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  • richardmitnick 2:00 pm on January 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Neural networks for neutrinos, , Particle Physics, ,   

    From Symmetry: “Neural networks for neutrinos” 

    Symmetry Mag


    Diana Kwon

    Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

    Scientists are using cutting-edge machine-learning techniques to analyze physics data.

    Particle physics and machine learning have long been intertwined.

    One of the earliest examples of this relationship dates back to the 1960s, when physicists were using bubble chambers to search for particles invisible to the naked eye. These vessels were filled with a clear liquid that was heated to just below its boiling point so that even the slightest boost in energy—for example, from a charged particle crashing into it—would cause it to bubble, an event that would trigger a camera to take a photograph.

    Female scanners often took on the job of inspecting these photographs for particle tracks. Physicist Paul Hough handed that task over to machines when he developed the Hough transform, a pattern recognition algorithm, to identify them.

    The computer science community later developed the Hough transform for use in applications such as computer vision, attempts to train computers to replicate the complex function of a human eye.

    “There’s always been a little bit of back and forth” between these two communities, says Mark Messier, a physicist at Indiana University.

    Since then, the field of machine learning has rapidly advanced. Deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence modeled after the human brain, has been implemented for a wide range of applications such as identifying faces, playing video games and even synthesizing life-like videos of politicians.

    Over the years, algorithms that help scientists pick interesting aberrations out of background data have been used in physics experiments such as BaBar at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and experiments at the Large Electron-Positron Collider at CERN and the Tevatron at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.


    CERN LEP Collider

    FNAL Tevatron

    FNAL/Tevatron map

    FNAL/Tevatron DZero detector

    FNAL/Tevatron CDF detector

    More recently, algorithms that learn to recognize patterns in large datasets have been handy for physicists studying hard-to-catch particles called neutrinos.

    This includes scientists on the NOvA experiment, who study a beam of neutrinos created at the US Department of Energy’s Fermilab near Chicago.

    FNAL NOvA Near Detector

    FNAL/NOvA experiment map

    The neutrinos stream straight through Earth to a 14,000-metric-ton detector filled with liquid scintillator sitting near the Canadian border in Minnesota.

    When a neutrino strikes the liquid scintillator, it releases a burst of particles. The detector collects information about the pattern and energy of those particles. Scientists use that information to figure out what happened in the original neutrino event.

    “Our job is almost like reconstructing a crime scene,” Messier says. “A neutrino interacts and leaves traces in the detector—we come along afterward and use what we can see to try and figure out what we can about the identity of the neutrino.”

    Over the last few years, scientists have started to use algorithms called convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to take on this task instead.

    CNNs, which are modelled after the mammalian visual cortex, are widely used in the technology industry—for example, to improve computer vision for self-driving cars. These networks are composed of multiple layers that act somewhat like filters: They contain densely interconnected nodes that possess numerical values, or weights, that are adjusted and refined as inputs pass through.

    “The ‘deep’ part comes from the fact that there are many layers to it,” explains Adam Aurisano, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati. “[With deep learning] you can take nearly raw data, and by pushing it through these stacks of learnable filters, you wind up extracting nearly optimal features.”

    For example, these algorithms can extract details associated with particle interactions of varying complexity from the “images” collected by recording different patterns of energy deposits in particle detectors.

    “Those stacks of filters have sort of sliced and diced the image and extracted physically meaningful bits of information that we would have tried to reconstruct before,” Aurisano says.

    Although they can be used to classify events without recreating them, CNNs can also be used to reconstruct particle interactions using a method called semantic segmentation.

    When applied to an image of a table, for example, this method would reconstruct the object by tagging each pixel associated with it, Aurisano explains. In the same way, scientists can label each pixel associated with characteristics of neutrino interactions, then use algorithms to reconstruct the event.

    Physicists are using this method to analyze data collected from the MicroBooNE neutrino detector.


    “The nice thing about this process is that you might find a cluster that’s made by your network that doesn’t fit in any interpretation in your model,” says Kazuhiro Terao, a scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. “That might be new physics. So we could use these tools to find stuff that we might not understand.”

    Scientists working on other particle physics experiments, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, are also using deep learning for data analysis.


    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    “All these big physics experiments are really very similar at the machine learning level,” says Pierre Baldi, a computer scientist at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s all images associated with these complex, very expensive detectors, and deep learning is the best method for extracting signal against some background noise.”

    Although most of the information is currently flowing from computer scientists to particle physicists, other communities may also gain new tools and insights from these experimental applications as well.

    For example, according to Baldi, one question that’s currently being discussed is whether scientists can write software that works across all these physics experiments with a minimal amount of human tuning. If this goal were achieved, it could benefit other fields, such a biomedical imaging, that use deep learning as well. “[The algorithm] would look at the data and calibrate itself,” he says. “That’s an interesting challenge for machine learning methods.”

    Another future direction, Terao says, would be to get machines to ask questions—or, more simply, to be able to identify outliers and try to figure out how to explain them.

    “If the AI can form a question and come up with a logical sequence to solve it, then that replaces a human,” he says. “To me, the kind of AI you want to see is a physics researcher—one that can do scientific research.”

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 3:41 pm on January 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Particle Physics,   

    From CfA: “A New Bound on Axions” 

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    Center For Astrophysics

    January 19, 2018

    A composite image of M87 in the X-ray from Chandra (blue) and in radio emission from the Very Large Array (red-orange). Astronomers used the X-ray emission from M87 to constrain the properties of axions, putative particles suggested as dark matter candidates. X-ray NASA/CXC/KIPAC/N. Werner, E. Million et al.; Radio NRAO/AUI/NSF/F. Owen.

    NASA/Chandra Telescope

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    An axion is a hypothetical elementary particle whose existence was postulated in order to explain why certain subatomic reactions appear to violate basic symmetry constraints, in particular symmetry in time. The 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics went for the discovery of time-asymmetric reactions. Meanwhile, during the following decades, astronomers studying the motions of galaxies and the character of the cosmic microwave background [CMB] radiation came to realize that most of the matter in the universe was not visible.

    CMB per ESA/Planck

    Cosmic Background Radiation per Planck


    It was dubbed dark matter, and today’s best measurements find that about 84% of matter in the cosmos is dark. This component is dark not only because it does not emit light — it is not composed of atoms or their usual constituents, like electrons and protons, and its nature is mysterious. Axions have been suggested as one possible solution. Particle physicists, however, have so far not been able to detect directly axions, leaving their existence in doubt and reinvigorating the puzzles they were supposed to resolve.

    CfA astronomer Paul Nulsen and his colleagues used a novel method to investigate the nature of axions. Quantum mechanics constrain axions, if they exist, to interact with light in the presence of a magnetic field. As they propagate along a strong field, axions and photons should transmute from one to the other other in an oscillatory manner. Because the strength of any possible effect depends in part on the energy of the photons, the astronomers used the Chandra X-ray Observatory to monitor bright X-ray emission from galaxies. They observed X-rays from the nucleus of the galaxy Messier 87, which is known to have strong magnetic fields, and which (at a distance of only fifty-three million light-years) is close enough to enable precise measurements of variations in the X-ray flux. Moreover, Me3ssier 87 lies in a cluster of galaxies, the Virgo cluster, which should insure the magnetic fields extend over very large scales and also facilitate the interpretation. Not least, Messier 87 has been carefully studied for decades and its properties are relatively well known.

    The search did not find the signature of axions. It does, however, set an important new limit on the strength of the coupling between axions and photons, and is able to rule out a substantial fraction of the possible future experiments that might be undertaken to detect axions. The scientists note that their research highlights the power of X-ray astronomy to probe some basic issues in particle physics, and point to complementary research activities that can be undertaken on other bright X-ray emitting galaxies.

    Science paper:
    A New Bound on Axion-Like Particles, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.

    See the full article here .

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    The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory (HCO), founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on January 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Long-lived physics, MATHUSLA- Massive Timing Hodoscope for Ultra Stable Neutral Particles, , Particle Physics   

    From CERN: “Long-lived physics” 

    Cern New Bloc

    Cern New Particle Event

    CERN New Masthead


    18 Jan 2018
    Iva Raynova

    The CMS experiment is looking for exotic long-lived particles that could get trapped in its detector layers (Image: Michael Hoch, Maximilien Brice/CERN)

    New particles produced in the LHC’s high-energy proton-proton collisions don’t hang around for long. A Higgs boson exists for less than a thousandth of a billionth of a billionth of a second before decaying into lighter particles, which can then be tracked or stopped in our detectors. Nothing rules out the existence of much longer-lived particles though, and certain theoretical scenarios predict that such extraordinary objects could get trapped in the LHC detectors, sitting there quietly for days.

    The CMS collaboration has reported new results [JHEP] in its search for heavy long-lived particles (LLPs), which could lose their kinetic energy and come to a standstill in the LHC detectors. Provided that the particles live for longer than a few tens of nanoseconds, their decay would be visible during periods when no LHC collisions are taking place, producing a stream of ordinary matter seemingly out of nowhere.

    The CMS team looked for these types of non-collision events in the densest detector materials of the experiment, where the long-lived particles are most likely to be stopped, based on LHC collisions in 2015 and 2016. Despite scouring data from a period of more than 700 hours, nothing strange was spotted. The results set the tightest cross-section and mass limits for hadronically-decaying long-lived particles that stop in the detector to date, and the first limits on stopped long-lived particles produced in proton-proton collisions at an energy of 13 TeV.

    The Standard Model, the theoretical framework that describes all the elementary particles, was vindicated in 2012 with the discovery of the Higgs boson.

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

    Standard Model of Particle Physics from Symmetry Magazine

    CERN CMS Higgs Event

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    But some of the universe’s biggest mysteries remain unexplained, such as why matter prevailed over antimatter in the early universe or what exactly dark matter is. Long-lived particles are among numerous exotic species that would help address these mysteries and their discovery would constitute a clear sign of physics beyond the Standard Model. In particular, the decays searched for in CMS concerned long-lived gluinos arising in a model called “split” supersymmetry (SUSY) and exotic particles called “MCHAMPs”.

    While the search for long-lived particles at the LHC is making rapid progress at both CMS and ATLAS, the construction of a dedicated LLP detector has been proposed for the high-luminosity era of the LHC. MATHUSLA (Massive Timing Hodoscope for Ultra Stable Neutral Particles) is planned to be a surface detector placed 100 metres above either ATLAS or CMS.


    It would be an enormous (200 × 200 × 20 m) box, mostly empty except for the very sensitive equipment used to detect LLPs produced in LHC collisions.

    Since LLPs interact weakly with ordinary matter, they will experience no trouble travelling through the rocks between the underground experiment and MATHUSLA. This process is similar to how weakly interacting cosmic rays travel through the atmosphere and pass through the Earth to reach our underground detectors, only in reverse. If constructed, the experiment will explore many more scenarios and bring us closer to discovering new physics.

    See the full article here.

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    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Quantum Diaries

    Cern Courier




    CERN CMS New

    CERN LHCb New II


    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    Quantum Diaries

  • richardmitnick 12:16 pm on January 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Measurements of weak top quark processes gain strength, , Particle Physics   

    From ATLAS at CERN: “Measurements of weak top quark processes gain strength” 

    This post is dedicated to L.Z. from H.P. and Rutgers Physics. I hope that he sees it.

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event


    18th January 2018
    ATLAS Collaboration

    Normalised differential cross-sections as a function of the mass of the two charged leptons and the b-jet unfolded from data, compared with selected Monte Carlo models. (Image: ATLAS Collaboration/CERN)

    The production of top quarks in association with vector bosons is a hot topic at the LHC. ATLAS first reported strong evidence for the production of a top quark in association with a Z boson at the EPS 2017 conference. In a paper submitted to the Journal of High-Energy Physics, the ATLAS experiment describes the measurement of top-quark production in association with a W boson in 13 TeV collisions.

    The new ATLAS result using the full 2015 and 2016 dataset extracts differential cross-sections for the production of a top quark in association with a W boson for the first time. This is particularly complex as top quarks almost always decay into a b quark and a W boson, and thus there are two W bosons in final state that decay very quickly. Events are selected that contain two charged leptons (electrons or muons), a jet that is identified as containing a hadron with a b quark, and missing transverse momentum due to the presence of neutrinos.

    Multivariate techniques are used to suppress large background contributions, especially from the production of a top quark with a top antiquark that occurs with much larger rate. They achieve a signal to background ratio of about 1:2, which allows the signal cross-section to be extracted as a function of kinematic observables. The measured background-subtracted distributions are corrected to remove the effects of experimental resolution so that they can be directly compared with theoretical predictions.

    Differential cross-sections as a function of several variables related to both the event and top quark or W boson kinematic properties have been measured and compared to theory predictions, implemented in different Monte Carlo programmes. The figure shows one out of the six extracted cross-sections.

    The uncertainty on the measurements is at the 20­-50% level, dominated by statistical effects. While this does not allow to draw firm conclusions, the data tend to have more events with high-momentum final-state objects than predicted. This effect can be seen in the figure. A quantitative analysis reveals, however, that the tested Monte Carlo models are all statistically compatible with the data. As ATLAS continues to study this channel, the increased size of the data sample and improvements in the predictions should make such comparisons more significant.


    Measurement of differential cross-sections of a single top quark produced in association with a W boson at 13 TeV with ATLAS (arXiv: 1712.01602, see figures ).
    Measurement of the cross-section for producing a W boson in association with a single top quark in pp collisions at 13 TeV with ATLAS (arXiv: 1612.07231).
    Measurement of the production cross-section of a single top quark in association with a Z boson in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector (ATLAS-CONF-2017-052).
    See also the full lists of ATLAS Conference Notes and ATLAS Physics Papers.

    See the full article here .

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

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    CERN Courier


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  • richardmitnick 3:18 pm on January 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Particle Physics, , White Rabbit technology   

    From FNAL: “Timing neutrinos with White Rabbit” 

    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.

    January 17, 2018
    Tom Barratt

    From left: Donatella Torretta, William Badgett and Angela Fava fine tune the White Rabbit synchronization system for the Fermilab Short-Baseline Neutrino Program. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    Being on time is important – just ask Lewis Carroll’s leporine friend – and one group who knows this more than most are particle physicists, whose work revolves around keeping track of near-light speed blips of matter.

    As particle accelerators and experiments have become increasingly complex and choreographed over the decades, technology behind the scenes has had to innovate to keep up. One such example is White Rabbit, a clever timing and data transfer system that is playing a key role in modern particle physics.

    “We are always pushing our experiments to higher and higher precisions,” said Angela Fava, scientist on Fermilab’s ICARUS neutrino detector and part of the team exploring White Rabbit at Fermilab.


    White Rabbit is really useful because it can reach time precisions down to less than a billionth of a second.”

    What is White Rabbit?

    • It is a Ethernet based network for general

    purpose data transfer and sub-nanosecond
    accuracy synchronization of time signals over a
    large geographic system.

    • White Rabbit was developed at CERN, and is

    currently used there for precise timing of data

    • Not a “one size fits all”, and must be tailored

    for specific needs.

    Keeping time

    In modern particle accelerators, many separate components have to be activated in sequence in a timely manner to identify and track particles passing by at the speed of light. This requires very precise synchronization and timing systems to determine when these events should occur – an egg timer won’t cut it here.

    Until recently, this timing has usually been achieved with devices that are hard-wired into experimental equipment, such as the General Machine Timing (GMT) system at CERN. But GMT has limitations, including a low data bandwidth, the capacity to only send signals one way through the network, and an inability to self-calibrate — to internally calculate how long a signal has taken to travel — which results in timing errors.

    As experiments grow in complexity and require nanosecond coordination, physicists have been left with a need for a one-size-fits-all system that can provide the required time synchronization and still be compatible with systems from multiple sources and vendors that are already in place.

    The solution is White Rabbit, an open-source system that builds on common and accessible Ethernet technology – the same technology behind wired internet access. The system works kind of like an everyday computer network, too, with circuit boards called “nodes,” controlled by a specially written program.

    Up to around 1,000 nodes can be linked in one White Rabbit network, all connected together with a web of optical fibers – up to 10 kilometers long – to exchange information. As the technology develops, the system will likely be able to support even more nodes separated by greater distances.

    Since precise timing is so important in modern experiments, White Rabbit’s power comes in its ability to keep itself synchronized, no matter the cable length between nodes or other external factors. Even relatively small changes in cable temperature can affect travel time on the scale of nanoseconds, for example.

    A White Rabbit system works kind of like a hierarchy, where one of the nodes in a network is designated a “master” and is responsible for keeping all the other nodes in check. The external time is fed into the master from high-precision atomic oscillators via orbiting GPS satellites, the same technology on which Google Maps navigation is based.

    This exact time is digitally attached to blips of data – which, for example, include control instructions for accelerators – that constantly fly around the network. By sending the time tags back and forth between nodes, which GMT isn’t able to do, the system can calculate the time delays it takes for data to travel through cables and correct for them, keeping all the nodes in synchronization with the correct time and ensuring experimental events are kept coordinated.

    Fava and scientist Donatella Torretta, together with William Badgett at Fermilab, are currently working on installing White Rabbit into some of Fermilab’s experiments, including the Short-Baseline Neutrino (SBN) Program, which will study neutrinos – tiny, elusive particles. The first use of White Rabbit in North America, the system can be used to time-tag the neutrinos from their production at the beam source through to the detector at the end of the experiment.

    On the SBN ICARUS detector, White Rabbit can also be used to get an extremely accurate tagging of unwanted cosmic particles that come from space and get in the way of the experiment, potentially hiding the neutrino signatures.

    “It would be possible to run ICARUS without White Rabbit, but it’s lot easier if we use it,” said Fava. “And it’s all in real-time too, so it saves on our computing power and storage.”

    Open science

    White Rabbit was first conceived in around 2008 as an international collaboration between CERN, the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany, and other partners, and was introduced to boost the abilities of the Large Hadron Collider.

    From the beginning, the collaboration has made both the hardware and software for the timing system openly available to anyone around the world. The physical equipment can be purchased from commercial vendors, while the software is completely free and easily accessible online.

    “Everybody benefits when science is open,” said Torretta, who learned about White Rabbit at a demonstration workshop at CERN. “As the technology develops, it’s becoming more and more popular.”

    Torretta has since attended further workshops to learn more, including one recently in Barcelona, which was organized by White Rabbit experts from CERN.

    The CERN development team also took care to ensure the design was as general as possible, so as to allow a large range of practical applications for the technology, including outside of science. A group in the Netherlands has even used White Rabbit to transmit official time between Dutch cities with nanosecond accuracies.

    See the full article here .

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    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 1:53 pm on January 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Particle Physics, ,   

    From Physics World: “Neutrino hunter” 


    Nigel Lockyer

    Nigel Lockyer, director of Fermilab in the US, talks to Michael Banks about the future of particle physics – and why neutrinos hold the key.

    Fermilab is currently building the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). How are things progressing?

    Construction began last year with a ground-breaking ceremony held in July at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, which is home to DUNE.

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

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    SURF building in Lead SD USA

    By 2022 the first of four tanks of liquid argon, each 17,000 tonnes, will be in place detecting neutrinos from space. Then in 2026, when all four are installed, Fermilab will begin sending the first beam of neutrinos to DUNE, which is some 1300 km away.

    Why neutrinos?

    Neutrinos have kept throwing up surprises ever since we began studying them and we expect a lot more in the future. In many ways, the best method to study physics beyond the Standard Model is with neutrinos.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics from Symmetry Magazine

    What science do you plan when DUNE comes online?

    One fascinating aspect is detecting neutrinos from supernova explosions. Liquid argon is very good at picking up electron neutrinos and we would expect to see a signal if that occurred in our galaxy. We could then study how the explosion results in a neutron star or black hole. That would really be an amazing discovery.

    And what about when Fermilab begins firing neutrinos towards DUNE?

    One of the main goals is to investigate charge–parity (CP) violation in the lepton sector. We would be looking for the appearance of electron and antielectron neutrinos. If there is a statistical difference then this would be a sign of CP violation and could give us hints as to the reason why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. Another aspect of the experiment is to search for proton decay.

    How will Fermilab help in the effort?

    To produce neutrinos, the protons smash into a graphite target that is currently the shape of a pencil. We are aiming to quadruple the proton beam power from 700 kW to 2.5 MW. Yet we can’t use graphite after the accelerator has been upgraded due to the high beam power so we need to have a rigorous R&D effort in materials physics.

    What kind of materials are you looking at?

    The issue we face is how to dissipate heat better. We are looking at alloys of beryllium to act as a target and potentially rotating it to cool it down better.

    What are some of the challenges in building the liquid argon detectors?

    So far the largest liquid argon detector is built in the US at Fermilab, which is 170 tonnes. As each full-sized tank at DUNE will be 17,000 tonnes, we face a challenge to scale up the technology. One particular issue is that the electronics are contained within the liquid argon and we need to do some more R&D in this area to make sure they can operate effectively. The other area is with the purity of the liquid argon itself. It is a noble gas and, if pure, an electron can drift forever within it. But if there are any impurities that will limit how well the detector can operate.

    How will you go about developing this technology?

    The amount of data you get out of liquid argon detectors is enormous, so we need to make sure we have all the technology tried and tested. We are in the process of building two 600 tonne prototype detectors, the first of which will be tested at CERN in June 2018.

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    The UK recently announced it will contribute £65m towards DUNE, how will that be used?

    The UK is helping build components for the detector and contributing with the data-acquisition side. It is also helping to develop the new proton target, and to construct the new linear accelerator that will enable the needed beam power.

    The APA being prepped for shipment at Daresbury Laboratory. (Credit: STFC)

    First APA (Anode Plane Assembly) ready to be installed in the protoDUNE-SP detector Photograph: Ordan, Julien Marius

    Are you worried Brexit might derail such an agreement?

    I don’t think so. The agreement is between the UK and US governments and we expect the UK to maintain its support.

    Japan is planning a successor to its Super Kamiokande neutrino detector – Hyper Kamiokande – that would carry out similar physics. Is it a collaborator or competitor?

    Well, it’s not a collaborator. Like Super Kamiokande, Hyper Kamiokande would be a water-based detector, the technology of which is much more established than liquid argon. However, in the long run liquid argon is a much more powerful detector medium – you can get a lot more information about the neutrino from it. I think we are pursuing the right technology. We also have a longer baseline that would let us look for additional interactions between neutrinos and we will create neutrinos with a range of energies. Additionally, the DUNE detectors will be built a mile underground to shield them from cosmic interference.

    Super-Kamiokande experiment. located under Mount Ikeno near the city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, Japan

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

    In the long run liquid argon is a much more powerful detector medium – you can get a lot more information about the neutrino from it.

    Regarding the future at the high-energy frontier, does the US support the International Linear Collider (ILC)?

    ILC schematic, being planned for the Kitakami highland, in the Iwate prefecture of northern Japan

    The ILC began as an international project and in recent years Japan has come forward with an interest to host it. We think that Japan now needs to take a lead on the project and give it the go-ahead. Then we can all get around the table and begin negotiations.

    And what about plans by China to build its own Higgs factory?

    The Chinese government is looking at the proposal carefully and trying to gauge how important it is for the research community in China. Currently, Chinese accelerator scientists are busy with two upcoming projects in the country: a free-electron laser in Shanghai and a synchrotron in Beijing. That will keep them busy for the next five years, but after that this project could really take off.

    See the full article here .

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    PhysicsWorld is a publication of the Institute of Physics. The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

    We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.
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  • richardmitnick 2:52 pm on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Particle Physics, , , The Dark Sector   

    From Symmetry: “Voyage into the dark sector” 

    Symmetry Mag


    Sarah Charley

    Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova

    A hidden world of particles awaits. [We hope!]

    We don’t need extra dimensions or parallel universes to have an alternate reality superimposed right on top of our own. Invisible matter is everywhere.

    For example, take neutrinos generated by the sun, says Jessie Shelton, a theorist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who works on dark sector physics. “We are constantly bombarded with neutrinos, but they pass right through us. They share the same space as our atoms but almost never interact.”

    As far as scientists can tell, neutrinos are solitary particles. But what if there is a whole world of particles that interact with one another but not with ordinary atoms? This is the idea behind the dark sector: a theoretical world of matter existing alongside our own but invisible to the detectors we use to study the particles we know.

    “Dark sectors are, by their very definition, built out of particles that don’t interact strongly with the Standard Model,” Shelton says.

    The Standard Model is a physicist’s field guide to the 17 particles and forces that make up all visible matter.

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

    Standard Model of Particle Physics from Symmetry Magazine

    It explains how atoms can form and why the sun shines. But it cannot explain gravity, the cosmic imbalance of matter and antimatter, or the disparate strengths of nature’s four forces.

    CERN ALPHA Antimatter Factory

    On its own, an invisible world of dark sector particles cannot solve all these problems. But it certainly helps.

    Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova

    The main selling point for the dark sector is that the theories comprehensively confront the problem of dark matter. Dark matter is a term physicists coined to explain bizarre gravitational effects they observe in the cosmos. Distant starlight appears to bend around invisible objects as it traverses the cosmos, and galaxies spin as if they had five times more mass than their visible matter can explain. Even the ancient light preserved in cosmic microwave background seems to suggest that there is an invisible scaffolding on which galaxies are formed.

    Some theories suggest that dark matter is simple cosmic debris that adds mass—but little else—to the complexity of our cosmos. But after decades of searching, physicists have yet to find dark matter in a laboratory experiment. Maybe the reason scientists haven’t been able to detect it is that they’ve been underestimating it.

    “There is no particular reason to expect that whatever is going on in the dark sector has to be as simple as our most minimal models,” Shelton says. “After all, we know that our visible world has a lot of rich physics: Photons, electrons, protons, nuclei and neutrinos are all critically important for understanding the cosmology of how we got here. The dark sector could be a busy place as well.”

    According to Shelton, dark matter could be the only surviving particle out of a similarly complicated set of dark particles.

    “It could even be something like the proton, a bound state of particles interacting via a very strong dark force. Or it could even be something like a hydrogen atom, a bound state of particles interacting via a weaker dark force,” she says.

    Even if terrestrial experiments cannot see these stable dark matter particles directly, they might be sensitive to other kinds of dark particles, such as dark photons or short-lived dark particles that interact strongly with the Higgs boson.

    CERN CMS Higgs Event

    CERN ATLAS Higgs Event

    “The Higgs is one of the easiest ways for the Standard Model particles to talk to the dark sector,” Shelton says.

    As far as scientists know, the Higgs boson is not picky. It may very well interact will all sorts of massive particles, including those invisible to ordinary atoms. If the Higgs boson interacts with massive dark sector particles, scientists should find that its properties deviate slightly from the Standard Model’s predictions. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider are precisely measuring the properties of the Higgs boson to search for unexpected quirks that could open a gateway to new physics.


    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    At the same time, scientists are also using the LHC to search for dark sector particles directly. One theory is that at extremely high temperatures, dark matter and ordinary matter are not so different and can transform into one another through a dark force. In the hot and dense early universe, this would have been quite common.

    “But as the universe expanded and cooled, this interaction froze out, leaving some relic dark matter behind,” Shelton says.

    The energetic particle collisions generated by the LHC imitate the conditions that existed in the early universe and could unlock dark sector particles. If scientists are lucky, they might even catch dark sector particles metamorphosing into ordinary matter, an event that could materialize in the experimental data as particle tracks that suddenly appear from no apparent source.

    But there are also several feasible scenarios in which any interactions between the dark sector and our Standard Model particles are so tiny that they are out of reach of modern experiments, according to Shelton.

    “These ‘nightmare’ scenarios are completely logical possibilities, and in this case, we will have to think very carefully about astrophysical and cosmological ways to look for the footprints of dark particle physics,” she says.

    Even if the dark sector is inaccessible to particle detectors, dark matter will always be visible through the gravitational fingerprint it leaves on the cosmos.

    “Gravity tells us a lot about how much dark matter is in the universe and the kinds of particle interactions dark sector particles can and cannot have,” Shelton says. “For instance, more sensitive gravitational-wave experiments will give us the possibility to look back in time and see what our universe looked like at extremely high energies, and could maybe reveal more about this invisible matter living in our cosmos.”

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 2:27 pm on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Particle Physics, ,   

    From STFC: “UK builds vital component of global neutrino experiment” 


    16 January 2018
    Becky Parker-Ellis
    Tel: +44(0)1793 444564
    Mob: +44(0)7808 879294

    The APA being prepped for shipment at Daresbury Laboratory. (Credit: STFC)

    The UK has built an essential piece of the globally-anticipated DUNE experiment, which will study the differences between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos in a bid to understand how the Universe came to be made up of matter.

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

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    SURF building in Lead SD USA

    Vital components of the DUNE detectors have been constructed in the UK and have now been shipped to CERN for initial testing, marking a significant milestone for the experiment’s progress.

    DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) is a flagship international experiment run by the United States Department of Energy’s Fermilab [FNAL] that involves over 1,000 scientists from 31 countries. Various elements of the experiment are under construction across the world, with the UK taking a major role in contributing essential expertise and components to the experiment and facility.

    Using a particle accelerator, an intense beam of neutrinos will be fired 800 miles through the earth from Fermilab in Chicago to the DUNE experiment in South Dakota. There the incoming beam will be studied using DUNE’s liquid-argon detector.

    The DUNE project aims to advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the universe. One aspect of study is the behaviour of particles called neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts, antineutrinos. This could provide insight as to why we live in a matter-dominated universe and inform the debate on why the universe survived the Big Bang.

    A UK team has just completed their first prototype Anode Plane Assembly (APA), the largest component of the DUNE detector, to be used in the protoDUNE detector at CERN.

    First APA (Anode Plane Assembly) ready to be installed in the protoDUNE-SP detector Photograph: Ordan, Julien Marius

    CERN Proto DUNE Maximillian Brice

    The APA, which was built at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory, is the first such anode plane to ever have been built in the UK.

    The APAs are large rectangular steel frames covered with approximately 4000 wires that are used to read the signal from particle tracks generated inside the liquid-argon detector. At 2.3m by 6.3m, the impressive frames are roughly as large as five full-size pool tables led side-by-side.

    Dr Justin Evans of the University of Manchester, who is leading the protoDUNE APA-construction project in the UK, said: “This shipment marks the culmination of a year of very hard work by the team, which has members from STFC Daresbury and the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Lancaster. Constructing this anode plane has required relentless attention to detail, and huge dedication to addressing the challenges of building something for the first time. This is a major milestone on our way to doing exciting physics with the protoDUNE and DUNE detectors.”

    These prototype frames were funded through an STFC grant. The 150 APAs that the UK will produce for the large-scale DUNE detector will be paid for as part of the £65million investment by the UK in the UK-US Science and Technology agreement, which was announced in September last year.

    Mechanical engineer Alan Grant has led the organisation of the project on behalf of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory. He said: “This is an exciting milestone for the UK’s contribution to the DUNE project.

    “The planes are a vital part of the liquid-argon detectors and are one of the biggest component contributions the UK is making to DUNE, so it is thrilling to have the first one ready for shipping and testing.

    “We have a busy few years ahead of us at the Daresbury Laboratory as we are planning to build 150 panels for one of DUNE’s modules, but we are looking forward to meeting the challenge.”

    The ProtoDUNE core installation team members at CERN, in front of the truck from Daresbury. (Credit: University of Liverpool)

    The UK’s first complete APA began the long journey to CERN by road on Friday (January 12), and arrived in Geneva today (January 16). Once successfully tested on the protoDUNE experiment at CERN, a full set of panels will be created and eventually be installed one-mile underground at Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) in the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

    This is the first such plane to be delivered by the UK to CERN for testing, with the second and third panels set to be shipped in spring. It is expected to take two to three years to produce the full 150 APAs for one module.

    Professor Alfons Weber, of STFC and Oxford University, is the overall Principal Investigator of DUNE UK. He said: “We in the UK are gearing up to deliver several major components for the DUNE experiment and the LBNF facility, which also include the data acquisition system, accelerator components and the neutrino production target. These prototype APAs, which will be installed and tested at CERN, are one of the first major deliveries that will make this exciting experiment a reality.”

    The DUNE APA consortium is led by Professor Stefan Söldner-Rembold of the University of Manchester, with contributions from several other North West universities including Liverpool, Sheffield and Lancaster.

    Professor Söldner-Rembold said: “Each one of the four final DUNE modules will contain 17,000 tons of liquid argon. For a single module, 150 APAs will need to be built which represents a major construction challenge. We are working with UK industry to prepare this large construction project. The wires are kept under tension and we need to ensure that none of the wires will break during several decades of detector operation as the inside of the detector will not be accessible. The planes will now undergo rigorous testing to make sure they are up for the job.

    “Physicists across the world are excited to see what DUNE will be capable of, as unlocking the secrets of the neutrino will help us understand more about the structure of the Universe.

    “Although neutrinos are the second most abundant particle in the Universe, they are enormously difficult to catch as they have very nearly no mass, are not charged and rarely interact with other particles. This is why DUNE is such an exciting experiment and why we are celebrating this milestone in its construction.”

    Christos Touramanis, from the University of Liverpool and co-spokesperson for the protoDUNE project, said: “ProtoDUNE is the first CERN experiment which is a prototype for an experiment at Fermilab, a demonstration of global strategy and coordination in modern particle physics. We in the UK have been instrumental in setting up protoDUNE and in addition to my role we provide leadership in the data acquisition sub-project, and of course anode planes.”

    DUNE will also watch for neutrinos produced when a star explodes, which could reveal the formation of neutron stars and black holes, and will investigate whether protons live forever or eventually decay, bringing us closer to fulfilling Einstein’s dream of a grand unified theory.

    See the full article here .

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    STFC Hartree Centre

    Helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy

    We are a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world. Our strength comes from our distinct but interrelated functions:

    Universities: we support university-based research, innovation and skills development in astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics, and space science
    Scientific Facilities: we provide access to world-leading, large-scale facilities across a range of physical and life sciences, enabling research, innovation and skills training in these areas
    National Campuses: we work with partners to build National Science and Innovation Campuses based around our National Laboratories to promote academic and industrial collaboration and translation of our research to market through direct interaction with industry
    Inspiring and Involving: we help ensure a future pipeline of skilled and enthusiastic young people by using the excitement of our sciences to encourage wider take-up of STEM subjects in school and future life (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

    We support an academic community of around 1,700 in particle physics, nuclear physics, and astronomy including space science, who work at more than 50 universities and research institutes in the UK, Europe, Japan and the United States, including a rolling cohort of more than 900 PhD students.

    STFC-funded universities produce physics postgraduates with outstanding high-end scientific, analytic and technical skills who on graduation enjoy almost full employment. Roughly half of our PhD students continue in research, sustaining national capability and creating the bedrock of the UK’s scientific excellence. The remainder – much valued for their numerical, problem solving and project management skills – choose equally important industrial, commercial or government careers.

    Our large-scale scientific facilities in the UK and Europe are used by more than 3,500 users each year, carrying out more than 2,000 experiments and generating around 900 publications. The facilities provide a range of research techniques using neutrons, muons, lasers and x-rays, and high performance computing and complex analysis of large data sets.

    They are used by scientists across a huge variety of science disciplines ranging from the physical and heritage sciences to medicine, biosciences, the environment, energy, and more. These facilities provide a massive productivity boost for UK science, as well as unique capabilities for UK industry.

    Our two Campuses are based around our Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire, and our Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire – each of which offers a different cluster of technological expertise that underpins and ties together diverse research fields.

    The combination of access to world-class research facilities and scientists, office and laboratory space, business support, and an environment which encourages innovation has proven a compelling combination, attracting start-ups, SMEs and large blue chips such as IBM and Unilever.

    We think our science is awesome – and we know students, teachers and parents think so too. That’s why we run an extensive Public Engagement and science communication programme, ranging from loans to schools of Moon Rocks, funding support for academics to inspire more young people, embedding public engagement in our funded grant programme, and running a series of lectures, travelling exhibitions and visits to our sites across the year.

    Ninety per cent of physics undergraduates say that they were attracted to the course by our sciences, and applications for physics courses are up – despite an overall decline in university enrolment.

  • richardmitnick 5:37 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Particle Physics, PHENIX, , ,   

    From BNL: “Surprising Result Shocks Scientists Studying Spin” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    January 8, 2018
    Karen McNulty Walsh
    (631) 344-8350

    Peter Genzer,
    (631) 344-3174

    Findings on how differently sized nuclei respond to spin offer new insight into mechanisms affecting particle production in proton-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

    BNL RHIC Campus

    The PHENIX detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

    Alexander Bazilevsky discusses surprising particle spin results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    Imagine playing a game of billiards, putting a bit of counter-clockwise spin on the cue ball and watching it deflect to the right as it strikes its target ball. With luck, or skill, the target ball sinks into the corner pocket while the rightward-deflected cue ball narrowly misses a side-pocket scratch. Now imagine your counter-clockwise spinning cue ball striking a bowling ball instead, and deflecting even more strongly—but to the left—when it strikes the larger mass.

    That’s similar to the shocking situation scientists found themselves in when analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Neutrons produced when a spinning proton collides with another proton come out with a slight rightward-skew preference. But when the spinning proton collides with a much larger gold nucleus, the neutrons’ directional preference becomes larger and switches to the left.

    Brookhaven Lab physicist Alexander Bazilevsky and RIKEN physicist Itaru Nakagawa use billiards and a bowling ball to demonstrate surprising results observed at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider’s PHENIX detector when small particles collided with larger ones.

    “What we observed was totally amazing,” said Brookhaven physicist Alexander Bazilevsky, a deputy spokesperson for the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC, which is reporting these results in a new paper just published in Physical Review Letters. “Our findings may mean that the mechanisms producing particles along the direction in which the spinning proton is traveling may be very different in proton-proton collisions compared with proton-nucleus collisions.”

    Understanding different particle production mechanisms could have big implications for interpreting other high-energy particle collisions, including the interactions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays with particles in the Earth’s atmosphere, Bazilevsky said.

    Detecting particles’ directional preferences

    Spin physicists first observed the tendency of more neutrons to emerge slightly to the right in proton-proton interactions in 2001-2002, during RHIC’s first polarized proton experiments. RHIC, which has been operating since 2000, is the only collider in the world with the ability to precisely control the polarization, or spin direction, of colliding protons, so this was new territory at the time. It took some time for theoretical physicists to explain the result. But the theory they developed, published in 2011, gave scientists no reason to expect such a strong directional preference when protons were colliding with larger nuclei, let alone a complete flip in the direction of that preference.

    Neutrons produced when a spin-aligned (polarized) proton collides with another proton come out with a slight rightward-skew preference. But when the polarized proton collides with a much larger gold nucleus, the neutrons’ directional preference becomes larger and switches to the left. These surprising results imply that the mechanisms producing particles along the beam direction may be very different in these two types of collisions.

    “We anticipated something similar to the proton-proton effect, because we couldn’t think of any reasons why the asymmetry could be different,” said Itaru Nakagawa, a physicist from Japan’s RIKEN laboratory, who served as PHENIX’s deputy run coordinator for spin measurements in 2015. “Can you imagine why a bowling ball would scatter a cue ball in the opposite direction compared with a target billiard ball?”

    2015 was the year RHIC first collided polarized protons with gold nuclei at high energy, the first such collisions anywhere in the world. Minjung Kim—a graduate student at Seoul National University and the RIKEN-BNL Research Center at Brookhaven Lab—first noticed the surprisingly dramatic skew of the neutrons—and the fact that the directional preference was opposite to that seen in proton-proton collisions. Bazilevsky worked with her on data analysis and detector simulations to confirm the effect and make sure it was not an artifact from the detector or something to do with the adjustment of the beams. Then, Nakagawa worked closely with the accelerator physicists on a series of experiments to repeat the measurements under even more precisely controlled conditions.

    “This was truly a collaborative effort between experimentalists and accelerator physicists who could tune such a huge and complicated accelerator facility on the fly to meet our experimental needs,” Bazilevsky said, expressing gratitude for those efforts and admiration for the versatility and flexibility of RHIC.

    The new measurements, which also included results from collisions of protons with intermediate-sized aluminum ions, showed the effect was real and that it changed with the size of the nucleus.

    “So we have three sets of data—colliding polarized protons with protons, aluminum, and gold,” Bazilevsky said. “The asymmetry gradually increases from negative in proton-proton—with more neutrons scattering to the right—to nearly zero asymmetry in proton-aluminum, to a large positive asymmetry in proton-gold collisions—with many more scatterings to the left.”

    Particle production mechanisms

    To understand the findings, the scientists had to look more closely at the processes and forces affecting the scattering particles.

    “In the particle world, things are much more complicated than the simple case of (spinning) billiard balls colliding,” Bazilevsky said. “There are a number of different processes involved in particle scattering, and these processes themselves can interact or interfere with one another.”

    “The measured asymmetry is the sum of these interactions or interferences of different processes,” said Kim.

    Nakagawa, who led the theoretical interpretation of the experimental data, elaborated on the different mechanisms.

    The basic idea is that, in the case of large nuclei such as gold, which have a very large positive electric charge, electromagnetic interactions play a much more important role in particle production than they do in the case when two small, equally charged protons collide.

    “In the collisions of protons with protons, the effect of electric charge is negligibly small,” Nakagawa said. In that case, the asymmetry is driven by interactions governed by the strong nuclear force—as the theory developed back in 2011 correctly described. But as the size, and therefore charge, of the nucleus increases, the electromagnetic force takes on a larger role and, at a certain point, flips the directional preference for neutron production.

    The scientists will continue to analyze the 2015 data in different ways to see how the effect depends on other variables, such as the momentum of the particles in various directions. They’ll also look at how preferences of particles other than neutrons are affected, and work with theorists to better understand their results.

    Another idea would be to execute a new series of experiments colliding polarized protons with other kinds of nuclei not yet measured.

    “If we observe exactly the asymmetry we predict based on the electromagnetic interaction, then this becomes very strong evidence to support our hypothesis,” Nakagawa said.

    In addition to providing a unique way to understand different particle production mechanisms, this new result adds to the puzzling story of what causes the transverse spin asymmetry in the first place—an open question for physicists since the 1970s. These and other results from RHIC’s polarized proton collisions will eventually contribute to solving this question.

    This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science, and by all the agencies and organizations supporting research at PHENIX.

    See the full article here .

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    BNL Campus

    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.

  • richardmitnick 4:36 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Accelerating science, , , Building collaborations, , , , , MUSE and NEWS are two grant programs by which nearly 150 European scientists come to Fermilab to help advance its research, MUSE and NEWS are two new endeavors at the DOE Office of Science’s FNAL, Particle Physics   

    From FNAL: “MUSE and NEWS are on the RISE” 

    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.

    January 8, 2018
    No writer credit found

    MUSE and NEWS are two new endeavors at the DOE Office of Science’s Fermilab, the U.S.’s premier particle physics laboratory. And contrary to what some physics fans might infer, the acronyms don’t stand for science experiments.

    They’re two new bridge-building grant programs that are designed to enable scientists from Europe to conduct particle physics research at Fermilab.

    Muon g-2 is one of the Fermilab experiments that European scientists work on through the MUSE agreement. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    FNAL G-2 magnet from Brookhaven Lab finds a new home in the FNAL Muon G-2 experiment

    FNAL Muon g-2 studio

    RISE to the occasion

    MUSE and NEWS are two grant programs by which nearly 150 European scientists come to Fermilab to help advance its research, in particular on the laboratory’s muon experiments and superconducting accelerator technology. Their contributions total the equivalent of $15 million in salaried work.

    The European Commission H2020 research and innovation program provides funding for the NEWS and MUSE projects through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) action. (The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union.)

    The RISE scheme promotes international and cross-sector collaboration through the exchange research and innovation staff and by sharing knowledge and ideas from research to market (and vice versa).

    “Everybody wins,” said Simone Donati of the University of Pisa, who is also a NEWS co-coordinator. “The European institutions benefit because they receive money to travel here. Fermilab benefits because it has placed several institutions into the networks. The people benefit. And the networks should last for a long time, even after the projects’ completion.”

    Building collaborations

    MUSE exchange scientists also work on Mu2e. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    FNAL Mu2e solenoid

    FNAL Mu2e facility

    Accelerating science

    MUSE, which started in 2016, is coordinated by INFN researcher Simona Giovannella and supports roughly 70 scientists from universities and research institutes in Germany, Greece, Italy and the UK to work on Fermilab’s Mu2e and Muon g-2 experiments. The European scientists will contribute to an impressive 400 months’ worth of contributed work over four years to help further the cutting-edge particle detector technologies needed to look for hidden or rare particles predicted by theory but, as of now, never observed by experiment. Fermilab scientist Doug Glenzinski coordinates this activity at the lab.

    NEWS was proposed a year later, in 2016, to advance a number of fields in particle physics. Through NEWS, scientists from Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden come to Fermilab to study muon physics and superconducting accelerator science. They also go to Caltech, NASA, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and U.S. companies, as well as to the Japanese National Astronomical Observatory in Japan.

    Fermilab in particular will enjoy 100 months’ worth of contributed work over four years through NEWS, beginning in 2018. The roughly 60 visiting scientists will work on superconducting technologies for particle accelerators and detectors. Barzi coordinates this activity at Fermilab.

    (And in case you wondered: NEWS is short for “NEw WindowS on the universe and technological advancements from trilateral EU-US-Japan collaboration.” The MUSE acronym is more straightforward: “Muon campus in the U.S. and European contributions.” Acronymization is an art, not a science.)

    Reaching out through RISE

    NEWS enables European scientists to work on superconducting accelerator and detector technologies at Fermilab. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    Outreach is a crucial component of participation in a RISE-funded program. MUSE and NEWS scientists at Fermilab are required to conduct science outreach in some way during their time at the lab. Many, for example, participate in the laboratory’s international summer students program, which was initially established by University of Pisa Professor Emeritus Giorgio Bellettini for visiting Italian university students in 1984.

    “The summer student program is just one example,” Donati said. “There are many other initiatives that we organize at Fermilab and other institutions, such as teaching seminars by experts in their field and physics nights at historical venues.”

    It’s all a part of the benefits-of-networks ethos in science, and for RISE in particular. The connections made in particle physics do more than advance research careers. They attract the next generation of scientists and benefit humanity.

    “RISE says, ‘We give you money to do your excellent research, and this research must not be confined within a library or laboratory,’” Donati said. “You have to show to the public that this is important, that it’s important for society, that people in science find good jobs so that the younger generations are encouraged to pursue a career in science.”

    MUSE and NEWS are just two manifestations of the principle, and Barzi expects to see a resulting expansion and strengthening of the research community.

    “We’re making practical use of a European funding agency for science, expanding our funding resources,” Barzi said. “Networks tend to increase because they keep branching out and branching out. They naturally expand because you involve people who are interested in that area of science, and they kind of naturally come to you.”

    She adds, “You can use your skills and knowledge to contribute outside your own narrow, specialized field. This is what I find most exciting.”

    Further details about RISE work plan 2018-2020 and the upcoming call for proposals is available online.

    See the full article here .

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

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