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  • richardmitnick 5:39 pm on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , First evidence for the existence of the bottom quark, , Particle Accelerators, ,   

    From FNAL: “50 years of discoveries and innovations: Fermilab discovers bottom quark” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    May 21, 2017 [Working on Sunday. Me too. Science takes no days off.]
    Troy Rummler

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

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

    25. Fermilab discovers bottom quark

    3
    Dr. Leon Lederman

    In 1977, an experiment led by physicist and Nobel laureate Leon Lederman at Fermilab provided the first evidence for the existence of the bottom quark. It was observed as part of a quark-antiquark pair known as the Upsilon meson, which is 10 times more massive than a proton. The bottom quark is one of six that make up the quark family of particles.

    4

    See the full article here .

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    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 5:08 pm on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , KEK Belle II SuperKEKB accelerator, Particle Accelerators,   

    From Interactions.org: “La Vie Est Belle” 

    Interactions.org

    16th May 2017
    Saurabh Sandilya

    1

    The field of ‘High Energy Physics’ or ‘Particle Physics’ is about exploring the fundamental building blocks of matter and interactions between them at the deepest level. The experimental frontier of this field relies on the cutting edge instrumentations and the most advanced computational tools. So, as an experimental high energy physicist, I am excited by the theoretical aspect as well as its experimental advancement is also overwhelming.

    I started my journey in this field seven years back with the Belle (‘french:beautiful’) experiment as a doctoral student at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

    KEK Belle 2 detector, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

    The Belle detector was located at the interaction region (beam collision point) of the KEKB asymmetric energy electron-positron collider in Tsukuba, Japan. And, the KEKB accelerator holds the current world-record for the luminosity achieved by a high-energy accelerator. The Belle experiment had a successful operational period with several important physics results, and the ‘Observation of CP Violation in B meson system’ led to the Nobel Prize in Physics 2008 to Profs. Kobayashi and Maskawa. The Belle detector recorded about 1 ab-1 data between 1999 – 2010, which continues to produce very competitive physics results. But, to explore the unknown territory of New Physics (beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics) even more data is needed. For this, the KEKB accelerator is now being upgraded to SuperKEKB and it is designed to produce 40 times larger instantaneous luminosity than its predecessor and with the aim of recording an unprecedented data sample of 50 ab–1. And, to cope with this high collision rate environment, the detector is also being upgraded to Belle II.

    Although I got a very brief opportunity to work on the detector development for Belle II during my doctoral period, as my thesis was mainly focused on the physics data analysis for the Belle experiment. However, my desire to work on the instrumentation got fulfilled as a post-doctoral fellow in University of Cincinnati. I participated in the construction of time of propagation (TOP) detector, which plays a crucial role in identification of charged particles produced after the collision. The Belle II detector consists of several sub-detectors and TOP detector is one of them.

    Each sub-detector of the Belle II collects specific information about the collision event. Closest to the beam pipe is the Vertex Detector which consists of two-layers silicon pixel detector and then four-layers of double-sided silicon-strip detector and identifies the vertices (or decay points) of short lived particles (with lifetimes of around a trillionth of a second). Then, the Central Drift Chamber provides the momentum of charged particles by reconstructing their curved trajectories while moving in a magnetic field. Additionally, it contributes to particle identification by measuring the energy loss of charged particles as they pass through the gas that fills the volume. Aerogel Ring Imaging Cherenkov detector in the forward endcap region and TOP in central region of the detector provides charged particle identification based on angle of the cherenkov photon emitted by the charged particle passing through the detector medium. The The electromagnetic calorimeter reuses Belle’s thallium-doped cesium-iodide crystals with upgraded read-out electronics. And, the flux return of the Belle-II solenoid magnet, which surrounds the electromagnetic calorimeter, is instrumented to detect KL mesons and muons.

    In February 2016, electron and positron beams were successfully stored in the upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator for the first time.


    KEK Bell SuperKEKB accelerator.

    Now, most of the detectors are installed in the Belle II detector. And, on April 11th this year, the Belle II detector was rolled-in from its construction area to the interaction region of the SuperKEKB particle accelerator. The roll-in of the assembled Belle II detector, weighing 1,400 tons, has to be carried out very gently and with great care. And, this successful event was broadcasted live worldwide. Belle II is now getting ready in full swing to record the first collisions at the SuperKEKB scheduled at the end of this year.

    The Belle II collaboration has more than 600 members from 23 countries and this also provides a nice ground for cultural exchanges while interacting with colleagues from around the world. I really admire working in these large collaborations, as people go beyond the boundaries of geography, race and religion and come forward for a common goal ‘to extend the knowledge of mankind’. The sense of joy and thrill, while exploring together the recipe of our Universe as we see today, is unparalleled.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 4:10 pm on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Particle Accelerators,   

    From FNAL: Gas microstrip chambers on silicon for DZero in 1995 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    5.21.17

    1
    Science is beautiful. These are gas microstrip chambers on silicon for DZero in 1995. #Fermilabs50th

    See the full article here .

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    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 2:03 pm on May 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Particle Accelerators, , Tevatron’s cryogenic system sets benchmark   

    From FNAL: “50 years of discoveries and innovations: Tevatron’s cryogenic system sets benchmark” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    May 20, 2017
    Troy Rummler

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

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

    24. Tevatron’s cryogenic system sets benchmark

    Upon its commissioning in 1983, the Tevatron’s liquid-helium cooling system was the largest cryogenic system ever built. The system set a benchmark in large-scale superconducting magnet design and has been a model for similar systems worldwide. Its many innovations included advances in gas compression, gas filtering and large-scale system integrity. In 1993, the system was named an International Historic Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    1

    See the full article here .

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    FNAL Icon
    Fermilab Campus

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

     
  • richardmitnick 4:55 pm on May 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Belle II rolls in, , , , KEK laboratory in Japan, Particle Accelerators,   

    From CERN Courier: “Belle II rolls in” 

    CERN Courier

    May 19, 2017

    1
    The Belle II detector in place

    On 11 April, the Belle II detector at the KEK laboratory in Japan was successfully “rolled-in” to the collision point of the upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator, marking an important milestone for the international B-physics community. The Belle II experiment is an international collaboration hosted by KEK in Tsukuba, Japan, with related physics goals to those of the LHCb experiment at CERN but in the pristine environment of electron–positron collisions. It will analyse copious quantities of B mesons to study CP violation and signs of physics beyond the Standard Model (CERN Courier September 2016 p32).

    “Roll-in” involves moving the entire 8 m-tall, 1400 tonne Belle II detector system from its assembly area to the beam-collision point 13 m away. The detector is now integrated with SuperKEKB and all its seven subdetectors, except for the innermost vertex detector, are in place. The next step is to install the complex focusing magnets around the Belle II interaction point. SuperKEKB achieved its first turns in February, with operation of the main rings scheduled for early spring and phase-II “physics” operation by the end of 2018.

    Compared to the previous Belle experiment, and thanks to major upgrades made to the former KEKB collider, Belle II will allow much larger data samples to be collected with much improved precision. “After six years of gruelling work with many unexpected twists and turns, it was a moving and gratifying experience for everyone on the team to watch the Belle II detector move to the interaction point,” says Belle II spokesperson Tom Browder. “Flavour physics is now the focus of much attention and interest in the community and Belle II will play a critical role in the years to come.”

    See the full article here .

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    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

     
  • richardmitnick 4:44 pm on May 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Particle Accelerators,   

    From CERN Courier: “CAST experiment constrains solar axions” 

    CERN Courier
    May 19, 2017

    CERN CAST Axion Solar Telescope

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    Two-photon coupling constraints

    In a paper published in Nature Physics, the CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) has reported important new exclusion limits on coupling of axions to photons. Axions are hypothetical particles that interact very weakly with ordinary matter and therefore are candidates to explain dark matter. They were postulated decades ago to solve the “strong CP” problem in the Standard Model (SM), which concerns an unexpected time-reversal symmetry of the nuclear forces. Axion-like particles, unrelated to the strong-CP problem but still viable dark-matter candidates, are also predicted by several theories of physics beyond the SM, notably string theory.

    A variety of Earth- and space-based observatories are searching possible locations where axions could be produced, ranging from the inner Earth to the galactic centre and right back to the Big Bang. CAST looks for solar axions using a “helioscope” constructed from a test magnet originally built for the Large Hadron Collider. The 10 m-long superconducting magnet acts like a viewing tube and is pointed directly at the Sun: solar axions entering the tube would be converted by its strong magnetic field into X-ray photons, which would be detected at either end of the magnet. Starting in 2003, the CAST helioscope, mounted on a movable platform and aligned with the Sun with a precision of about 1/100th of a degree, has tracked the movement of the Sun for an hour and a half at dawn and an hour and a half at dusk, over several months each year.

    In the latest work, based on data recorded between 2012 and 2015, CAST finds no evidence for solar axions. This has allowed the collaboration to set the best limits to date on the strength of the coupling between axions and photons for all possible axion masses to which CAST is sensitive. The limits concern a part of the axion parameter space that is still favoured by current theoretical predictions and is very difficult to explore experimentally, allowing CAST to encroach on more restrictive constraints set by astrophysical observations. “Even though we have not been able to observe the ubiquitous axion yet, CAST has surpassed even the sensitivity originally expected, thanks to CERN’s support and unrelenting work by CASTers,” says CAST spokesperson Konstantin Zioutas. “CAST’s results are still a point of reference in our field.”

    The experience gained by CAST over the past 15 years will help physicists to define the detection technologies suitable for a proposed, much larger, next-generation axion helioscope called IAXO. Since 2015, CAST has also broadened its research at the low-energy frontier to include searches for dark-matter axions and candidates for dark energy, such as solar chameleons.

    See the full article here .

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    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New II

    LHC

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

     
  • richardmitnick 1:10 pm on May 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Installing new equipment in preparation for the LHC Run 3 upgrade., Particle Accelerators,   

    From ALICE: “Installing new equipment in preparation for the LHC Run 3 upgrade.” 

    CERN
    CERN New Masthead

    Installing new equipment in preparation for the LHC Run 3 upgrade.

    1

    The big cube on the back (the one with the door at the corner carrying the “blue man” sticker) is the clean room where ALICE detectors are assembled in dust-free environment. All the material that enters in that room has to be cleaned beforehand and people going inside it must wear protective clothing (to avoid bringing dust into the room).

    The boxes in front of the room, including the Air Conditioning unit that was installed yesterday, provide the services that are needed in the Clean Room.

    For reference, the AC unit is up to ISO 8 standard (https://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/…/clean…/cr_standards.html…).

    The Clean Room will be used to assemble the new Time Projection Chamber (TPC) which will be installed inside the L3 magnet during Long Shutdown 2 (mid 2018 – end 2019).

    See the full article here .

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    CernCourier
    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS
    ATLAS
    CERN/ATLAS detector

    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN/CMS Detector

    LHCb

    CERN/LHCb

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles


    Quantum Diaries

     
  • richardmitnick 8:58 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Alastair Paragas, , , , , Particle Accelerators, ,   

    From FIU: “My Internship with CERN” Alastair Paragas 

    FIU bloc

    This post is dedicated to J.L.T. who will prove Loop Quantum Gravity. I hope he sees it.

    Florida International University

    05/15/2017
    Millie Acebal

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    Name: Alastair Paragas

    Major: Computer Science (College of Engineering and Computing and Honors College)

    Hometown: Originally from Manila, Philippines; currently living in Homestead, Florida

    Where will you intern ? Starting June 19, I will intern at CERN, located in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is the home of the (Large) (H)adron (C)ollider where the Higgs-Boson particle was discovered.

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    2
    Tim Berners-Lee
    https://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/

    Another great development at CERN was the creation of the modern internet – the (W)orld (W)ide (W)eb, with web pages as accessible documents through HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), as developed by Tim Berners-Lee.

    Though CERN is in Geneva, I will be living in Saint Genis-Pouilly, France. Saint Genis-Pouilly is a town on the French side of the Franco-Swiss border, with CERN being on the Swiss side of the border. Luckily enough, the commute is only 2 miles long and is quite permissive because of the relaxed borders between the two countries due mostly in part to CERN’s importance to the European Union as a nuclear research facility. As such, I get to cross the border twice a day!

    What do you do there?

    I will be doing research and actual software engineering work with CERN’s distributed computing and data reporting/analytics team, under the mentorship of Manuel Martin Marquez. I will ensure the software that transports real-time data collected from the various instrumentation and devices at CERN don’t get lost! I also get to develop software that stores such data into both online transactional and analytical processing workloads.

    How did you get your internship?

    Out of 1,560 complete applications (and more partial applications), I was happy to be chosen as one of three other U.S. students, and in total 33 other students around the world.

    I was also lucky to also be accepted as an intern at NASA’s Langley Research Center (Virginia), under their autonomous algorithm team and the mentorship of A.J. Narkawicz, working on the DAEDALUS and ICAROUS projects for autonomous unmanned aerial and watercraft systems. Most of this software supports and runs with/on critical software that operate in all of modern American airports and air traffic control. However, I chose to turn this down for CERN.

    How does your internship connect back to your coursework?

    The internship connects back to what I learned in Operating Systems, Database and Survey of Database Systems; I learned to work with managing synchronization between concurrent processes as well as lower-level software aspects of a computer; how to manage data across various data stores; get an idea of the importance of various features of a relational database; and when not to use a relational database (of which are very few and far-in-between) and so forth.

    What about this internship opportunity excites you the most?

    I am looking forward to living in Europe, completely free, for nine weeks! I never thought it would be possible for me to travel around the world in such a capacity – and for that, I am very grateful.

    Coming from a poor background as an immigrant, I would never think it possible to be a citizen of the United States, much less, be able to do things like this.

    What have you learned about yourself?

    I learned that just like always, I am cheap and would like to live on the bare minimum. Even in my previous internships, I remember calculating my grocery costs to ensure that they were optimal and that I wasn’t breaking the budget, even if I can afford the cost and I am already starting to suffer looking around at food prices at local stores in the area.

    How will this internship help you professionally?

    I expect that just like my internships at Wolfram and Apple, I can network with highly intelligent people coming from diverse fields of study, ranging from physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering and computer science. I am always humbled working with behemoths from their respective fields, living and working on the shoulders of giants.

    What advice do you have for others starting the internship process?

    This is my third internship. I interned at Wolfram during my sophomore year in Waltham, MA, building a research project utilizing Wolfram technologies. I also completed an internship at Apple during my junior year as a software engineer in Cupertino, CA, building real-time streaming and batch data processing and reporting softwares in Apple’s Internet Software and Services Department.

    At our club – Association for Computing Machinery at FIU – we’ve also managed to create a community of highly successful and motivated students doing internships this summer at prestigious companies (all software engineering roles at companies like Chase, State Farm, Target, MathWorks and etc). We have weekly workshops on machine learning, big data, web/mobile application development, programming languages and a lot of other real-world engineering principles that escape the more academic theory of the computer science/information technology curriculum.

    We also get tons of our members to come to hackathons with us, whether by getting their travel expenses reimbursed or carpools! Considering that we are club officers, we don’t get paid for the services we do for the club – we’re seriously and passionately committed and do care about getting as many students into the level of expertise and careers they want for themselves.

    Anything else you’d care to share?

    On a more personal note, I would also like to say that just like everyone else, I have had bouts in my life where I felt like I was not accomplishing anything and also suffered from the emotions that come with that. It is important to never place someone on a pedestal while seeing yourself as little. However hard those moments may hit, I consider it highly important to re-evaluate and to emphasize to yourself the importance of working harder and fighting against possible temptations and vices that may result from such emotions and impulses; the idea of not giving up is all the more important.

    Personally, I was able to fight through this by being a part of my local Marine Corps’ DEP (Delayed Entry Program) program, under the mentorship of Sgt. Ariel Tavarez, where I was able to reflect, get inspired and work through grueling physical exercises with people who have made an impactful change in their lives. Different solutions work for different people, but the one thing that stays true across all these, is to always stay your course.

    See the full article here .

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    FIU Campus

    As Miami’s first and only public research university, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, FIU is worlds ahead in its service to the academic and local community.

    Designated as a top-tier research institution, FIU emphasizes research as a major component in the university’s mission. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the School of Computing and Information Sciences’ Discovery Lab, are just two of many colleges, schools, and centers that actively enhance the university’s ability to set new standards through research initiatives.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Blind studies, , , , , Particle Accelerators, , ,   

    From Symmetry: “The facts and nothing but the facts” 

    Symmetry Mag

    Symmetry

    1
    Artwork by Corinne Mucha

    05/16/17
    Manuel Gnida

    At a recent workshop on blind analysis, researchers discussed how to keep their expectations out of their results.

    Scientific experiments are designed to determine facts about our world. But in complicated analyses, there’s a risk that researchers will unintentionally skew their results to match what they were expecting to find. To reduce or eliminate this potential bias, scientists apply a method known as “blind analysis.”

    Blind studies are probably best known from their use in clinical drug trials, in which patients are kept in the dark about—or blind to—whether they’re receiving an actual drug or a placebo. This approach helps researchers judge whether their results stem from the treatment itself or from the patients’ belief that they are receiving it.

    Particle physicists and astrophysicists do blind studies, too. The approach is particularly valuable when scientists search for extremely small effects hidden among background noise that point to the existence of something new, not accounted for in the current model. Examples include the much-publicized discoveries of the Higgs boson by experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and of gravitational waves by the Advanced LIGO detector.

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles


    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation


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

    Cornell SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project


    Gravitational waves. Credit: MPI for Gravitational Physics/W.Benger-Zib

    ESA/eLISA the future of gravitational wave research

    “Scientific analyses are iterative processes, in which we make a series of small adjustments to theoretical models until the models accurately describe the experimental data,” says Elisabeth Krause, a postdoc at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, which is jointly operated by Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “At each step of an analysis, there is the danger that prior knowledge guides the way we make adjustments. Blind analyses help us make independent and better decisions.”

    Krause was the main organizer of a recent workshop at KIPAC that looked into how blind analyses could be incorporated into next-generation astronomical surveys that aim to determine more precisely than ever what the universe is made of and how its components have driven cosmic evolution.

    Black boxes and salt

    One outcome of the workshop was a finding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, says KIPAC postdoc Kyle Story, one of the event organizers. “Blind analyses need to be designed individually for each experiment.”

    The way the blinding is done needs to leave researchers with enough information to allow a meaningful analysis, and it depends on the type of data coming out of a specific experiment.

    A common approach is to base the analysis on only some of the data, excluding the part in which an anomaly is thought to be hiding. The excluded data is said to be in a “black box” or “hidden signal box.”

    Take the search for the Higgs boson. Using data collected with the Large Hadron Collider until the end of 2011, researchers saw hints of a bump as a potential sign of a new particle with a mass of about 125 gigaelectronvolts. So when they looked at new data, they deliberately quarantined the mass range around this bump and focused on the remaining data instead.

    They used that data to make sure they were working with a sufficiently accurate model. Then they “opened the box” and applied that same model to the untouched region. The bump turned out to be the long-sought Higgs particle.

    That worked well for the Higgs researchers. However, as scientists involved with the Large Underground Xenon experiment reported at the workshop, the “black box” method of blind analysis can cause problems if the data you’re expressly not looking at contains rare events crucial to figuring out your model in the first place.

    LUX has recently completed one of the world’s most sensitive searches for WIMPs—hypothetical particles of dark matter, an invisible form of matter that is five times more prevalent than regular matter.

    LUX/Dark matter experiment at SURF

    LUX scientists have done a lot of work to guard LUX against background particles—building the detector in a cleanroom, filling it with thoroughly purified liquid, surrounding it with shielding and installing it under a mile of rock. But a few stray particles make it through nonetheless, and the scientists need to look at all of their data to find and eliminate them.

    For that reason, LUX researchers chose a different blinding approach for their analyses. Instead of using a “black box,” they use a process called “salting.”

    LUX scientists not involved in the most recent LUX analysis added fake events to the data—simulated signals that just look like real ones. Just like the patients in a blind drug trial, the LUX scientists didn’t know whether they were analyzing real or placebo data. Once they completed their analysis, the scientists that did the “salting” revealed which events were false.

    A similar technique was used by LIGO scientists, who eventually made the first detection of extremely tiny ripples in space-time called gravitational waves.

    High-stakes astronomical surveys

    The Blind Analysis workshop at KIPAC focused on future sky surveys that will make unprecedented measurements of dark energy and the Cosmic Microwave Background—observations that will help cosmologists better understand the evolution of our universe.

    CMB per ESA/Planck

    ESA/Planck

    Dark energy is thought to be a force that is causing the universe to expand faster and faster as time goes by. The CMB is a faint microwave glow spread out over the entire sky. It is the oldest light in the universe, left over from the time the cosmos was only 380,000 years old.

    To shed light on the mysterious properties of dark energy, the Dark Energy Science Collaboration is preparing to use data from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is under construction in Chile. With its unique 3.2-gigapixel camera, LSST will image billions of galaxies, the distribution of which is thought to be strongly influenced by dark energy.


    Dark Energy Camera [DECam], built at FNAL


    NOAO/CTIO Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile, housing DECam


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    “Blinding will help us look at the properties of galaxies picked for this analysis independent of the well-known cosmological implications of preceding studies,” DESC member Krause says. One way the collaboration plans on blinding its members to this prior knowledge is to distort the images of galaxies before they enter the analysis pipeline.

    Not everyone in the scientific community is convinced that blinding is necessary. Blind analyses are more complicated to design than non-blind analyses and take more time to complete. Some scientists participating in blind analyses inevitably spend time looking at fake data, which can feel like a waste.

    Yet others strongly advocate for going blind. KIPAC researcher Aaron Roodman, a particle-physicist-turned-astrophysicist, has been using blinding methods for the past 20 years.

    “Blind analyses have already become pretty standard in the particle physics world,” he says. “They’ll be also crucial for taking bias out of next-generation cosmological surveys, particularly when the stakes are high. We’ll only build one LSST, for example, to provide us with unprecedented views of the sky.”

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 1:25 pm on May 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Mykaela Reilly, Particle Accelerators, , ,   

    From BNL: Women in STEM – “Patchogue-Medford High School Student Builds a Remote Sensing System for ATLAS Detector Components” Mykaela Reilly 

    Brookhaven Lab

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    Patchogue-Medford High School student Mykaela Reilly (seated) with members of the ATLAS silicon tracker upgrade group in the Physics Department: (from left) Russell Burns, Alessandro Tricoli, Phil Kuczewski, Stefania Stucci, David Lynn, and Gerrit Van Nieuwenhuizen. No image credit.

    May 12, 2017
    Jane Koropsak
    jane@bnl.gov

    When Patchogue-Medford High School student Mykaela Reilly came to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory as part of the High School Research Program last summer, she thought she was coming to work for one summer. She never expected that her achievements would result in her being offered to continue at the lab another year. From soldering to building prototypes to computer programming, Reilly says that during the course of the year she learned a lot about how research projects come together and form the foundations of scientific discovery.

    Reilly was tasked with learning LabView, a software system and design program that helps scientists with data acquisition and instrument control. She also programmed micro-controllers used to monitor nitrogen levels to keep humidity low, limit condensation, and maintain steady temperatures inside an experimental area. It took weeks to build the experimental components and test the software that would remotely control that equipment. But, with guidance from her mentor, Lab physicist Alessandro Tricoli of the ATLAS silicon tracker upgrade group in the Physics Department, and research team members Phil Kuczewski and Stefania Stucci, Reilly worked out the “bugs” until she built a sensing system and computer program that her mentors say works seamlessly.

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    Reilly’s success may help advance one of the most ambitious scientific projects in the world—the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland. Brookhaven scientists have played multiple roles in constructing, operating, and upgrading this particle detector, which is the size of a seven-story building and has opened up new frontiers in the human pursuit of knowledge about elementary particles and their interactions. Reilly conducted experiments using her remote monitoring program to see how electronic components, such as readout chips that could be incorporated in an upgrade at ATLAS, respond to tough environmental conditions—particularly the high level of radiation at the LHC. Radiation-resilient silicon readout chips would reduce power consumption and simplify the design of the entire tracker system at ATLAS.

    “Mykaela’s work will shed light on how we can make the readout chips more resistant to the radiation at the LHC, and how we can keep the radiation effects under control,” said Tricoli. “I applaud her success. With her talent, I hope she decides to pursue a career in science or engineering.”

    What’s next?

    Just before the posting of this story, Reilly announced her plans to attend Stony Brook University to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. “That is wonderful news,” said Tricoli. “I hope to see her back at the Lab soon.”

    When she isn’t busy soldering, programming, or building sensing systems, you can find Reilly on the ice competing on a synchronized figure skating team with her sisters. “I found that synchronized figure skating is a lot like research,” she said. “It’s about hard work, precision, and collaboration.”

    See the full article here .

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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