects to install the first anode plane in early October. Until installation, each of the light-sensitive layers are kept in a special controlled clean area.

    When fully assembled, the detector will weigh more than 100 tons and be filled with argon kept at minus 190 degrees Celsius. The entire apparatus will sit in a cryostat, made of thick steel and insulation panels that keep everything cold. A complicated piping system will circulate and filter the liquid argon to keep it clean.

    Neutrino scientists, assemble

    Different groups around the world — primarily based in the United States, the U.K., Brazil and Switzerland — built the detector parts and shipped them to Fermilab. But the warehouse-like building where the detector frame is being assembled isn’t the detector’s forever home.

    Once the components are situated in the steel frame, the team will transport the detector several miles across the Fermilab site to the SBND building, where crews are constructing the cryostat and where the detector will actually collect its data. Schukraft estimates SBND will make its data debut in early 2023.

    “The good thing about SBND is that we are building it from scratch,” said Mônica Nunes, a postdoctoral researcher at Syracuse University (US). “So everything that we are learning about this process is going to be really useful for the next generation of neutrino experiments.”

    3
    In September, Will Foreman (IIT) and Vishvas Pandey (U Florida) discuss the installation of light diffusers for the calibration of the photon detection system. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    SBND will complement MicroBooNE and ICARUS as the trio probes for physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular, researchers are searching for the sterile neutrino, a type of neutrino that doesn’t interact with the weak force. Two prior experiments, the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector at Los Alamos National Lab and MiniBooNE at Fermilab, discovered anomalies that hint at the existence of these elusive particles. By measuring how neutrinos oscillate and shift types, the SBN Program aims to confirm or dispute these anomalies and add more evidence for or against the existence of sterile neutrinos.

    “The idea is to rig a detector really close to the source of neutrinos in hopes of catching this kind of neutrino,” said Roberto Acciarri, co-manager of the detector assembly. “Then, we have one far detector and one in the middle, to see if we can see sterile neutrinos when they’re produced and when they’re oscillating away.”

    SBND researchers will also examine with high precision how neutrinos interact with the argon atoms that fill the detector. Because SBND sits so close to the origin of the neutrino beam, it will record more than a million neutrino-argon interactions per year. The physics of these interactions is an important element of future neutrino experiments that will employ liquid-argon detectors, such as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    “It’s great to see progress on almost a daily basis,” said Schukraft. “We’re all eagerly waiting to see this experiment start to take data.”

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    In addition to high-energy collider physics, Fermilab hosts fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MicroBooNE (Micro Booster Neutrino Experiment), NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance) and SeaQuest. Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment). The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year. SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector. In 2017, the ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.
    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.
    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.
    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.
    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.
    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    FNAL Don Lincoln.[/caption]

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 12:43 pm on September 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Neutrinos, ,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) : “New results from NOvA experiment shed more light on neutrinos’ identity-changing behavior” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research worldwide.

    September 29, 2021
    Aaron Mislivec

    Among the known elementary particles in nature, neutrinos are arguably the most mysterious. Proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, neutrinos eluded experimental observation until 1956, as they rarely interact with other particles. To this day physicists continue to learn more about these elusive particles.

    One of the most exciting discoveries about neutrinos is their ability to change from one type of neutrino to another as they travel through space and matter. Physicists study these transitions, called neutrino oscillations, to learn about the properties of neutrinos and what role they may have played in the formation of the universe.

    The latest measurement of neutrino oscillations with the NOvA experiment at Fermilab (US) experiment at the DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) brings us a step closer to understanding the properties and behavior of these identity-changing particles.

    Thus far, physicists have discovered three types, or flavors, of neutrinos, which are the electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino. Neutrino oscillations are the result of each neutrino flavor being a unique mixture of three neutrino masses. The three masses of a neutrino propagate as waves with different wavelengths, which leads to a neutrino becoming a mixture of flavors that changes continuously along the neutrino’s path. This characteristic enables, for example, a muon neutrino created in a particle decay to later interact as an electron neutrino. Antineutrinos, the antiparticles of neutrinos, are also mixtures of the same three neutrino masses and change flavor as well.

    By measuring neutrino oscillations, physicists hope to answer open questions about neutrinos, including the ordering of the neutrino masses and whether neutrinos violate a symmetry called charge parity. The neutrino mass ordering — which neutrino mass is lightest, and which is heaviest? — is an important clue to the origins of neutrino mass. Charge parity symmetry, or CP for short, is a symmetry of nature where particles and antiparticles behave identically. Do neutrinos obey or disobey this symmetry? The discovery of neutrinos’ CP violation would be groundbreaking and could help explain the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.

    NOvA scientists learn about the mass ordering and CP violation by comparing the oscillations of neutrinos in a muon neutrino beam with the oscillations of antineutrinos in a muon antineutrino beam.

    3
    Image of an electron neutrino interaction in the NOvA far detector. Credit: NOvA collaboration.

    A difference, or asymmetry, in the oscillation rates of neutrinos and antineutrinos can result in two ways: from matter effects, where the presence of rock, dirt and other material that the beams encounter affects the oscillation rates of neutrinos and antineutrinos differently, depending on the mass ordering; or from CP violation, which would affect how neutrinos and antineutrinos mix with the neutrino masses. In NOvA, matter effects and CP violation could add up to give a large asymmetry, or they could cancel and give no asymmetry at all.

    The NOvA experiment examines oscillations using the Fermilab particle accelerator complex. The NuMI beamline delivers a straight, high-intensity and high-purity beam of either muon neutrinos or muon antineutrinos for the experiment.

    NOvA scientists measure the rates at which muon neutrinos (or muon antineutrinos) disappear from the beam, and electron neutrinos (or electron antineutrinos) appear in the beam, due to oscillations. To accomplish these measurements, NOvA uses two detectors located along the path of the beam. The near detector [above] is located at Fermilab near the beam source and observes interactions of the neutrinos before they’ve had the chance to oscillate. The far detector [above] is located in northern Minnesota and observes interactions of the neutrinos after they’ve traveled through 810 kilometers of earth and had sufficient time to oscillate.

    The NOvA collaboration now has released the result of its latest measurement of neutrino oscillations. It was obtained using data collected from Feb. 6, 2014, to March 20, 2020, which presents a 50% increase in muon neutrino beam data over NOvA’s previous result. The new result also reflects several improvements in the analysis of the data.

    Based on this new data, NOvA did not observe a significant asymmetry in the rates of electron neutrino and electron antineutrino appearance. In particular, the result disfavors combinations of mass ordering and CP violation that combine to give a large asymmetry, but is consistent with combinations that give a small asymmetry consistent with zero. The collaboration continues to collect data and is working to further improve its measurement of neutrino oscillations. The collaboration so far has collected less than half of the planned data set.

    The NOvA collaboration comprises more than 260 scientists and engineers from 49 institutions in eight countries. With the additional data and further analysis improvements, NOvA will bring physicists closer to understanding the identity-changing behavior of neutrinos.

    See the full article here.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    In addition to high-energy collider physics, Fermilab hosts fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MicroBooNE (Micro Booster Neutrino Experiment), NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance) and SeaQuest. Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment). The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year. SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector. In 2017, the ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.
    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.
    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.
    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.
    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.
    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

    DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)/MINERvA Reidar Hahn.

    FNAL Don Lincoln.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 8:57 am on August 31, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The neutrino puzzle", , , Neutrino oscillation, , , Neutrinos, , Solar Neutrino Problem   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF: “The neutrino puzzle” 

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

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    Homestake Mining, Lead, South Dakota, USA.


    Homestake Mining Company

    August 30, 2021
    Constance Walter

    Researchers continue to piece together information about the ghostly particle.

    Imagine trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle that has no picture for reference, is missing several pieces and, of the pieces you do have, some don’t quite fit together.

    Welcome to the life of a neutrino researcher.

    Vincente Guiseppe began his neutrino journey 15 years ago as a post-doc at DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (US). He worked with germanium detectors and studied radon while a graduate student and followed the scientific community’s progress as the Solar Neutrino Problem was solved. The so-called Solar Neutrino Problem was created when Dr. Ray Davis Jr., who operated a solar neutrino experiment on the 4850 Level of the Homestake Gold Mine, discovered only one-third of the neutrinos that had been theorized. Nearly 30 years after Davis began his search, the problem was solved with the discovery of neutrino oscillation.

    “I began to understand that neutrinos had much more in store for us. That led me to move to neutrino physics and set me up to transition to the Majorana Demonstrator (Majorana) project,” said Guiseppe, who is now a co-spokesperson for Majorana, located nearly a mile underground at SURF, and a senior research staff member at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL).

    Majorana uses germanium crystals in a search for the theorized Majorana particle—a neutrino that is believed to be its own antiparticle. Its discovery could help unravel mysteries about the origins of the universe and would add yet another piece to this baffling neutrino puzzle.

    We caught up with Guiseppe recently to talk about neutrinos—what scientists know (and don’t know), why neutrinos behave so strangely and why scientists keep searching for this ghost-like particle.

    SURF: What are neutrinos?

    Guiseppe: Let’s start with what we know. Of all the known fundamental particles that have mass, neutrinos are the most abundant—only the massless photon, which we see as light, is more abundant. We know their mass is quite small, but not zero—much lighter than their counterparts in the Standard Model of Physics—and we know there are three types and that they can change flavors. They also rarely interact with matter, which makes them difficult to study.

    All of these data points are pieces of that neutrino puzzle. But every piece is important if we want to complete the picture.

    SURF: Why should we care about the neutrino?

    Guiseppe: We care because they are so abundant. It’s almost embarrassing to have something that is so prevalent all around us and to not fully understand it. Think of it this way: You see a forest and the most abundant thing in that forest is a tree. But that’s all you know. You don’t know anything about how a tree operates. You don’t know how it grows, you don’t know why it’s green, you don’t know why it’s alive. It would be embarrassing to not know that. But that’s not the case with trees. Something so abundant as what we see in nature—animal species, trees, plants—we understand them completely, there’s nothing surprising. So, the fact that they are so abundant, and yet we know so little about them, brings a sort of duty to understand them.

    SURF: What intrigues you most about neutrino research?

    Guiseppe: Most? I would say the breadth of research and the big questions that can be answered by a single particle. While similar claims could be made about other particle research, the experimental approach is wide open. We look for neutrinos from nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, the earth, our atmosphere, the sun, from supernovae, and some experiments are only satisfied if we find no neutrinos, as in the case of neutrinoless double-beta decay searches. Neutrino research places detectors in underground caverns, at the South Pole, in the ocean, and even in a van for drive-by neutrino monitoring for nuclear safeguard applications. It’s a diverse field with big and unique questions.

    SURF: What is oscillation?

    Guiseppe: Oscillation is the idea that neutrinos can co-exist in a mixture of types or “flavors.” While they must start out as a particular flavor upon formation, they can evolve into a mixture of other flavors while traveling before falling into one flavor upon interaction with matter or detection. Hence, they are observed to oscillate between flavors from formation to detection.

    SURF: It’s a fundamental idea that a thing can’t become another thing unless acted upon by an outside force or material. How can something spontaneously become something it wasn’t a split second ago? And why are we OK with that?

    Guiseppe: Are people really okay with the idea of neutrinos changing flavors? I think we are, inasmuch as we are really okay with the implications of quantum mechanics? (As an aside, this reminds me of a question I asked my undergraduate quantum mechanics professor. I felt I was doing fine in the class and could work the problems but was worried that I really didn’t understand quantum mechanics. He responded with a slight grin: “Oh, no one really ‘understands’ quantum mechanics.”).

    It is quantum mechanics at work that makes this flavor change possible. Since neutrinos come in three separate flavors and three separate masses (and more importantly, each flavor does not come as a definite mass), they can exist in a quantum mechanical mixture of flavors. The root of your concern stems from the idea of its identify—what does it mean to change this identity?

    The comforting aspect is that neutrinos are not found to change speed, direction, mass, shape, or anything else that would require an outside force or energy in the usual sense. By changing flavor, the neutrino is only changing its personality and the rules by which it should follow at a given time.

    While this bit of personification is probably not comforting, it is only how the neutrino must interact with other particles that changes over time. You could think of the neutrino as being formed as one type, but then realizing it is not forced into that identity. It then remains in an indecisive state while being swayed to one type over another before finally making a decision upon detection or other interaction. In that sense, it is not a spontaneous change, but the result of a well thought-out (or predictable) decision process.

    SURF: What is a Majorana Particle and why is it important?

    Guiseppe: A Majorana particle is one that is indistinguishable from its antimatter partner. This sets it apart from all other particles. With the Majorana Demonstrator, we are looking for this particle in a process called neutrinoless double-beta decay.

    Neutrinoless double-beta decay is a nuclear process whereby two neutrons transform into two protons and electrons (aka, beta particles), but without the emission of two anti-neutrinos. This is in contrast to the two neutrino double-beta decay process where the two anti-neutrinos are emitted; a process that has been observed.

    SURF: Why neutrinoless double-beta decay?

    Guiseppe: Neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments offer the right mix of simplicity, experimental challenges, and the potential for a fascinating discovery. The signature for neutrinoless double-beta decay is simple: a measurement made at a specific energy and at a fixed point in the detector. But it’s a rare occurrence that is easily obscured so reducing all background (interferences) that can partially mimic this signature and foil the measurement is critical. Searching for this decay requires innovative detectors, as well as the ability to control the ubiquitous radiation found in everything around us.

    SURF: After so many years, how do you stay enthusiastic about neutrino research?

    Guiseppe: Its book isn’t finished yet. We have more to learn and more questions to answer—we only need the means to do so. I stay enthused due to the likelihood of some new surprises (or comforting discoveries) that await. Along the way, we can continue to make advances in detector technology and develop new (or cleaner) materials, which inevitably lead to applications outside of physics research. In the end, chasing down neutrino properties and the secrets they may hold remains exciting due to clever ideas that keep the next discovery within reach.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF 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 The U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment Demonstrator experiment (US), 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.

    The LUX Xenon dark matter detector | Sanford Underground Research Facility 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 National Accelerator Laboratory(US) 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 DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    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 Germanium Detector Array (or GERDA) experiment is searching for neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) in Ge-76 at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) 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.”

     
  • richardmitnick 4:18 pm on August 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The search for the sterile neutrino", Clyde Cowan's and Fred Reines' detector eventually picked up enough signals to confirm the existence of neutrinos., Enrico Fermi figured out a complete theory of nuclear beta decay incorporating the new particle which he christened the “neutrino.”, In the 1950s physicists Clyde Cowan and Fred Reines at the DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory (US) designed a detector to catch neutrinos., Neutrinos, Nuclear beta decay, , Pauli bought Baade a case of champagne to celebrate the discovery., Physicist Walter Baade made a bet with Pauli that his undiscoverable particle would one day be found., , Wolfgang Pauli posited that an atom undergoing beta decay actually emitted more than one particle; it was just that the second particle had neither charge nor mass.   

    From Symmetry: “The search for the sterile neutrino” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    08/17/21
    Mary Magnuson

    Back when it was theorized, scientists weren’t sure they would ever detect the neutrino; now they’re searching for a version of the particle that could be even more elusive.

    Neutrinos. Credit: J-PARC T2K Neutrino Experiment.

    In Germany in 1930, a group of scientists held a conference on nuclear physics, and they invited Wolfgang Pauli. The Austrian physicist was known as the originator of the Pauli exclusion principle, work that furthered scientists’ understanding of matter and would eventually earn Pauli a Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Pauli couldn’t attend the German conference; he had a conflict in Zürich. Instead, he sent the attendees a letter that would turn out to be one of the more significant correspondences in physics history. In it, he predicted the existence of what would eventually be known as the neutrino.

    Scientists have since discovered and studied the properties of the theoretical particle. But big questions remain, including whether an undiscovered type of neutrino could be hiding from researchers’ detectors.

    An undetectable particle

    In his letter to the conference attendees, Pauli detailed ideas he’d had about beta decay, a process that had been troubling the nuclear physicists.

    In beta decay, an unstable atom releases energy in the form of a particle (called a beta particle). Scientists studying beta decay found that the energy of the beta particle was not enough to account for the total energy the decaying atom lost.

    Pauli had an idea about where the missing energy could be. He posited that an atom undergoing beta decay actually emitted more than one particle; it was just that the second particle had neither charge nor mass and was therefore undetectable by the technology of the day.

    That was the problem, though. If the particle were undetectable, there would be no way to test whether Pauli’s theory was correct. Pauli lamented that proposing the existence of an undetectable particle was “something no theorist should ever do” and kept the letter informal rather than write an official paper about an idea he was too uncomfortable to fully claim.

    But the idea of an energy-carrying “ghost particle” resonated with many researchers, including Enrico Fermi. A few years later, Fermi figured out a complete theory of nuclear beta decay incorporating the new particle, which he christened the “neutrino.” Fermi theorized that the neutrino interacted through an unknown force, now known as the weak force, which interacts only at extremely short range.

    Not all scientists were as pessimistic as Pauli about detecting the neutrino. Physicist Walter Baade even made a bet with Pauli that his undiscoverable particle would one day be found.

    In the 1950s physicists Clyde Cowan and Fred Reines at the DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (US) designed a detector to catch neutrinos. It would detect the particles passing through and occasionally interacting via the weak force. To ensure they’d nab a few, they planned to set up their device near the most extreme collection of unstable atoms undergoing beta decay that they could create: a nuclear blast.

    Aside from the technical challenges it would take to study a nuclear explosion, it turned out that a nuclear bomb would also produce a lot of background radiation that would make it difficult to isolate the signals from the neutrinos. So Cowan and Reines changed their plans. Instead, they set up their detector in South Carolina next to a nuclear reactor.

    While the reactor produced neutrinos much more slowly than a bomb, the detector eventually picked up enough signals to confirm the existence of neutrinos. Pauli bought Baade a case of champagne to celebrate the discovery.

    More than meets the eye

    Scientists had detected the undetectable particle. But there was a lot left to learn about it.

    In the 1960s, astrophysicists Raymond Davis and John Bahcall measured neutrinos coming from the sun with an experiment installed in Homestake Gold Mine in South Dakota. They detected only a third as many of the particles as they expected.

    In the ’90s, researchers at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada and the Super-K experiment in Japan determined the cause of the missing neutrinos.

    The neutrino could “oscillate,” or shift between the three different types or “flavors”: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos. Oscillation implies mass, so the discovery also let them know that neutrinos were not massless like they had thought.

    Scientists had worked out theories about how neutrinos should oscillate, but those theories were put to the test in an experiment at Los Alamos called the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector.

    LSND studied a beam of neutrinos—specifically, muon antineutrinos—to see how many of them oscillated to a different type over a short distance. Its results indicated more of them than anticipated had transformed into electron antineutrinos.

    Scientists wondered: Could this elevated number of oscillations point to the influence of an even more elusive ghost particle? One that did not even interact through the weak force? Was it time to bet another case of champagne?

    In 2002, a similar experiment at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), named after Enrico Fermi, followed up. The MiniBooNE experiment operated at a different energy level and used a different experimental methodology than LSND; it recorded an excess in electron neutrinos as well.

    The results could possibly be accounted for if neutrinos were oscillating in strange ways—say, to more than three flavors. Because it would interact even less strongly with matter, scientists called the hypothetical missing neutrino flavor a “sterile” neutrino.

    There doesn’t have to be just one type of sterile neutrino, says Harvard University (US) physicist Carlos Argüelles-Delgado. In the Standard Model of physics, for example, many particles and phenomena come in sets of three; maybe the sterile neutrinos do, too.

    3
    The incredible number of neutrino experiments.

    Conflicting anomalies

    Argüelles-Delgado works on the University of Wisconsin IceCube (US) Neutrino Observatory experiment. Based in Antarctica, IceCube looks at neutrinos emitted from the sun or other astronomical phenomena, such as supernovae.

    Although sterile neutrinos aren’t its focus, IceCube is one of several experiments offering input into the current search. So far IceCube has mostly just tightened constraints around what sterile neutrinos could be, Argüelles-Delgado says.

    “IceCube has not found any conclusive evidence of oscillations that are compatible with MiniBooNE,” he says. “And we have found no conclusive evidence for a sterile neutrino. However, we have found hints of sterile neutrinos… We have found something that hints towards the right direction.”

    Another experiment that has provided valuable information to the search is DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) MINOS, which from 2005 to 2012 studied a beam of neutrinos produced at Fermilab, sampling the particles both close to the origin of the beam and far from it in a mine in Minnesota. The experiment did not find anything that might suggest the existence of sterile neutrinos.

    With LSND and MiniBooNE seeing different results than IceCube and MINOS, Fermilab particle physicist Pedro Machado says it’s nearly impossible to find cohesive evidence for sterile neutrinos.

    Also contributing to the conversation are a group of experiments that harken back to the first detection of neutrinos: reactor experiments such as Daya Bay in China, Double Chooz in France and RENO in Korea.

    To date, they haven’t found any reliable evidence to back up MiniBooNE or LSND, says Virginia Tech physicist Patrick Huber. But they have been involved in their own conflict between theory and experiment. In 2011, a group of theorists recalculated the expected number of electron antineutrinos that reactor experiments should have seen. They found that their prediction did not match the experimental measurement.

    Since the discovery of the possible anomaly, researchers at Daya Bay, as well as theorists and other experimentalists, have continued working on their models and studying the decay processes that produce these antineutrinos.

    Experiments on the horizon

    All of these different experiments offer input into the question of sterile neutrinos, but they offer it at different angles—using different methods and examining different sources of neutrinos. In the near future, scientists may get answers from experiments that try to match the perspectives of the original instigators of the sterile neutrino debate.

    At the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex, an experiment called JSNS^2 plans to check the LSND observation. “We aim to confirm or defeat the existence of a sterile neutrino with the same experiment as LSND,” says Takasumi Maruyama, a J-PARC researcher on JSNS^2. “There are lots of experiments, but we have to understand what’s going on with the same neutrino source and same neutrino interaction.

    “So 20 years after the LSND results, I think it’s a nice time to follow up on the LSND experiment.”

    At Fermilab, an experiment called MicroBooNE aims to reproduce MiniBooNE’s measurements in more detail. Researchers expect initial results later this year.

    MicroBooNE also is a part of a larger experiment involving a series of three detectors known as the Short Baseline Neutrino Program at Fermilab.

    The three detectors will paint a detailed picture of neutrino behavior by examining oscillations at three different distances from the source of a neutrino beam. The ICARUS detector, which is the farthest from the source, will start collecting physics data this fall. Construction of the Short Baseline Neutrino Detector, which is the closest to the source, is underway.

    Huber says he imagines sterile neutrinos will remain hidden, possibly until even more precise, future detectors can be designed and built. It could be that they will never be found, either because they don’t exist or because Pauli’s predicted particle has an undetectable side to it after all.

    Argüelles-Delgado says that, whether or not upcoming experiments are able to find sterile neutrinos, science will benefit from the search.

    “In particle physics when there are hints, you have to pursue those hints,” he says, “because some hints will end up being challenges that just enable you to improve your detector technology and techniques—and other hints will do that and also let you discover new physics. So you always win.”

    See the full article here .


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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 10:59 am on August 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How particle detectors capture matter’s hidden and beautiful reality", , , , , Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US)., , , , Neutrinos, , , , W and Z bosons   

    From “Science News (US) : “How particle detectors capture matter’s hidden and beautiful reality” 

    From “Science News (US)

    8.5.21
    Emily Conover

    1
    Subatomic particles become visible as graceful arcs and whorls in bubble chambers (this image from 1978) and other detectors. Credit: DOE (US) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    At every moment, subatomic particles stream in unfathomable numbers through your body. Each second, about 100 billion neutrinos from the sun pass through your thumbnail, and you’re bathed in a rain of muons, birthed in Earth’s atmosphere. Even humble bananas emit positrons, the electron’s antimatter counterpart. A whole universe of particles exists, and we are mostly oblivious, largely because these particles are invisible.

    When I first learned, as a teenager, that this untold world of particles existed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And when I thought about it, I could barely breathe. I was, to steal a metaphor from writer David Foster Wallace, a fish who has only just noticed she’s swimming in water. The revelation that we’re stewing in a particle soup is why I went on to study physics, and eventually, to write about it.

    To truly fathom matter at its most fundamental level, people must be able to visualize this hidden world. That’s where particle detectors come in. They spot traces of the universe’s most minuscule constituents, making these intangible concepts real. What’s more, particle detectors reveal beauty: Particles leave behind graceful spirals of bubbles, flashes of light and crisp lines of sparks.

    3
    Tracks from bubble chambers and cloud chambers typically had to be inspected by eye. In this June 1984 image, Renee Jones, a bubble chamber scanner working at Fermilab, measures the details of the tracks, including length and curvature.Credit: David Parker/Science Source(US).

    As a physics student, I spent hours examining these stunning pictures in my textbooks. I went on to build particle detectors in graduate school, and to make my own images of particles wending their way through our world.

    As a particle moves through a material, it drops bread crumbs that can give away its path. Those bread crumbs come in a variety of forms: light, heat or electric charge. “Basically, every particle detector that exists is looking for one or more of those three things,” says particle physicist Jennifer Raaf of Fermilab in Batavia, Ill. Particle detectors translate the bread crumbs into signals that can be recorded and analyzed. Such signals helped reveal the physics of the standard model, a crowning achievement of science that describes the particles and forces of nature. They’re also likely to be key in the discovery of physics beyond the standard model.

    As time has passed, technologies for detecting particles have vastly improved. Here are a few types of detectors that have made the invisible visible.

    Through a cloud

    One of the first ways scientists visualized particle tracks was with cloud chambers. Developed more than a century ago, cloud chambers are filled with a gas — often a vapor of alcohol — on the verge of condensing into liquid. When a charged particle passes through the chamber, it strips electrons from the air within, creating an electric charge that initiates condensation. A wispy line forms along the particle’s path, like a miniature contrail.

    3
    A particle track in a cloud chamber in the early 1930s was the first evidence of a positron, a positively charged particle with the mass of an electron. In 1928, Paul Dirac published a paper proposing that electrons can have both a positive and negative charge. This paper introduced the Dirac equation. The track is curved due to a magnetic field that surrounded the chamber. Credit: C. D. Anderson, courtesy of Emilio Segrè Visual Archives | American Institute of Physics (US)

    Scientists often surround cloud chambers and other detectors with a strong magnetic field, which bends particles’ paths into curves or spirals. Negatively charged particles curve in one direction, positive particles go the opposite way. Other details further characterize the particle: The amount of curvature indicates a particle’s momentum, for example.

    Cloud chambers revealed a variety of previously unknown particles, including the positron and the muon, a heavy cousin of the electron, in the 1930s. These particles were mostly unexpected. At the time, physicists were barely coming to grips with the fact that particles besides electrons and protons existed.

    5
    In this 1948 image, physicist Clifford Butler (center) is adjusting the instruments on a cloud chamber intended to track particles in cosmic rays. These showers of particles are produced when a high-energy particle from space slams into Earth’s atmosphere. Credit: Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    Bubble trails

    The 1950s were all about bubble chambers.

    When charged particles pass through liquid in a bubble chamber, they leave tiny vapor bubbles, like iridescent orbs trailing a soap bubble wand. Although the chambers are typically filled with liquid hydrogen, a variety of liquids can be used; one early prototype even used beer. Bubble chambers could be made bigger than cloud chambers, and produced sharper tracks, making it possible to observe more particles in more detail.

    6
    A subatomic particle called a kaon decays into other particles that leave distinct spirals in this bubble chamber image from the 1970s. Credit: European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN].

    In the same decade, particle accelerators came to the fore. These accelerators produce energetic beams of particles that scientists can crash into other particles or into targets. Those collisions whip up a flurry of new particles. Scientists sent those beams into bubble chambers to watch what happened.

    7
    The Big European Bubble Chamber, pictured during installation of the vessel, started up at CERN near Geneva in 1973.Credit: CERN.

    The resulting images were not only scientifically illuminating, they were stunning: If Raaf were going to get a tattoo, she says, it might be a bubble chamber image. I’ve so far resisted the temptation to get ink.

    Going digital

    Cloud chambers and bubble chambers had a drawback. Tracks were typically recorded with photographs, and each had to be inspected by eye for anything of interest. That process was too slow; it held physicists back from discovering the particles that might show up in only one or two out of myriad photographs, if that. To find the rarest of particles, “you can’t really be looking at pictures. You want to have that information digitized in a smart way,” says Sam Zeller, a particle physicist at Fermilab.

    8
    In the UA1 detector at CERN near Geneva, high-voltage wires recorded the electric charge produced when incoming particles dislodged electrons from atoms in a gas-filled chamber. In this computer display, a proton and antiproton have collided and annihilated, producing new particles that traced out paths throughout the detector.Credit: Peter I.P. Kalmus, UA1 Experiment/Science Source.

    Enter the multiwire proportional chamber. Invented in 1968, this technology relies on a fine array of high-voltage wires, which record charge produced when incoming particles dislodge electrons from atoms in a gas-filled chamber. This technique could capture millions of particle tracks per second, much more than bubble chambers could achieve. And the data went directly to a computer for analysis. Multiwire proportional chambers and their descendants revolutionized particle physics, and led to discoveries of particles such as the charm quark and the gluon in the 1970s, and the W and Z bosons in the 1980s.

    9
    CERN’s UA1 detector was active from 1981 until 1990; its most notable discoveries were the W and Z bosons, together with the UA2 experiment. This image shows a section of the experiment, strung with many fine wires, on display at the CERN museum. Credit: Mark Williamson/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    Some of the most advanced modern detectors trace their lineage back to multiwire proportional chambers, such as liquid argon time projection chambers. These detectors are high-resolution, meaning that researchers can zoom in on the details of an interaction and visualize it in 3-D. Liquid argon time projection chambers will be key to one of the biggest upcoming particle physics experiments in the United States, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory DUNE/LBNF experiment (US) in South Dakota. Because neutrinos very rarely interact with matter, the experiment demands such advanced detection techniques.

    Shining a light

    Scientists have also devised methods to detect particles via light. When a particle moves above a certain speed limit for a given material, it emits light, known as Čerenkov light. It’s analogous to an airplane passing the sound-speed barrier and creating a sonic boom. Charged particles can also emit light when passing through materials laced with certain chemicals, called scintillators.

    10
    The NOvA experiment at Fermilab (US) uses tubes of liquid scintillator to spot neutrinos interacting inside the detector. In this image of data from the detector, a neutrino, which enters from the left, produces a spurt of charged particles. The neutrino is not visible, due to its lack of electric charge. Credit: NOvA/Fermilab.

    To spot the small amounts of light left behind by individual particles, scientists use photomultiplier tubes, originally invented in the 1930s, which convert light into electrical signals. These tubes could be used to pick up either Čerenkov light or scintillator light.

    Scintillator detectors began to prove their worth in 1956 when a tank of liquid scintillator was used to discover the neutrino — once thought to be entirely undetectable. Liquid scintillator detectors are still common — used in the NOvA neutrino experiment at Fermilab, for example — as are detectors made of solid plastic strips with scintillator mixed in.

    11
    The NOvA neutrino experiment at Fermilab uses two detectors, this one located in Minnesota, made up of hundreds of thousands of PVC tubes filled with liquid scintillator. Credit: Justinvasel/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    Putting it all together

    The Tevatron was a circular particle accelerator (active until 2011) in the United States, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (also known as Fermilab), east of Batavia, Illinois, and is the second highest energy particle collider ever built, after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland. The Tevatron was a synchrotron that accelerated protons and antiprotons in a 6.28 km (3.90 mi) ring to energies of up to 1 TeV, hence its name. The Tevatron was completed in 1983 at a cost of $120 million and significant upgrade investments were made during its active years of 1983–2011.

    The main achievement of the Tevatron was the discovery in 1995 of the top quark—the last fundamental fermion predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. On July 2, 2012, scientists of the CDF and DØ collider experiment teams at Fermilab announced the findings from the analysis of around 500 trillion collisions produced from the Tevatron collider since 2001, and found that the existence of the suspected Higgs boson was highly likely with a confidence of 99.8%, later improved to over 99.9%.

    The Tevatron ceased operations on 30 September 2011, due to budget cuts and because of the completion of the LHC, which began operations in early 2010 and is far more powerful (planned energies were two 7 TeV beams at the LHC compared to 1 TeV at the Tevatron). The main ring of the Tevatron will probably be reused in future experiments, and its components may be transferred to other particle accelerators.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Modern detectors at the world’s major particle colliders, like the detectors at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, throw in a bit of everything. “It’s this onion of different types of detectors; every layer is a different thing,” Raaf says.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    LHC

    LHC

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS

    ALICE

    CERN CMS

    LHCb


    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Standing multiple stories tall, these massive machines include an assortment of technologies — plastic scintillator detectors, Cherenkov detectors, descendants of multiwire proportional chambers. They also typically include detectors made from silicon that can precisely measure particle tracks based on small electric currents produced when particle pass through. These detectors all work in concert within a very strong magnet. After particles collide at the center of the detector, computers crunch the data from all the parts and reconstruct what happened in the collision, tracing out the paths the particles took.

    No matter the technique, the mesmerizing subatomic hieroglyphs allow physicists to decipher the native language of matter, unveiling its constituents and the forces by which they communicate. “It’s pretty amazing that you can see the invisible,” says Zeller.

    See the full article here .


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  • richardmitnick 1:28 pm on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Drilling for neutrinos", , , , Neutrinos,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US): “Drilling for neutrinos” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US), an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research worldwide.

    August 4, 2021
    Mary Magnuson

    Nearly a mile belowground in South Dakota, there’s a flurry of activity. Three shifts of 30 construction workers labor around the clock, carving out subterranean space for science. It’s a huge effort centered around one of the tiniest things in nature: the neutrino.

    1
    Drilling the ventilation shaft. Fermilab’s Syd Devries (left) and James Rickard stand with the reamer. Photo: Andrew Hardy, Thyssen Mining.

    Neutrinos are fascinating particles. Trillions of them pass through you every second without a trace. They’re produced by almost everything: Earth, the sun, supernovae, bananas and people, to name a few. These bizarre building blocks could hold the key to understanding why matter exists in the universe, rather than antimatter — or nothing at all.

    To better study these elusive particles, an international collaboration of more than 1,000 scientists are building the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Researchers will study a beam of neutrinos as it leaves Fermilab in Illinois and again when it reaches the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

    The particles will travel 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) straight through the earth to go from lab to lab — no tunnel needed.

    Space for four jumbo jets

    The DUNE detector in South Dakota will be the largest neutrino detector of its kind ever made. Each of the four detector modules will hold 17,000 tons of liquid argon, in which neutrinos will interact and leave their signature traces.

    Making space for these massive instruments and their support equipment is part of the work to create the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. It will require moving roughly 800,000 tons of rock, creating caverns big enough to hold the bodies of four jumbo jets.

    Thyssen Mining, the company carrying out the excavation, is one of two major contractors that are supporting the excavation phase of work.

    “It’s our first federal contract. We were interested in it because we do large-cavern excavation in hard rock, so we are well qualified for it,” Andrew Hardy of Thyssen Mining said. “It’s very exciting for us to be part of this massive team that will contribute towards the success of this project. We’re part of a great on-site team.”

    Before large-cavern excavation can begin, there is some prep work to do. The first step is widening existing underground tunnels, called drifts, and creating a quarter-mile-long vertical ventilation shaft. The opening will improve the flow of air needed for excavation a mile underground at the 4,850-foot level, where the main construction work will take place. The excavation of the main caverns will begin this fall.

    3
    On June 30, the drill head breaks through the roof at the 4,850-foot level to complete the pilot hole for the raise-bore ventilation. Photo: Fermilab.

    Excavating with precision

    To create the shaft, Thyssen is using a technique called “raise-bore drilling.” In June, construction workers drilled a 1,200-foot-long pilot hole about a foot in diameter from the 3,650-foot level down to the 4,850-foot level. The drill bit used sensors called inclinometers to detect any deviation from vertical, sending real-time data to a computer that issued corrections to the steering mechanism. The pilot hole was completed on June 30, with the drill emerging mere inches from its target in the cavern at the 4,850-foot level.

    With the pilot hole complete, workers at the 4,850-foot level replaced the drill bit with a large reamer. This circular tool is about 12 feet wide and spins as the construction crew pulls it up through the ceiling, chewing out rock as it goes. The debris falls down to the 4,850-foot level, where it is scooped up, transported to the Ross Shaft and taken for a mile-long ride to the surface. A conveyor system then brings the rock another three-quarters of a mile to a former open-pit mining site called the Open Cut. Crews expect to complete the ventilation shaft in the fall.

    The raise-bore technique “is probably the best method to build circular shafts,” said James Rickard, the Fermilab resident engineer managing the excavation. “And it’s very good for hard rock,” the type present at the facility.

    Along with excavation of the main caverns, crews will also enlarge some of the drifts and the area around the Ross Shaft to create more space for transporting the DUNE equipment. For this excavation as well as the eventual excavation of the main caverns, the teams will switch to the “drill and blast” technique, using explosive charges placed in small holes.

    Working underground isn’t always easy, but the crews are highly trained and work with state-of-the-art equipment.

    “It can be dark; it can be dirty; it can get hot,” Rickard said. “But it’s a way of life that these workers are used to. And we have everything modern — we’ve got modern equipment and good ventilation.”

    Driven by science

    When the space is ready, researchers will begin bringing all of the components needed for the massive experiment underground and assembling the detector, like a ship in a bottle.

    DUNE will address three major science goals: determine why matter exists in the universe; watch for neutrinos from a supernova in our galaxy; and look for unexpected subatomic processes, such as proton decay, a phenomenon that has never been observed before.

    Fermilab’s Elaine McCluskey, the project manager for LBNF/DUNE-US, said while the excavation process may take years, keeping the future science goals in mind helps her stay excited.

    “It feels like we’re actually accomplishing the goal that we all want to get to, which is to enable the scientists to take data,” McCluskey said. “Neutrinos will help us understand more about our universe and ourselves. People want to know why we’re here, why we exist. DUNE will bring us closer to the answers to these questions.”

    4
    The raise-bore drill rig stands at the ready. Photo: Nathan Strasbaugh.

    See the full article here .


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    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (US) , located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    In addition to high-energy collider physics, Fermilab hosts fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MicroBooNE (Micro Booster Neutrino Experiment), NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance) and SeaQuest. Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment). The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year. SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector. In 2017, the ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.
    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.

    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.

    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.

    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.

    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

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  • richardmitnick 10:42 pm on July 29, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "MINOS underground hall at Fermilab is ready to host new experiments", , , , , , Neutrinos, ,   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US): “MINOS underground hall at Fermilab is ready to host new experiments” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    July 28, 2021
    Ting Miao

    Located 350 feet below the surface on the Fermilab site, the MINOS underground hall is a familiar place to many neutrino enthusiasts. Shielded from cosmic rays that bombard Earth’s surface, this underground area provides a quiet place to observe elusive neutrinos and test sensitive particle detector technology.

    During the past two decades, the hall was home for two of Fermilab’s flagship neutrino experiments: MINOS and MINERvA. After collecting neutrino events for many years, the experiments were shut down in 2019, but their detectors remained.

    Now this valuable underground space is available for new experiments. This summer, the decommissioning team removed the last of approximately 400 detector planes from the area. Scientists have already plans to use the space for new research endeavors, from neutrino research and dark matter searches to quantum science. In particular, the ArgonCube collaboration is eager to test its detector technology for the near detector of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    Decommissioning the detectors

    The first step, however, was to decommission and remove the two large detectors that were still in the hall: MINERvA in the front and MINOS in the back. About 40 people participated in this project at one time or another. We worked on tasks, such as saving equipment for future use or transferring heavy detector planes for recycling.

    We began the detector decommissioning project in early 2020. We expected it would take at least a year to disassemble the two detectors and remove the detector planes, each up to 20 feet wide, 13 feet high and as heavy as a few tons.

    Our number one goal was to do this heavy-lifting job safely. Careful planning and diligent coordination were the key for keeping everybody safe, and we completed the project without a single accident. We also faced the additional challenge from the pandemic, which arrived in Illinois right after we started the decommissioning. We took extra steps to ensure social distancing and personnel health protection.

    Part of our job was to preserve valuable detector items for future use. We had to dis-cable all electronics and carefully pack and store all items. This was a challenging task as some of the electronics were installed at the top of the tall detector planes and connected with very long cables to electronics racks located on the side of the detector hall.

    We also had to dismount the heavy detector planes from their support structures, one by one, using a special lifting platform. We then placed each plane on a very sturdy cart and rolled them one at a time to the 350-feet deep MINOS shaft to lift them to the surface building.

    On Wednesday morning, June 30, the team took the last detector plane — a 4-ton steel plate with its face covered by scintillator panels — to the surface. It marked the completion of the decommissioning, which stands as a great accomplishment achieved under difficult conditions.

    1
    Ready to remove the final detector plane from the MINOS underground hall (from left to right): Steve Hahn, ND, decommissioning field manager; Jon Thebe, PPD, experiment installation; Dean Beckner, PPD, detector fabrication; Tom Wicks II, PPD, experiment installation; Tom Olszanowski, PPD, experiment installation; and Joe “Skippy” Brown, ND, electrical group. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab.

    Meet the team

    The decommissioning team comprised physicists, engineers and technicians from the Neutrino Division, Particle Physics Division as well as universities collaborating on ArgonCube and MINERvA.

    A tall gentleman with the biggest smile stands out among this group, literally and figuratively. Steve Hahn is the field manager for the decommissioning project. He also serves as the Neutrino Division liaison to the first new experiment soon to take residence in the underground hall: ArgonCube2x2.

    3
    The ArgonCube collaboration assembled the first of four prototype neutrino detector modules for the DUNE near detector at the University of Bern in Switzerland. The module now is on its way to Fermilab for testing with a neutrino beam. Photo: Igor Kreslo.

    Since the planning stage of the decommissioning work, Steve has been a fixed figure in the MINOS underground area. He literally lives there, people say. His smiling face and gentle manner are guaranteed to lift your spirit. And he smiles all the time – even when his face is covered by a mask.

    Steve is the one who communicated with everyone to make sure things were being done smoothly and safely. He helped develop and write down detailed procedures. He made sure that before the start of a task, crews were briefed and reminded of the importance to work safely.

    “Steve [Hahn] and the entire team did such an excellent job in preparation and in carrying out the mission safely,” said Steve Brice, head of the Neutrino Division. “Communication is key, and Steve is always there for things small and big.”

    Congratulations to the decommissioning team for the great accomplishment. With your dedicated effort and hard work, the MINOS underground hall is again ready to welcome another round of exciting experiments. The foundation for new science ventures has been laid.

    4
    Members of the decommissioning team prepare for the removal of one of the last detector planes of the MINOS near detector in June. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

    Fermilab’s Tevatron was a landmark particle accelerator; until the startup in 2008 of the Large Hadron Collider(CH) near Geneva, Switzerland, it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, accelerating antiprotons to energies of 500 GeV, and producing proton-proton collisions with energies of up to 1.6 TeV, the first accelerator to reach one “tera-electron-volt” energy. At 3.9 miles (6.3 km), it was the world’s fourth-largest particle accelerator in circumference. One of its most important achievements was the 1995 discovery of the top quark, announced by research teams using the Tevatron’s CDF and DØ detectors. It was shut down in 2011.

    In addition to high-energy collider physics, Fermilab hosts fixed-target and neutrino experiments, such as MicroBooNE (Micro Booster Neutrino Experiment), NOνA (NuMI Off-Axis νe Appearance) and SeaQuest. Completed neutrino experiments include MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search), MINOS+, MiniBooNE and SciBooNE (SciBar Booster Neutrino Experiment). The MiniBooNE detector was a 40-foot (12 m) diameter sphere containing 800 tons of mineral oil lined with 1,520 phototube detectors. An estimated 1 million neutrino events were recorded each year. SciBooNE sat in the same neutrino beam as MiniBooNE but had fine-grained tracking capabilities. The NOνA experiment uses, and the MINOS experiment used, Fermilab’s NuMI (Neutrinos at the Main Injector) beam, which is an intense beam of neutrinos that travels 455 miles (732 km) through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota and the Ash River, Minnesota, site of the NOνA far detector. In 2017, the ICARUS neutrino experiment was moved from CERN to Fermilab.
    In the public realm, Fermilab is home to a native prairie ecosystem restoration project and hosts many cultural events: public science lectures and symposia, classical and contemporary music concerts, folk dancing and arts galleries. The site is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who present valid photo identification.

    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.

    Weston, Illinois, was a community next to Batavia voted out of existence by its village board in 1966 to provide a site for Fermilab.

    The laboratory was founded in 1969 as the National Accelerator Laboratory; it was renamed in honor of Enrico Fermi in 1974. The laboratory’s first director was Robert Rathbun Wilson, under whom the laboratory opened ahead of time and under budget. Many of the sculptures on the site are of his creation. He is the namesake of the site’s high-rise laboratory building, whose unique shape has become the symbol for Fermilab and which is the center of activity on the campus.

    After Wilson stepped down in 1978 to protest the lack of funding for the lab, Leon M. Lederman took on the job. It was under his guidance that the original accelerator was replaced with the Tevatron, an accelerator capable of colliding protons and antiprotons at a combined energy of 1.96 TeV. Lederman stepped down in 1989. The science education center at the site was named in his honor.

    The later directors include:

    John Peoples, 1989 to 1996
    Michael S. Witherell, July 1999 to June 2005
    Piermaria Oddone, July 2005 to July 2013
    Nigel Lockyer, September 2013 to the present

    Fermilab continues to participate in the work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); it serves as a Tier 1 site in the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 8:25 pm on July 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Curiosity and technology drive quest to reveal fundamental secrets of the universe", A very specific particle called a J/psi might provide a clearer picture of what’s going on inside a proton’s gluonic field., , Argonne-driven technology is part of a broad initiative to answer fundamental questions about the birth of matter in the universe and the building blocks that hold it all together., , , , , , Computational Science, , , , , , Developing and fabricating detectors that search for signatures from the early universe or enhance our understanding of the most fundamental of particles., , Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) to be built inside the tunnel that currently houses the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [RHIC]., Exploring the hearts of protons and neutrons, , , Neutrinoless double beta decay can only happen if the neutrino is its own anti-particle., Neutrinos, , , , , , SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US), , ,   

    From DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US) : “Curiosity and technology drive quest to reveal fundamental secrets of the universe” 

    Argonne Lab

    From DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US)

    July 15, 2021
    John Spizzirri

    Argonne-driven technology is part of a broad initiative to answer fundamental questions about the birth of matter in the universe and the building blocks that hold it all together.

    Imagine the first of our species to lie beneath the glow of an evening sky. An enormous sense of awe, perhaps a little fear, fills them as they wonder at those seemingly infinite points of light and what they might mean. As humans, we evolved the capacity to ask big insightful questions about the world around us and worlds beyond us. We dare, even, to question our own origins.

    “The place of humans in the universe is important to understand,” said physicist and computational scientist Salman Habib. ​“Once you realize that there are billions of galaxies we can detect, each with many billions of stars, you understand the insignificance of being human in some sense. But at the same time, you appreciate being human a lot more.”

    The South Pole Telescope is part of a collaboration between Argonne and a number of national labs and universities to measure the CMB, considered the oldest light in the universe.

    The high altitude and extremely dry conditions of the South Pole keep water vapor from absorbing select light wavelengths.

    With no less a sense of wonder than most of us, Habib and colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are actively researching these questions through an initiative that investigates the fundamental components of both particle physics and astrophysics.

    The breadth of Argonne’s research in these areas is mind-boggling. It takes us back to the very edge of time itself, to some infinitesimally small portion of a second after the Big Bang when random fluctuations in temperature and density arose, eventually forming the breeding grounds of galaxies and planets.

    It explores the heart of protons and neutrons to understand the most fundamental constructs of the visible universe, particles and energy once free in the early post-Big Bang universe, but later confined forever within a basic atomic structure as that universe began to cool.

    And it addresses slightly newer, more controversial questions about the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, both of which play a dominant role in the makeup and dynamics of the universe but are little understood.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    Dark Energy Survey

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory(US)

    NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the Dark-Energy-Camera – DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile at an altitude of 7200 feet.

    NOIRLab(US)NSF NOIRLab NOAO (US) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    Timeline of the Inflationary Universe WMAP

    The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. DES began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called dark energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    DES is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the DES collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    “And this world-class research we’re doing could not happen without advances in technology,” said Argonne Associate Laboratory Director Kawtar Hafidi, who helped define and merge the different aspects of the initiative.

    “We are developing and fabricating detectors that search for signatures from the early universe or enhance our understanding of the most fundamental of particles,” she added. ​“And because all of these detectors create big data that have to be analyzed, we are developing, among other things, artificial intelligence techniques to do that as well.”

    Decoding messages from the universe

    Fleshing out a theory of the universe on cosmic or subatomic scales requires a combination of observations, experiments, theories, simulations and analyses, which in turn requires access to the world’s most sophisticated telescopes, particle colliders, detectors and supercomputers.

    Argonne is uniquely suited to this mission, equipped as it is with many of those tools, the ability to manufacture others and collaborative privileges with other federal laboratories and leading research institutions to access other capabilities and expertise.

    As lead of the initiative’s cosmology component, Habib uses many of these tools in his quest to understand the origins of the universe and what makes it tick.

    And what better way to do that than to observe it, he said.

    “If you look at the universe as a laboratory, then obviously we should study it and try to figure out what it is telling us about foundational science,” noted Habib. ​“So, one part of what we are trying to do is build ever more sensitive probes to decipher what the universe is trying to tell us.”

    To date, Argonne is involved in several significant sky surveys, which use an array of observational platforms, like telescopes and satellites, to map different corners of the universe and collect information that furthers or rejects a specific theory.

    For example, the South Pole Telescope survey, a collaboration between Argonne and a number of national labs and universities, is measuring the cosmic microwave background (CMB) [above], considered the oldest light in the universe. Variations in CMB properties, such as temperature, signal the original fluctuations in density that ultimately led to all the visible structure in the universe.

    Additionally, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument and the forthcoming Vera C. Rubin Observatory are specially outfitted, ground-based telescopes designed to shed light on dark energy and dark matter, as well as the formation of luminous structure in the universe.

    DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(US) DESI spectroscopic instrument on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, in the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers 55 mi west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).

    National Optical Astronomy Observatory (US) Mayall 4 m telescope at NSF NOIRLab NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory (US) in the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers 55 mi west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).

    National Science Foundation(US) NSF (US) NOIRLab NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory on the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).

    National Science Foundation(US) NOIRLab (US) NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory (US) on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft). annotated.

    NSF (US) NOIRLab (US) NOAO (US) Vera C. Rubin Observatory [LSST] Telescope currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing NSF (US) NOIRLab (US) NOAO (US) Gemini South Telescope and NSF (US) NOIRLab (US) NOAO (US) Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope.

    Darker matters

    All the data sets derived from these observations are connected to the second component of Argonne’s cosmology push, which revolves around theory and modeling. Cosmologists combine observations, measurements and the prevailing laws of physics to form theories that resolve some of the mysteries of the universe.

    But the universe is complex, and it has an annoying tendency to throw a curve ball just when we thought we had a theory cinched. Discoveries within the past 100 years have revealed that the universe is both expanding and accelerating its expansion — realizations that came as separate but equal surprises.

    Saul Perlmutter (center) [The Supernova Cosmology Project] shared the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with Brian P. Schmidt (right) and Adam Riess (left) [The High-z Supernova Search Team] for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

    “To say that we understand the universe would be incorrect. To say that we sort of understand it is fine,” exclaimed Habib. ​“We have a theory that describes what the universe is doing, but each time the universe surprises us, we have to add a new ingredient to that theory.”

    Modeling helps scientists get a clearer picture of whether and how those new ingredients will fit a theory. They make predictions for observations that have not yet been made, telling observers what new measurements to take.

    Habib’s group is applying this same sort of process to gain an ever-so-tentative grasp on the nature of dark energy and dark matter. While scientists can tell us that both exist, that they comprise about 68 and 26% of the universe, respectively, beyond that not much else is known.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

    Fritz Zwicky from http:// palomarskies.blogspot.com.


    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.


    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

    Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).


    Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970

    Dark Matter Research

    Inside the Axion Dark Matter eXperiment U Washington (US) Credit : Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Observations of cosmological structure — the distribution of galaxies and even of their shapes — provide clues about the nature of dark matter, which in turn feeds simple dark matter models and subsequent predictions. If observations, models and predictions aren’t in agreement, that tells scientists that there may be some missing ingredient in their description of dark matter.

    But there are also experiments that are looking for direct evidence of dark matter particles, which require highly sensitive detectors [above]. Argonne has initiated development of specialized superconducting detector technology for the detection of low-mass dark matter particles.

    This technology requires the ability to control properties of layered materials and adjust the temperature where the material transitions from finite to zero resistance, when it becomes a superconductor. And unlike other applications where scientists would like this temperature to be as high as possible — room temperature, for example — here, the transition needs to be very close to absolute zero.

    Habib refers to these dark matter detectors as traps, like those used for hunting — which, in essence, is what cosmologists are doing. Because it’s possible that dark matter doesn’t come in just one species, they need different types of traps.

    “It’s almost like you’re in a jungle in search of a certain animal, but you don’t quite know what it is — it could be a bird, a snake, a tiger — so you build different kinds of traps,” he said.

    Lab researchers are working on technologies to capture these elusive species through new classes of dark matter searches. Collaborating with other institutions, they are now designing and building a first set of pilot projects aimed at looking for dark matter candidates with low mass.

    Tuning in to the early universe

    Amy Bender is working on a different kind of detector — well, a lot of detectors — which are at the heart of a survey of the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

    “The CMB is radiation that has been around the universe for 13 billion years, and we’re directly measuring that,” said Bender, an assistant physicist at Argonne.

    The Argonne-developed detectors — all 16,000 of them — capture photons, or light particles, from that primordial sky through the aforementioned South Pole Telescope, to help answer questions about the early universe, fundamental physics and the formation of cosmic structures.

    Now, the CMB experimental effort is moving into a new phase, CMB-Stage 4 (CMB-S4).

    CMB-S4 is the next-generation ground-based cosmic microwave background experiment.With 21 telescopes at the South Pole and in the Chilean Atacama desert surveying the sky with 550,000 cryogenically-cooled superconducting detectors for 7 years, CMB-S4 will deliver transformative discoveries in fundamental physics, cosmology, astrophysics, and astronomy. CMB-S4 is supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

    This larger project tackles even more complex topics like Inflationary Theory, which suggests that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light for a fraction of a second, shortly after the Big Bang.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    Inflation

    4
    Alan Guth, from Highland Park High School and M.I.T., who first proposed cosmic inflation
    [caption id="attachment_55311" align="alignnone" width="632"] HPHS Owls

    Lamda Cold Dark Matter Accerated Expansion of The universe http scinotions.com the-cosmic-inflation-suggests-the-existence-of-parallel-universes
    Alex Mittelmann, Coldcreation


    Alan Guth’s notes:

    Alan Guth’s original notes on inflation


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    3
    A section of a detector array with architecture suitable for future CMB experiments, such as the upcoming CMB-S4 project. Fabricated at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, 16,000 of these detectors currently drive measurements collected from the South Pole Telescope. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    While the science is amazing, the technology to get us there is just as fascinating.

    Technically called transition edge sensing (TES) bolometers, the detectors on the telescope are made from superconducting materials fabricated at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    Each of the 16,000 detectors acts as a combination of very sensitive thermometer and camera. As incoming radiation is absorbed on the surface of each detector, measurements are made by supercooling them to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. (That’s over three times as cold as Antarctica’s lowest recorded temperature.)

    Changes in heat are measured and recorded as changes in electrical resistance and will help inform a map of the CMB’s intensity across the sky.

    CMB-S4 will focus on newer technology that will allow researchers to distinguish very specific patterns in light, or polarized light. In this case, they are looking for what Bender calls the Holy Grail of polarization, a pattern called B-modes.

    Capturing this signal from the early universe — one far fainter than the intensity signal — will help to either confirm or disprove a generic prediction of inflation.

    It will also require the addition of 500,000 detectors distributed among 21 telescopes in two distinct regions of the world, the South Pole and the Chilean desert. There, the high altitude and extremely dry conditions keep water vapor in the atmosphere from absorbing millimeter wavelength light, like that of the CMB.

    While previous experiments have touched on this polarization, the large number of new detectors will improve sensitivity to that polarization and grow our ability to capture it.

    “Literally, we have built these cameras completely from the ground up,” said Bender. ​“Our innovation is in how to make these stacks of superconducting materials work together within this detector, where you have to couple many complex factors and then actually read out the results with the TES. And that is where Argonne has contributed, hugely.”

    Down to the basics

    Argonne’s capabilities in detector technology don’t just stop at the edge of time, nor do the initiative’s investigations just look at the big picture.

    Most of the visible universe, including galaxies, stars, planets and people, are made up of protons and neutrons. Understanding the most fundamental components of those building blocks and how they interact to make atoms and molecules and just about everything else is the realm of physicists like Zein-Eddine Meziani.

    “From the perspective of the future of my field, this initiative is extremely important,” said Meziani, who leads Argonne’s Medium Energy Physics group. ​“It has given us the ability to actually explore new concepts, develop better understanding of the science and a pathway to enter into bigger collaborations and take some leadership.”

    Taking the lead of the initiative’s nuclear physics component, Meziani is steering Argonne toward a significant role in the development of the Electron-Ion Collider, a new U.S. Nuclear Physics Program facility slated for construction at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US).

    Argonne’s primary interest in the collider is to elucidate the role that quarks, anti-quarks and gluons play in giving mass and a quantum angular momentum, called spin, to protons and neutrons — nucleons — the particles that comprise the nucleus of an atom.


    EIC Electron Animation, Inner Proton Motion.
    Electrons colliding with ions will exchange virtual photons with the nuclear particles to help scientists ​“see” inside the nuclear particles; the collisions will produce precision 3D snapshots of the internal arrangement of quarks and gluons within ordinary nuclear matter; like a combination CT/MRI scanner for atoms. (Image by Brookhaven National Laboratory.)

    While we once thought nucleons were the finite fundamental particles of an atom, the emergence of powerful particle colliders, like the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center at Stanford University and the former Tevatron at DOE’s Fermilab, proved otherwise.

    It turns out that quarks and gluons were independent of nucleons in the extreme energy densities of the early universe; as the universe expanded and cooled, they transformed into ordinary matter.

    “There was a time when quarks and gluons were free in a big soup, if you will, but we have never seen them free,” explained Meziani. ​“So, we are trying to understand how the universe captured all of this energy that was there and put it into confined systems, like these droplets we call protons and neutrons.”

    Some of that energy is tied up in gluons, which, despite the fact that they have no mass, confer the majority of mass to a proton. So, Meziani is hoping that the Electron-Ion Collider will allow science to explore — among other properties — the origins of mass in the universe through a detailed exploration of gluons.

    And just as Amy Bender is looking for the B-modes polarization in the CMB, Meziani and other researchers are hoping to use a very specific particle called a J/psi to provide a clearer picture of what’s going on inside a proton’s gluonic field.

    But producing and detecting the J/psi particle within the collider — while ensuring that the proton target doesn’t break apart — is a tricky enterprise, which requires new technologies. Again, Argonne is positioning itself at the forefront of this endeavor.

    “We are working on the conceptual designs of technologies that will be extremely important for the detection of these types of particles, as well as for testing concepts for other science that will be conducted at the Electron-Ion Collider,” said Meziani.

    Argonne also is producing detector and related technologies in its quest for a phenomenon called neutrinoless double beta decay. A neutrino is one of the particles emitted during the process of neutron radioactive beta decay and serves as a small but mighty connection between particle physics and astrophysics.

    “Neutrinoless double beta decay can only happen if the neutrino is its own anti-particle,” said Hafidi. ​“If the existence of these very rare decays is confirmed, it would have important consequences in understanding why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.”

    Argonne scientists from different areas of the lab are working on the Neutrino Experiment with Xenon Time Projection Chamber (NEXT) collaboration to design and prototype key systems for the collaborative’s next big experiment. This includes developing a one-of-a-kind test facility and an R&D program for new, specialized detector systems.

    “We are really working on dramatic new ideas,” said Meziani. ​“We are investing in certain technologies to produce some proof of principle that they will be the ones to pursue later, that the technology breakthroughs that will take us to the highest sensitivity detection of this process will be driven by Argonne.”

    The tools of detection

    Ultimately, fundamental science is science derived from human curiosity. And while we may not always see the reason for pursuing it, more often than not, fundamental science produces results that benefit all of us. Sometimes it’s a gratifying answer to an age-old question, other times it’s a technological breakthrough intended for one science that proves useful in a host of other applications.

    Through their various efforts, Argonne scientists are aiming for both outcomes. But it will take more than curiosity and brain power to solve the questions they are asking. It will take our skills at toolmaking, like the telescopes that peer deep into the heavens and the detectors that capture hints of the earliest light or the most elusive of particles.

    We will need to employ the ultrafast computing power of new supercomputers. Argonne’s forthcoming Aurora exascale machine will analyze mountains of data for help in creating massive models that simulate the dynamics of the universe or subatomic world, which, in turn, might guide new experiments — or introduce new questions.

    Depiction of ANL ALCF Cray Intel SC18 Shasta Aurora exascale supercomputer, to be built at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    And we will apply artificial intelligence to recognize patterns in complex observations — on the subatomic and cosmic scales — far more quickly than the human eye can, or use it to optimize machinery and experiments for greater efficiency and faster results.

    “I think we have been given the flexibility to explore new technologies that will allow us to answer the big questions,” said Bender. ​“What we’re developing is so cutting edge, you never know where it will show up in everyday life.”

    Funding for research mentioned in this article was provided by Argonne Laboratory Directed Research and Development; Argonne program development; DOE Office of High Energy Physics: Cosmic Frontier, South Pole Telescope-3G project, Detector R&D; and DOE Office of Nuclear Physics.

    See the full article here .

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    Stem Education Coalition

    DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US) 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 is a science and engineering research national laboratory operated by UChicago Argonne LLC for the United States Department of Energy. The facility is located in Lemont, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest.

    Argonne had its beginnings in the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago, formed in part to carry out Enrico Fermi’s work on nuclear reactors for the Manhattan Project during World War II. After the war, it was designated as the first national laboratory in the United States on July 1, 1946. In the post-war era the lab focused primarily on non-weapon related nuclear physics, designing and building the first power-producing nuclear reactors, helping design the reactors used by the United States’ nuclear navy, and a wide variety of similar projects. In 1994, the lab’s nuclear mission ended, and today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, supercomputing, and national security.

    UChicago Argonne, LLC, the operator of the laboratory, “brings together the expertise of the University of Chicago (the sole member of the LLC) with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.” Argonne is a part of the expanding Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. Argonne formerly ran a smaller facility called Argonne National Laboratory-West (or simply Argonne-West) in Idaho next to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. In 2005, the two Idaho-based laboratories merged to become the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory.
    What would become Argonne began in 1942 as the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago, which had become part of the Manhattan Project. The Met Lab built Chicago Pile-1, the world’s first nuclear reactor, under the stands of the University of Chicago sports stadium. Considered unsafe, in 1943, CP-1 was reconstructed as CP-2, in what is today known as Red Gate Woods but was then the Argonne Forest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District near Palos Hills. The lab was named after the surrounding forest, which in turn was named after the Forest of Argonne in France where U.S. troops fought in World War I. Fermi’s pile was originally going to be constructed in the Argonne forest, and construction plans were set in motion, but a labor dispute brought the project to a halt. Since speed was paramount, the project was moved to the squash court under Stagg Field, the football stadium on the campus of the University of Chicago. Fermi told them that he was sure of his calculations, which said that it would not lead to a runaway reaction, which would have contaminated the city.

    Other activities were added to Argonne over the next five years. On July 1, 1946, the “Metallurgical Laboratory” was formally re-chartered as Argonne National Laboratory for “cooperative research in nucleonics.” At the request of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, it began developing nuclear reactors for the nation’s peaceful nuclear energy program. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the laboratory moved to a larger location in unincorporated DuPage County, Illinois and established a remote location in Idaho, called “Argonne-West,” to conduct further nuclear research.

    In quick succession, the laboratory designed and built Chicago Pile 3 (1944), the world’s first heavy-water moderated reactor, and the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (Chicago Pile 4), built-in Idaho, which lit a string of four light bulbs with the world’s first nuclear-generated electricity in 1951. A complete list of the reactors designed and, in most cases, built and operated by Argonne can be viewed in the, Reactors Designed by Argonne page. The knowledge gained from the Argonne experiments conducted with these reactors 1) formed the foundation for the designs of most of the commercial reactors currently used throughout the world for electric power generation and 2) inform the current evolving designs of liquid-metal reactors for future commercial power stations.

    Conducting classified research, the laboratory was heavily secured; all employees and visitors needed badges to pass a checkpoint, many of the buildings were classified, and the laboratory itself was fenced and guarded. Such alluring secrecy drew visitors both authorized—including King Leopold III of Belgium and Queen Frederica of Greece—and unauthorized. Shortly past 1 a.m. on February 6, 1951, Argonne guards discovered reporter Paul Harvey near the 10-foot (3.0 m) perimeter fence, his coat tangled in the barbed wire. Searching his car, guards found a previously prepared four-page broadcast detailing the saga of his unauthorized entrance into a classified “hot zone”. He was brought before a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to obtain information on national security and transmit it to the public, but was not indicted.

    Not all nuclear technology went into developing reactors, however. While designing a scanner for reactor fuel elements in 1957, Argonne physicist William Nelson Beck put his own arm inside the scanner and obtained one of the first ultrasound images of the human body. Remote manipulators designed to handle radioactive materials laid the groundwork for more complex machines used to clean up contaminated areas, sealed laboratories or caves. In 1964, the “Janus” reactor opened to study the effects of neutron radiation on biological life, providing research for guidelines on safe exposure levels for workers at power plants, laboratories and hospitals. Scientists at Argonne pioneered a technique to analyze the moon’s surface using alpha radiation, which launched aboard the Surveyor 5 in 1967 and later analyzed lunar samples from the Apollo 11 mission.

    In addition to nuclear work, the laboratory maintained a strong presence in the basic research of physics and chemistry. In 1955, Argonne chemists co-discovered the elements einsteinium and fermium, elements 99 and 100 in the periodic table. In 1962, laboratory chemists produced the first compound of the inert noble gas xenon, opening up a new field of chemical bonding research. In 1963, they discovered the hydrated electron.

    High-energy physics made a leap forward when Argonne was chosen as the site of the 12.5 GeV Zero Gradient Synchrotron, a proton accelerator that opened in 1963. A bubble chamber allowed scientists to track the motions of subatomic particles as they zipped through the chamber; in 1970, they observed the neutrino in a hydrogen bubble chamber for the first time.

    Meanwhile, the laboratory was also helping to design the reactor for the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, which steamed for more than 513,550 nautical miles (951,090 km). The next nuclear reactor model was Experimental Boiling Water Reactor, the forerunner of many modern nuclear plants, and Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II), which was sodium-cooled, and included a fuel recycling facility. EBR-II was later modified to test other reactor designs, including a fast-neutron reactor and, in 1982, the Integral Fast Reactor concept—a revolutionary design that reprocessed its own fuel, reduced its atomic waste and withstood safety tests of the same failures that triggered the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters. In 1994, however, the U.S. Congress terminated funding for the bulk of Argonne’s nuclear programs.

    Argonne moved to specialize in other areas, while capitalizing on its experience in physics, chemical sciences and metallurgy. In 1987, the laboratory was the first to successfully demonstrate a pioneering technique called plasma wakefield acceleration, which accelerates particles in much shorter distances than conventional accelerators. It also cultivated a strong battery research program.

    Following a major push by then-director Alan Schriesheim, the laboratory was chosen as the site of the Advanced Photon Source, a major X-ray facility which was completed in 1995 and produced the brightest X-rays in the world at the time of its construction.

    On 19 March 2019, it was reported in the Chicago Tribune that the laboratory was constructing the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Costing $500 million it will have the processing power of 1 quintillion flops. Applications will include the analysis of stars and improvements in the power grid.

    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.

    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.

    Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science

    Argonne Lab Campus

     
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