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  • richardmitnick 8:58 am on May 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Computational Thinking", "Think like a computer", , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility,   

    From “Symmetry”: “Think like a computer” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From “Symmetry”

    05/10/22
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    A pilot program, designed in part by educators at Sanford Underground Research Facility, is introducing computational thinking into elementary school curricula.


    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Steve Shanabruch.

    In Belle Fourche, South Dakota, science teacher Ann Anderson instructs 100 fifth-grade students each day. Recently, they were learning about matter.

    Her students were working to find out: Is an empty cup truly empty? How do we know atoms have even smaller sub-components?

    Anderson helped students tackle some of these questions through hands-on activities. And after each lesson, she challenged her students to think through how they approached the problem. “Did you take multiple steps to figure this out?” she asked. “Did you ignore some things so you could focus on the important things? Did you look for patterns?”

    “The goal is to help young students see computer science as an avenue they could pursue later in life,” says Ben Sayler, lead investigator on the grant and a physical science and mathematics professor at BHSU. “If students at the lower grades are practicing and enjoying it, then when they get to high school and have the option of a computer science elective, they are more likely to feel like that is an option for them.”s? Did you look for patterns?”

    These questions are designed to help students understand a concept called “computational thinking”.

    Computational thinking is not quite computer science. Rather, it’s a precursor to computer science; it’s the way computer scientists approach the problems that they want to solve using a computer.

    Anderson’s students—along with the students of 11 other fifth-grade teachers in South Dakota—are participating in a pilot program designed by educators at Black Hills State University, Sanford Underground Research Facility, and a South Dakota educational resource organization called Technology & Innovation in Education.

    The program is funded by a grant as a part of the National Science Foundation’s “Computer Science for All” initiative, which aims to provide all US students with the opportunity to learn about computer science and computational thinking as early as preschool.

    “The goal is to help young students see computer science as an avenue they could pursue later in life,” says Ben Sayler, lead investigator on the grant and a physical science and mathematics professor at BHSU. “If students at the lower grades are practicing and enjoying it, then when they get to high school and have the option of a computer science elective, they are more likely to feel like that is an option for them.”

    Sharing the magic

    Ian Her Many Horses, who along with BHSU’s June Apaza and TIE’s Julie Mathiesen is a co-principal investigator on the grant, knows the utility of learning computing skills early on.

    He built his first website—a tribute to Godzilla—as a high school student in the late 1990s at a public university’s summer STEM camp about 200 miles from his hometown on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

    He says learning to make his own site made him feel akin to a pop-culture “hacker.” “It was just a static page, but it felt like magic,” Her Many Horses says. “You just type in a spell and instantly change what happens on the screen. That lit the spark in me.”

    When he returned to school, he bought a book titled Learn Visual Basic in 30 Days, convinced a teacher to create an independent study for him, and taught himself the programming language in a semester.

    After graduating, Her Many Horses went to The University of Colorado-Boulder to study computer science. His goal was to bring this magic back home. “I wanted students from my community to have the opportunities that I was fortunate enough to have,” he says.

    But at the time, most universities—CU Boulder included—did not train students to become licensed high school computer science educators. So Her Many Horses got a license in math education instead, then returned to his hometown as a math teacher and convinced the school’s administration to let him teach one computer science course.

    He says designing the course was a struggle.

    “I had a great amount of preparation to be a math teacher,” Her Many Horses says. “I understood the theories of learning, how to support students and how to help them think through concepts. But when I tried to teach computer science, I didn’t have that preparation or pedagogical content knowledge. I was teaching it the way I was taught, which at the time was sink-or-swim.”

    After a trial run, the course was cut from the school’s offerings.

    But Her Many Horses was convinced that the next generation of students would need to start learning these skills before college. He went back to CU Boulder and graduated with the university’s first-ever doctorate in computer science education.

    Now, Her Many Horses teaches other computer science educators as a professor at CU Boulder—and works toward systemic changes to support computer science learning, especially in rural classrooms.

    Building up to computer science

    Computational thinking can be summed up by its four pillars.

    First, there’s decomposition, or breaking problems into manageable pieces. Then, there’s abstraction, or identifying non-essential factors and removing them from our thought processes. Third, there’s pattern recognition, or figuring out how things are related. And last, there’s algorithmic thinking, or creating rules to lead to a solution.

    To avoid overburdening educators, the new curriculum that teachers in South Dakota are trying embeds these four pillars in the disciplines teachers are already teaching.

    “As students investigate science concepts, we have them practice the four pillars,” says Nicol Reiner, director of the education team at SURF and a partner in the pilot program. “In the past, our curriculum didn’t emphasize computational thinking, but the concepts existed in there, silently. Now, we’re calling them out directly.”

    Anderson introduced computational-thinking concepts into her science curriculum in the fall of 2021. After nearly a full school year, she says her students can use them to describe their thought processes. “It’s really made students more aware of how they are solving problems,” she says.

    The grant project is structured as a researcher-practitioner partnership. The format puts researchers—like Her Many Horses, Sayler and Reiner—and practitioners—like Anderson—on an even playing field. Both groups work together to establish major research questions, define methodology, report on progress, and learn from the results of the research.

    The project gathers student perception surveys and educator feedback. Next year, a cohort of fourth grade educators also located around South Dakota will join the pilot group.

    Her Many Horses says he wants to spread knowledge of computer science to empower small, rural communities. He sees opportunities for farmers to build sensors that monitor the pH of their soil, for ranchers to use cameras to monitor cattle movement across pastures, and for small businesses to code their own webpages, track their own data and store data privately on their own servers.

    He doesn’t want people to have to wait for someone else to invent a solution for them, then be obligated to pay for the service and share data with the service-provider.

    “Everybody has an idea in their head of something they think would make lives better, but they don’t know what the next step is,” Her Many Horses says. “There are so many problems in front of us that technology could solve, and I want to help people design solutions for themselves.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 11:32 am on March 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Building for Science and Society", , , Elaine McCluskey-project manager extraordinaire-retires., , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility,   

    From Symmetry: “Building for Science and Society” Elaine McCluskey, project manager extraordinaire, retires. 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    03/15/22
    Nikita Amir

    The career of Elaine McCluskey, who most recently served as project manager constructing the future facility for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, has had a lasting impact.

    1
    Elaine McCluskey, project manager extraordinaire, retires.
    “Elaine has put her heart and soul into moving this project forward, overcoming countless challenges,” said Chris Mossey, project director of LBNF/DUNE-US. “LBNF/DUNE simply would not be where it is today without Elaine’s extraordinary dedication and leadership.” Photo: Sanford Underground Research Facility.

    As a child, Elaine McCluskey liked to make things. Growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, this translated into hobbies considered appropriate for girls: making crafts, sewing clothes and cooking.

    “I even made my own prom dress pattern,” she says.

    At school, her interest translated into a passion for math and science. As she neared graduation, her father, an electrical engineer, encouraged her to enroll in a joint undergraduate degree in physics and civil engineering.

    She spent three years at Carleton College in Minnesota before transferring to Washington University in St. Louis.

    “I was very much encouraged by my parents to never feel like I couldn’t go do something,” she says. “It was very, very important that I felt empowered to go and do whatever I want, wherever I wanted to do it.”

    That encouragement helped her weather the challenges of finding her way in a male-dominated field. The career she built touched the lives of many, ranging from students and educators to medical professionals and patients to physicists and engineers.

    From small cohort to smaller cohort

    At Carleton, McCluskey studied physics in a class about a third of which was made up of women. This was unusual; when she graduated in 1976, women were awarded just 11% of bachelor’s degrees in physics in the United States, according to the American Institute of Physics.

    The ratio was different when she studied civil engineering in St. Louis. In 1978, the year she earned her second degree, women earned just 8.9% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering in the United States, according to the National Science Foundation.

    There were barely any other women in civil engineering, McCluskey says. At the meetings for the American Society for Civil Engineers, there were only five women in her cohort. They were unable to wear the name tags the society provided, as the tags were designed to be slipped into a suit jacket pocket.

    “‘I don’t have a suit jacket, and I don’t have a pocket to put that in, what can we do about that?’” she asked the organizers. After she brought it up, they switched to pin-on name tags instead. “I felt that was quite a victory for myself,” she says.

    Later in her career, McCluskey became an engineering consultant. She says that the number of women around her dropped even further; she was often the only one in the room. McCluskey made do with the support she could find.

    “I’ve often had men who are my confidants or my professional role models, just because there aren’t women there to do that. And so oftentimes, I would rely on just personal friends to talk through things.”

    Building for society

    It was in college that McCluskey figured out exactly what she wanted to do.

    She remembers watching through her dorm window as workers poured the foundation for a new building. She says that at the time, she wondered: How do they know it’s going to stand up? Who decided that that amount of concrete in that shape is the right thing to do?

    McCluskey says she was taken by “the whole business of eventually creating this beautiful building.”

    For McCluskey, civil engineering is all about helping people. It’s about building structures and systems so that a society can function. “Civil engineering is very much in the fabric of what a society needs in order to be in a good place.”

    Over her career, she has built schools, hospitals, and even a reinforced support for the statue of the goddess Ceres atop the Chicago Board of Trade.

    “To me, designing a school and a hospital, those are fundamental things that everybody needs,” McCluskey says. “And if I can make a school that’s going to last a long time and be really useful for our community, then I feel a lot of reward driving by that school, knowing that I’ve done something that can help a lot of people.”

    As she gained experience, McCluskey became interested in taking on new challenges as well. That’s when she heard about a job at the DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. After initially working part-time, she was hired full-time by the Facilities Engineering Services Section in 1995.

    Civil engineering requirements for different projects are often pretty similar. Not at Fermilab, though. “The scientists want to do an experiment and maybe change the matrix and change our thinking about the world,” she says. “It’s the passion that comes with the work that really drives us to want to continue to do what is sometimes very hard or something that’s not been done before.”

    One of her first projects was one of her most challenging: the remodeling of the laboratory’s main building, Wilson Hall [above]. Inspired by a cathedral, it consists of two concrete sides that slope gently together as they reach more than 200 feet in the air. The hall is visible from most of the lab’s flat 6,800-acre site.

    The problem was that the iconic building had begun dropping small pieces of concrete. McCluskey and her team set to work rebuilding parts of the hall floor by floor, replacing windows, skylights, water piping and the entire front entrance. To make things more complex, the project needed to be completed while the building remained occupied, so much of the work happened at night.

    McCluskey says that for years afterward, she took pride in checking every time she walked by to make sure everything was in perfect condition.

    McCluskey made sure that everyone on a project could take that same pride in their work, says fellow project manager Jolie Macier, who started working with McCluskey in those early days. The key was giving her team the guidance they needed to work independently.

    But she also found ways to help team members work well together, Macier says. During Women’s History Month a few years ago, McCluskey brought in a puzzle celebrating women in science and engineering. “It provided this meeting point over the course of a couple of days for people to stop and talk with each other,” Macier says. “It obviously wasn’t only about the puzzle. It was more about this moment and creating this interaction.”

    During the winter, McCluskey would bring amaryllis to the office. She would nurture them at home before sharing them in the winter, the only time of year when their flowers bloom.

    “Everything isn’t just about working on the to-do list, but really looking at ways that help people feel like they’re part of something,” Macier says.

    For the last 12 years, McCluskey has worked as project manager on one final, adventurous build for Fermilab: the beamline and cavernous homes for the huge particle detectors of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, the lab’s flagship LBNF/DUNE project.

    More than 1,400 scientists and engineers from over 35 countries are collaborating on DUNE. The experiment needs a facility that produces a neutrino beam and sends it straight through the earth to the DUNE detectors, first at the Fermilab site, and then 800 miles away to a former-mine-turned-underground-laboratory in Lead, South Dakota. There, shielded underground to better study subatomic particles, scientists aim to discover what role neutrinos play in the universe.

    “Elaine is the rock that held the LBNF/DUNE project together for a decade and advanced it to where we are today,” says Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “Her even-keel approach to problem solving was masterful and highly appreciated in a difficult project.”

    Chris Mossey, project director of LBNF/DUNE-US, agrees. “Elaine has put her heart and soul into moving this project forward, overcoming countless challenges. LBNF/DUNE simply would not be where it is today without Elaine’s extraordinary dedication and leadership.”

    About 800,000 tons of rock need to be moved to create the underground space for the DUNE detectors at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Excavation is underway. When complete, the new Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility at SURF will have a total floor space of about the area of two soccer fields. The facilities will include large cryostats, underground nitrogen refrigeration and argon recirculation systems.

    That work will need to be completed without McCluskey, though; in February, she announced her retirement.

    But she isn’t turning her back on her passions. She still serves as a volunteer in the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, an architectural nonprofit in Chicago. And in June, McCluskey plans to meet up with fellow Carleton physics alumni for a reunion they hold every five years.

    “It’s always a special time for the physics majors to get together,” she says, “and those women from that physics year are always there.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 1:28 pm on August 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Drilling for neutrinos", , , , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility   

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

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    August 4, 2021
    Mary Magnuson

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

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

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

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

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

    Space for four jumbo jets

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Excavating with precision

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Driven by science

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

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

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

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

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

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

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

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

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

    Asteroid 11998 Fermilab is named in honor of the laboratory.

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

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

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

    The later directors include:

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

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

    FNAL Icon

     
  • richardmitnick 10:56 am on April 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lakota (Sioux) Native Americans, Sanford Underground Research Facility is making an effort to build bridges with Native American communities and operate with respect for the sacred land it is built on., SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility   

    From Symmetry: “Where science meets the sacred” 

    Symmetry Mag

    From Symmetry

    04/20/21
    Brianna Barbu

    1
    Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Steve Shanabruch.

    Sanford Underground Research Facility is making an effort to build bridges with Native American communities and operate with respect for the sacred land it is built on.

    The name of the Black Hills mountain range in western South Dakota is a translation of the name the Lakota (Sioux) gave the area: Paha Sapa, “hills that are black.” The description evokes the mountains’ dark-colored ponderosa pine. Nine federally recognized South Dakota tribes and 18 other land-based tribes have spiritual and cultural connections to the Black Hills.

    From above, the area is shaped like a human heart—fitting because the Lakota consider it “the heart of all that is,” says Jace DeCory, professor emerita of American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University.

    DeCory is Lakota, with family ties to several Lakota communities in South Dakota. Since retiring from teaching, she has given numerous talks to non-Native groups about the historical and cultural significance of the Black Hills to Native Americans.

    One place she has come to speak is the Sanford Underground Research Facility, also called SURF, located within the Black Hills themselves. DeCory’s talks are one way the employees of the underground laboratory—now host to experiments in physics, geology and engineering—work to appreciate the heritage of the Black Hills and understand the history of the disused gold mine that the lab now inhabits.

    The scars of the past

    People have lived in the Black Hills for 10,000 years. Through the centuries, the Arikara, Cheyenne, Crow, Pawnee, Kiowa, Arapaho and Lakota have all called the mountains home.

    “The Black Hills are a sacred and special place with the Lakota and other tribal groups. Many plants are gathered here for medicine, for healing, for ceremonial use,” DeCory says. “Food is collected here, and other things that are used for utilitarian purposes. It is our sacred responsibility as descendants of our ancestors to take care of it, honor it, respect it, protect it and preserve it.”

    The second Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868 between the US government and the Lakota and Arapaho nations designated 20 million acres of land, including the Black Hills, “for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation” of the Lakota.

    After a US Army expedition led by then-Lieutenant-Colonel George Custer found gold in the area in 1874, however, the US reneged on the agreement, redrew the lines of the treaty, and seized the Black Hills.

    The Homestake Gold Mine was founded in 1876. It became the largest, deepest and most productive gold mine in North America. Over 126 years, the mine produced 41 million ounces of gold using both an open-pit surface mine and 370 miles of underground mining tunnels.

    When Homestake stopped its mining operations in 2002, the underground caverns began filling up with water. According to DeCory, many elders thought that would be the end of the story. But the scene had already been set for the mine’s second life: as a research facility. Also in 2002, chemist Ray Davis was awarded a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics for an experiment he conducted in a cavern off Homestake’s Yates shaft starting in the 1960s.

    Davis had asked the mining company to host a particle detector deep underground, where it could be shielded from cosmic radiation, to study difficult-to-detect particles called neutrinos. Guarded by a mile of rock, the detector was able to catch neutrinos coming from the sun, and pave the way for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.

    In 2006, Barrick Gold Corporation mining company, which had purchased Homestake, donated the mine in Lead to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. SDSTA began the work of converting it into an underground laboratory the following year.

    Initial dewatering was completed in 2009 and the first experiment—LUX, a super-sensitive detector that searches for the rare interactions of dark-matter particles with ordinary matter—began collecting data in 2013. SURF now hosts experiments investigating neutrinos, dark matter, nuclear astrophysics, gravitational waves and geothermal energy.

    Building a lab, building respect

    Mike Headley, the executive director of SURF since 2013, says that from the beginning, the lab’s intent has been to operate in a way that will demonstrate that their presence in the Black Hills is motivated solely by the pursuit of knowledge. Beyond that, they’re “working very hard to do things in a way that’s respectful to the land,” he says.

    A point of contact between SURF and the local tribes is Daryl “KC” Russell, the SURF Cultural Diversity Coordinator, also Lakota and a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. When SURF was relatively new, Russell met with the lab director almost daily, and he got to know as many staff members as possible to help them get comfortable asking questions about cultural matters.

    “I try to be an example to others to not be afraid to ask,” he says. It’s important that people “investigate things and find out whether one tribe is different from other tribes and what their different views are.”

    SURF also maintains a Cultural Advisory Committee, which meets three times a year to discuss and advise SURF leadership about activities in the context of their cultural implications for Native American communities.

    Headley admits there’s a lot he didn’t know about the views of the different tribes when he came into his position. He says he has learned a lot from Russell and the Cultural Advisory Committee about how to respectfully manage a research facility on sacred land.

    Part of Russell’s role is to communicate SURF’s plans to Tribal Chairpersons and Presidents and to cultural preservation offices for consultation, to ensure they are included in decision-making. He impressed upon the lab leadership that it’s more than a formality: “Consultation is not something you do after you start a project. You’re asking the tribes for input,” he says. “If you’re not prepared to hear ‘no,’ you’re not truly doing consultation.”

    Many Lakota tribes elect new leadership every two years, so there are often new people to reach out to. Inevitably, some are more comfortable with the lab than others. “It’s a slow-going process. You have to be patient,” Russell says.

    From negative to positive

    Members of some tribes around the Black Hills precede any groundbreaking with a ceremony seeking permission from the Earth and the Creator. “The Lakotas and some Dakotas and Nakotas believe that digging into Mother Earth is desecration,” Russell says.

    A few years ago, Russell brought several Tribal Presidents, Chairpersons and Council members on a tour of SURF. He says he wanted to demonstrate that the people there are serious about forging a good relationship with them. “It assured them we weren’t trying to desecrate, but we’re beautifying the underground to something that will benefit their children and grandchildren.”

    SURF’s educational initiatives are a big emphasis for Russell, because they have a tangible impact on students and their families. SURF reaches 82% of counties in South Dakota with its educational programming.

    It’s something Russell says he often brings up when he communicates with tribal leaders. He talks about an intern from the Oglala Lakota tribe who came back to her community after college to work on water treatment.

    SURF currently employs six Native American staff members. Headley says he hopes to grow that number. “We still have more work to do to build a workforce that’s representative of the population within the state,” he says.

    SURF is making an effort to incorporate more “Native ways of knowing” into their programs. They have been working on plans for an ethnobotanical garden featuring a medicine wheel and plants native to the area. They’ve chosen a spot with a clear view of the mountains and sky that will be perfect for stargazing. The garden will provide a quiet place for visitors to reflect and learn about the deeply entwined culture and botany of the Black Hills.

    “It’s important for young people in the area and our Native kids to see examples of the plants that grow here in the Black Hills, and how our people used them for generations to doctor our people and use in ceremony,” DeCory says.

    SURF’s public events also incorporate Native American culture and knowledge. In 2020, artist Jeremy Red Eagle did a virtual event talking about how traditional games and activities can help people better understand the Dakota language and culture. This year, a Native American astrophysicist and artist is scheduled to speak at the lab’s annual Neutrino Day celebration.

    Building for the future

    The next big experiment under construction is building directly on the lab’s research roots; the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will take on some remaining questions about those difficult-to-detect neutrinos that Davis once investigated.

    To catch the elusive particles, SURF will host four gigantic DUNE detectors, each four stories high and larger than an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In accordance with the tribes’ wishes, neither SURF nor any other entity will profit from the rock they remove to build the DUNE caverns—the rock will remain in the Black Hills.

    Barrick Gold Corporation—which still owns the remains of Homestake’s open-pit mine, called the Open Cut—worked with SURF to ensure this could happen. “The SDSTA worked closely with Barrick to get an easement in place that would allow the excavated rock to be placed in the Open Cut,” Headley says. “The agreement was signed in October 2015 and allowed for the rock to be moved by conveyor system rather than by truck to a location farther away.”

    Starting this summer, 3000 tons of granite removed from the cavern will tumble every weekday from a conveyor belt into the pit, which is one mile long and one mile wide and reaches a depth of 1250 feet.

    The weight of the rock they will remove over the next two years will add up to almost 800,000 tons—double the weight of the Empire State Building. Still, it will fill less than 1% of the Open Cut. It’s a powerful reminder that inclusion and relationship-building are not trivial; they require consistent and intentional effort.

    On one of DeCory’s visits to SURF, she said a prayer that the lab would bring positive things. “I put tobacco on some rock samples and I prayed that what they would do there would help people and give us a better understanding of our universe.”

    See the full article here .


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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 11:02 am on March 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Teams rigorously inspect facility levels", , , Crews use spray paint to mark the date and the initials of those conducting the inspection., For 120 years the Homestake Mining Company excavated more than 370 miles of shafts; drifts; and ramps., Level inspections ensure the infrastructure of the underground doesn't adversely affect SURF’s mission or the experiments hosted underground., SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility, SURF maintains over 12 miles for science activities., To ensure safe conditions the Underground Operations Department inspects every level of the facility from bottom to the top.   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF: “Teams rigorously inspect facility levels” 

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

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    Homestake Mining, Lead, South Dakota, USA.


    Homestake Mining Company

    March 29, 2021
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    1
    The view down a drift on the 5000 Level of Sanford Underground Research Facility. Credit: Matthew Kapust.

    The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) (US) is a matrix of interconnected shafts, drifts and ramps. With hundreds of miles of underground space, SURF maintains over 12 miles for science activities. Some of these areas boast concrete flooring, flush toilets, WIFI and even an espresso machine. Other spaces, however, are less maintained. While they are not used for science, adverse conditions in these areas could affect science and operations efforts elsewhere in the facility.

    To ensure safe conditions the Underground Operations Department inspects every level of the facility from bottom to the top. These Annual Level Inspections assess each level’s ground support conditions, structural integrity, water inflow, ventilation and other environmental issues. Inspections are done more frequently for escapeways and essential ventilation and water inflow controls.

    “We have predefined points identified for each level, including legacy shafts, timber lines and any other structures that could fail at some point,” said Jason Connot, underground operations engineer at SURF. “At each point, we evaluate conditions and document changes, making sure conditions are consistent from year to year.”

    2
    Ventilation tags mark locations where crews take air flow measurements. Credit: Adam Gomez.

    Level inspections ensure the infrastructure of the underground doesn’t adversely affect SURF’s mission or the experiments hosted underground. The inspections also fulfill requirements outlined in the property donation agreement formed when Barrick Gold Corporation donated the facility to the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority.

    For 120 years the Homestake Mining Company excavated more than 370 miles of shafts; drifts; and ramps. The facility’s oldest, shallowest levels were created in the late 1800s. When the facility reopened for science, Tom Regan was among the first to begin inspecting levels for safety.

    3
    At defined points of interest, crews use spray paint to mark the date and the initials of those conducting the inspection. Credit: Matthew Kapust.

    “In 2008, we reentered the underground, going top-down, level by level,” said Regan, a former employee of Homestake and SURF, now a safety consultant for SURF. “We created a checklist of items to inspect, to see what condition the facility was in. Those inspections created a baseline library for annual level inspections.”

    As Regan’s crews gained more access to the underground, they installed ground support where needed and eliminated hazards throughout the facility. Crews also installed more than 50 timber water walls, supported by steel posts and angles, to prevent water inflow from accessing the Yates or Ross Shafts.

    Today, the department focuses on maintaining level conditions and cataloging information. George Vandine, underground infrastructure coordinator at SURF, manages the current dataset, which captures three years of detailed information on every level of the facility.

    “Saying that a legacy pipe fell down on the 4550 Level doesn’t give us enough information to repair the area,” Vandine said. “Our management system includes detailed maps, notes and photos to help teams pinpoint any issue, anywhere underground.”

    4
    Crews inspect level conditions on an Annual Level Inspection of the 1100 Level. Credit: Matthew Kapust.

    After a level inspection, Vandine inputs information into the management system. From there, the Underground Operations Department prioritizes and executes repairs and mitigation projects as needed.

    “When doing these annual level inspections, the key to success is really knowing the levels—understanding how levels interact with other levels, understanding airflow and water flow between levels,” Connot said, noting that he has gained valuable knowledge by working with Regan, Vandine and others. “I try to soak in that knowledge from these experienced guys so we can continue to build on their expertise.”

    See the full article here .


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    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.

    The LBNL LZ Dark Matter Experiment (US) project at SURF, Lead, SD, USA, will replace LUX at SURF

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment Demonstrator experiment (US) , also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

    The LUX Xenon dark matter detector | Sanford Underground Research Facility mission was to scour the universe for WIMPs, vetoing all other signatures. It would continue to do just that for another three years before it was decommissioned in 2016.

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

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory(US) physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.

    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”

    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    The U Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment (US) will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with Germanium Detector Array (or GERDA) experiment searching for neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) in Ge-76 at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso National Laboratory (IT)(LNGS) for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 6:01 pm on February 9, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UK scientists build core components of global neutrino experiment", , , STFC - Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: “UK scientists build core components of global neutrino experiment” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    February 9, 2021
    Becky Parker-Ellis

    Engineers and technicians in the UK have started production of key piece of equipment for a major international science experiment.

    The UK government has invested $89 million (£65 million) in the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, a particle physics experiment being built by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermilab at locations in both Illinois and South Dakota.

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

    DUNE will study elusive particles called neutrinos in a bid to advance our understanding of the origin and structure of the universe.

    DUNE will measure the so-called oscillations of the neutrinos as they travel at nearly the speed of light. An upgraded particle accelerator at Fermilab (outside Chicago) will accelerate subatomic particles and smash them into a target, forming a beam of neutrinos that will be fired 800 miles through the Earth’s crust to a specialized detector being built deep underground in Lead, South Dakota.

    FNAL new superconducting accelerator Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II).

    As part of this investment, the UK is delivering a series of vital detector components built at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory, located at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region.

    2
    This winding head, designed by engineers at Daresbury Laboratory, is shown in action winding a wire around the end of an anode plane array for a DUNE detector prototype. Photo: STFC.

    STFC Daresbury Laboratory at Sci-Tech Daresbury in the Liverpool City Region.

    Fermilab and DUNE are funded and managed by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

    A big contribution

    Scientists will capture the neutrinos in a detector containing 70,000 tons of liquified argon gas held at ultralow temperature.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF.

    The tiny electrical signals of neutrino interactions will be read out by anode plane assemblies known as APAs – huge rectangular planes covered with thousands of copper-beryllium wires, about the width of a human hair.

    Each APA stands at an impressive 2.3 by 6.3 meters, making them the largest individual components for DUNE, and they have to be built with millimeter precision.

    Daresbury Laboratory – with its university partners in the UK – will ultimately produce 150 APAs for DUNE.

    To meet this need, a large purpose-built APA factory was created at Daresbury inside a former accelerator hall, and 20 specific jobs were created for this task.

    Making excellent progress

    3
    Once the wires are wound around the APA frame, the wires are carefully soldered and cut. Credit: STFC.

    The Daresbury team has now started the production of the first APA for one of the ProtoDUNE detectors, a prototype in which researchers test the technology that will be used in DUNE’s detectors.

    Cern ProtoDune.

    The high-precision APAs will first undergo full testing in the ProtoDUNE-II detector at CERN before the full set of APAs for DUNE are built, a process that will take several years to complete.

    “It is impressive that the project team continues to made excellent progress in such a challenging year,” said Executive Chair of STFC Mark Thomson, professor at the University of Cambridge. “This development means that 2021 should be the year of the Final Design Review and beginning of mass production of APAs at Daresbury – a huge milestone for everyone involved and a major step towards the construction of this incredibly exciting neutrino experiment. I am deeply proud of the team at Daresbury for how hard they have continued to work in difficult circumstances.”

    United Kingdom collaboration

    DUNE is the first large international particle physics experiment to be hosted in the United States. UK physicists from the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester contribute to the scientific leadership of the project.

    U Manchester bloc

    “These detector components will play a key role in unraveling the mystery of neutrinos and their role in the formation of the Universe,” said DUNE spokesperson Professor Stefan Söldner-Rembold, of the University of Manchester.

    Excavation of the underground facilities in South Dakota have recently started.

    SURF DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    “The international team of neutrino physicists working on DUNE is excited to welcome the first of the large detector components built by the UK — the biggest non-U.S. contributor to this global experiment,” Söldner-Rembold said.

    UK involvement with the DUNE collaboration is through STFC and 14 universities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial, Lancaster, Liverpool, UCL, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield, Sussex and Warwick.

    U Cambridge bloc

    Durham U bloc

    U Oxford bloc

    See the full here.


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    FNAL Icon

    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 2:02 pm on November 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Contract awarded for the excavation of gigantic caverns for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment", , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility, Thyssen Mining Inc.   

    From DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: “Contract awarded for the excavation of gigantic caverns for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

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

    November 18, 2020
    Kurt Riesselmann

    Construction of the enormous underground facility for the largest international physics experiment in the United States took a major step forward as project managers at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are preparing for the project’s next phase.

    This month, Thyssen Mining Inc. was awarded the contract to excavate the gigantic caverns for Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility. The caverns will be located a mile underground, rise up to seven stories tall and cover an area almost the size of two football fields.

    Excavation crews will drill, blast and remove approximately 800,000 tons of rock to create the underground space for LBNF. When complete, the facility will house the enormous particle detector for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab. More than 1,000 scientists from over 30 countries are collaborating on DUNE, which will provide the foundation for international neutrino research for decades to come.

    1
    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility will comprise three caverns to house and support the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment. The north and south caverns are identical in size (475 feet long x 65 feet wide x 92 feet high) and will house the gigantic DUNE particle detector modules. The central cavern (624 feet long x 64 feet wide x 37 feet high) will accommodate cryogenic equipment and other utilities needed for the experiment. Credit: Fermilab.

    Excavation of the underground complex will take place at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, in space leased to the Department of Energy for this project.

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

    SURF DUNE LBNF Caverns at Sanford Lab.

    The excavation will create underground space that will house the experiment as well as laboratory space, a maintenance shop, generator room, spray chamber and a series of interconnecting tunnels, called drifts, to connect the three large caverns in which the DUNE neutrino detector modules and utilities will be installed. The total footprint of the underground facility exceeds four acres (more than 16,000 square meters).

    “Award of the main cavern excavation contract is a significant milestone for the LBNF/DUNE project and marks a major step towards the start of world-class science,” said Chris Mossey, Fermilab deputy director for LBNF/DUNE-US. “We’re excited to welcome Thyssen Mining to our team and start work on the next major phase of the project.”

    Thyssen Mining has begun the early mobilization period of the contract. This period includes the onboarding of personnel, contracting local vendors and preparing equipment for use underground. On-site construction work will begin in April 2021.

    “Our planned labor force for this project is expected to be between 110 and 120 people,” said U.S. General Manager Ryan Moe, Thyssen Mining. “Our team will consist of many of our trained and experienced miners, operators, mechanics, electricians, engineers and managers who have worked on multiple cavern projects within the Thyssen organization. We will in the near term, however, be posting numerous positions locally to fill in alongside with many of these similar roles. As our planning advances, we’ll have better information on the exact number of positions needed.

    “Thyssen Mining strongly believes in supporting the community. Our observation in the past is that by engaging with the local community and hiring local employees we benefit from their experiences; and in this community there is a rich tradition of mining legacy. We would seek individuals who have worked locally that may provide knowledge and experience that will help us be successful.”

    The excavated rock will be hoisted up a vertical shaft from one mile underground and then transferred 4,200 feet on a system of conveyor belts that was built this year by Kiewit Alberici Joint Venture, the construction manager and general contractor for the LBNF project. When operational, the new rock transportation system will move the rock from the hoist to a former open cut mining pit in Lead, South Dakota.

    The conveyor itself should not create any noticeable noise; however, the falling of rock from the conveyor into the open cut may generate audible noise, within the limits permitted by city ordinance. A letter to local residents provides more information.

    When the caverns are complete, the LBNF and DUNE teams will install the infrastructure and equipment needed for neutrino research. Using the particle accelerator complex at Fermilab, scientists will send an intense neutrino beam through 1,300 kilometers of rock from Illinois to the DUNE particle detector in South Dakota to understand the role that neutrinos – the most abundant matter particles in the universe – play in our cosmos. This 2-minute video explains in more detail how LBNF and DUNE work.

    The short animation below shows a virtual walk through the South Dakota-portion of Fermilab’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, which will house the huge detector of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.


    Virtual Walk: The Construction of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility

    More information on the LBNF/DUNE project is lbnf-dune.fnal.gov.

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment are supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

    See the full here.


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    FNAL Icon

    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 10:53 am on September 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Future machines to explore new frontiers in particle physics", , CERN FCC Future Circular Collider 100km-diameter successor to LHC., CERN-European Organization for Nuclear Research, FNAL Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, FNAL new superconducting accelerator Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II), , , , , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility,   

    From U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science: “Future machines to explore new frontiers in particle physics” 

    DOE Main

    From U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

    September 10, 2020

    Jim Siegrist
    Associate Director for High Energy Physics Office
    U.S Department of Energy
    Email: news@science.doe.gov

    Particle physics is global. Addressing the full breadth of the field’s most urgent scientific questions requires expertise from around the world. The timeline for developing a world-class international facility to explore new frontiers in the subatomic world may take decades, but it is built from a multitude of milestones marking scientific and technical advances. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science is working with partners around the globe to realise the next generation of particle physics facilities and enable future discoveries.

    Studying the science of neutrinos

    Today, the foundational groundwork is underway in the U.S. to host an international facility to study the science of neutrinos. These ghostly particles rarely interact with other forms of matter and change their flavour between three known types as they travel. To enable precision study of this puzzling behaviour, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) will produce the world’s most intense beam of neutrinos at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), in Illinois, and send them 1,300 km through the earth to the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota.

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

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

    A new superconducting particle accelerator at Fermilab, the Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II), will provide the high-intensity proton beam needed to create the neutrinos.

    FNAL new superconducting accelerator Proton Improvement Plan II (PIP-II).

    About 1,500 m below the surface of the Earth in South Dakota, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) will measure neutrinos as they arrive from Illinois as well as from natural sources, such as supernovas from our region of the Milky Way. An international collaboration of over 1,000 scientists from 33 countries is now working to develop and build the large-scale DUNE detector, using results from prototypes at the CERN Neutrino Platform to refine their design and affirm the technology.

    International partnerships will play a crucial role in the successful realisation of this new international neutrino facility. The DOE Office of Science is working to strengthen existing collaborative partnerships in High Energy Physics and build new ones with global partners in order to bring together the necessary scientific talent and technical expertise. Formal agreements are currently in place with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as well as the governments of India, Italy, and the United Kingdom, to contribute to different areas of this mega-scale neutrino endeavour.

    Discussions to expand the partnerships are now underway with several other countries across Europe, Asia, and South America. In fact, through such cooperative partnerships, the contributions for PIP-II will make this facility the first accelerator project hosted in the U.S. with significant contributions from global partners.

    Developing particle accelerator technology

    The DOE Office of Science is also developing particle accelerator technology that will help enable future particle physics facilities around the world. DOE is supporting the development of a future “Higgs factory,” an electron-positron collider with international participation that could produce many Higgs bosons to enable precision studies that complement those at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.

    To realise this vision, DOE supports the R&D of accelerator and detector technologies to enable Japan to move forward with the International Linear Collider (ILC).


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

    Over the past year, DOE has also worked with the U.S. Department of State, The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, and the National Security Council to make a concerted effort to support a Japanese initiative to move forward with the proposed ILC “Pre-Laboratory” phase of the project.

    Our scientists are developing improvements to the superconducting technology that will increase accelerator cavity efficiency and reduce the cost of construction and subsequent operations.

    FNAL A superconducting radiofrequency cavity responsible for accelerating particles at the new PIP-II accelerator.

    In June, the CERN Council unanimously adopted the resolution updating the 2020 European Strategy for Particle Physics. As recently pointed out by the CERN Director-General, the strategy is visionary and ambitious while remaining realistic and prudent, emphasising many exciting future initiatives in particle physics that can be achieved in collaboration with global partners, including the DOE. As one of its high priorities, the European strategy reaffirms the successful completion of the high-luminosity upgrades of the LHC accelerator and the LHC experimental ATLAS and CMS detectors. To enable this next era of the LHC program, the DOE Office of Science is contributing key magnets and cavity components to the accelerator upgrade, including high-field niobium-tin-based superconducting magnets developed in the United States, as well as state-of-the-art detector elements for the ATLAS and CMS detector upgrades.

    The future: New frontiers in particle physics

    Looking to the farther future towards the next facility after the LHC, studies are underway for a Future Circular Collider (FCC), the next-generation complex that could reach particle collision energies over seven times that of the LHC. The development of such a facility is one of the key focal points of the 2020 update of the European strategy.

    CERN FCC Future Circular Collider details of proposed 100km-diameter successor to LHC.

    Earlier this year, the DOE Office of Science partnered with CERN and national laboratories across Europe on a FCC Innovation Study as part of a European Commission Horizon 2020 Design Study initiative that would investigate the technical design for a 100 km circumference collider in the French-Swiss border, one that could also leverage the existing infrastructure at CERN. The study would enable scientists and engineers to optimise the particle collider design and plan investigations into a suitable civil engineering project while also allowing all global partners to integrate into the study’s network and user community.

    Moreover, DOE and CERN have recently begun discussions to expand DOE’s cooperation into CERN’s proposed future collider and is looking forward to working with CERN and other global partners to envision the technology that could achieve a FCC. Overall, facilities such as the LHC, FCC and LBNF/DUNE/PIP-II across the frontiers of science and technology promise to enable our quest to explore and achieve groundbreaking discoveries.

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

    Science Programs Organization

    The Office of Science manages its research portfolio through six program offices:

    Advanced Scientific Computing Research
    Basic Energy Sciences
    Biological and Environmental Research
    Fusion Energy Sciences
    High Energy Physics
    Nuclear Physics

    The Science Programs organization also includes the following offices:

    The Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, which the Office of Science manages for the Department;
    The Workforce Development for Teachers and Students program sponsors programs helping develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to support the DOE mission, administer programs, and conduct research; and
    The Office of Project Assessment provides independent advice to the SC leadership regarding those activities essential to constructing and operating major research facilities.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:27 am on August 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers complete sensitive upgrade to the Majorana Demonstrator", , , Researchers replaced five of Majorana’s original detectors., SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility,   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: “Researchers complete sensitive upgrade to the Majorana Demonstrator” 

    SURF logo

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility


    Homestake Mining Company

    August 17, 2020
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    Despite COVID-19-influenced delays, the Majorana Demonstrator collaboration completed a detector swap.

    1
    Vincent Guiseppe, co-spokesperson of the Majorana Collaboration and a research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, explains how layers of shielding protect the detectors from background “noise,” such as trace amounts of dust and radiation. Photo by Nick Hubbard.

    Underground, researchers recently performed the equivalent to open-heart surgery on a particle physics experiment. A cleanroom on the 4850 Level of Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab) served as the operating room. There, researchers in full-body clean suits slipped triple-gloved hands into a clear, airtight glovebox where they attached fragile, vein-like wires to crystalline detectors and suspended those detectors in a delicate copper framework.

    This sensitive operation was a long-awaited upgrade to the Majorana Demonstrator (Majorana), that replaced five of Majorana’s original detectors with four newly fabricated detectors this August.

    2
    Researchers working on the Majorana Demonstrator must follow extreme cleanliness measures to avoid contaminating the highly-sensitive experiment. Photo by Nick Hubbard.

    Majorana searches for a rare particle decay using an array of germanium crystal detectors. For the last four years, the experiment has operated in an underground cleanroom, behind a shield of copper and lead bricks. Majorana is extremely sensitive to dust and other particulates that could contaminate the experiment, producing intrusive background signals. This is why, as researchers undertook a detector swap, they observed extreme cleanliness measures.

    The completion of the detector exchange, originally slated for early 2020, was delayed by the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States.

    “Before we could make the detector exchange underground, a lot of preparation had to be done at different national labs and universities. As COVID-19 began impacting those organizations, a lot of work took longer to complete,” said Ralph Massarczyk, a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Lab working with the Majorana experiment, who helped perform the detector swap.

    3
    In Majorana’s cryostat module, germanium detectors are suspended in a copper framework array. Photo courtesy Majorana Demonstrator collaboration.

    This month, with safety regulations in place, a small group of researchers completed the upgrade. The new detectors will be tested in Majorana for use in a scaled up, next-generation experiment.

    “After this exchange, we will get data on the new detectors, as well as valuable data that will contribute to the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay,” said Massarczyk, referring to the rare particle decay the Majorana collaboration hopes to observe.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.

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

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment, also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

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

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

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

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

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


    LBNE

    U Washington Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF

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

    CASPAR at SURF


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

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

     
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