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  • 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 .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    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 .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility 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.”

     
  • richardmitnick 8:31 am on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SHERLOC goes to Mars", , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility, WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) a camera capable of microscopic imaging will accompany SHERLOC.   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: “SHERLOC goes to Mars” 

    SURF logo

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility


    Homestake Mining Company

    July 27, 2020
    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    1
    This illustration depicts the mechanism and conceptual research targets for an instrument named Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals, or SHERLOC. This instrument has been selected as one of seven investigations for the payload of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission. Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

    Deep underground, where, in some places, oxygen is scarce, and sunlight never gleams, life somehow thrives. At Sanford Underground Research Facility (Sanford Lab), researchers study subterranean microbes to better understand how life forms could survive in other extreme places—places like Mars.

    On July 30, NASA expects to launch its fourth rover toward Mars. Once it escapes Earth’s gravity, the Perseverance Rover will stream outward, intercepting Mars’ orbit on February 18, 2021. For one Mars year (687 Earth days), it will scour the surface for signs of ancient life. On board, Perseverance will carry a detective instrument called SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals), a concept that was tested on the 4850 Level of Sanford Lab.

    Perseverence

    NASA Perseverance Mars Rover

    Searching for signs of bygone life

    Although there is no evidence of extant life on the surface of Mars, researchers believe the planet—made of the same primordial substances as Earth—once boasted all the conditions necessary for living organisms to form.

    “Three and a half billion years ago, Mars seems to have had everything the Earth did when life started on Earth,” said Luther Beegle, principal investigator of SHERLOC with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “So, the question is: Did life start there? And if not, why not?”

    To answer this question, researchers look to the timeline encrypted in Mars’ rocks.

    The Perseverance Rover will land in a massive depression called Jezero Crater. Long ago, a lake the size of Lake Tahoe lapped against Martian shores in the midst of the crater. As Mars’ climate changed, the lake dried up, leaving sand and mud deposits to dry and crackle in the sun. Those deposits are now a rich source of information about what life—if any—once bloomed in the lake.

    Perseverance will explore this lakebed and the fan-shaped delta that fed it, seeking signs of ancient life and collecting rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.

    SHERLOC uses Raman spectroscopy, a special property of light, to identify the composition of samples it encounters along its journey. When a beam of monochromatic light—light traveling uniformly through space—is reflected off a material, some of the light is scattered, breaking from the otherwise unvarying wavelength and amplitude of the beam. Every organic molecule or compound has its own unique scattering signature, or fingerprint.

    SHERLOC will aim a laser on a sample to observe how the light reflects and scatters. Then, SHERLOC will deduce the composition of each sample—all without touching or crushing the rock.

    This is the first time Raman spectroscopy will be deployed on Mars, but SHERLOC won’t brave the red planet alone. WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering), a camera capable of microscopic imaging, will accompany SHERLOC.

    “WATSON puts everything in perspective,” Beegle said. “We overlay the chemistry, mineralogy and organic composition from SHERLOC on WATSON’s color image to create a chemical map.”

    Not only can it tell us what minerals there are, but it can tell us how they are distributed through the rock. With these clues, researchers can decide which samples warrant a trip back to Earth.

    “If we see certain combinations of minerals and see that they are clumped together—that is something really exciting—we should bring that back to Earth and look at it in our laboratories,” Beegle said.

    Testing the technology

    In 2014, a NASA Astrobiology Institute Research grant was awarded to the University of Southern California to deploy the SHERLOC detection technique underground at Sanford Lab.

    “It’s one thing to use a scientific concept in a laboratory, but it’s a whole different set of experiences in the field,” Beegle said. “The tests at Sanford lab provided valuable information on how to actually operate and how to refine the technique.”

    The team studied core samples taken from the 4850 Level for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE. By testing the concept at SURF, researchers could both perfect SHERLOC’s technology and learn more about the extremophiles underground.

    “The NASA Astrobiology Institute embodies all of the main Sanford Lab research disciplines in one collaboration: biology, geology, engineering and physics. Not since an early gravity-wave experiment has one group taken advantage of so much of the our real estate breadth, with activities on multiple underground levels as well as work at the surface drill core archive,” said Jaret Heise, science director at Sanford Lab. “It’s exciting to think that the electronic biology and geology ‘scientist’ on the upcoming mission to Mars was trained and tested at Sanford Lab.”

    2
    The SHERLOC detection technique was installed at the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s worksite on the 4850 Level of Sanford Lab in 2014. Photo by Greg Wanger.

    “Sanford Lab is an ideal place for this research because it’s a science facility,” said Greg Wanger, who was an assistant professor at the University of Southern California at the time of the tests. Wanger said the underground at Sanford Lab has “well-characterized geology and access to several levels, allowing 3-D windows into the subsurface.”

    Teams also tested the SHERLOC concept in other extreme environments, including the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, Greenland, the Mojave Desert and deep underground in Borrego Springs, California.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility 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.”

     
  • richardmitnick 8:39 am on June 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: “Crews create a blast to take the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment to the next stage” 

    SURF logo

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility


    Homestake Mining Company

    June 25, 2020
    Lauren Biron and Leah Hesla [FNAL]

    Initial blast marks beginning of excavation for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility which will house DUNE.

    Surf-Dune/LBNF Caverns at Sanford

    1
    Excavation activities for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility began with first blast on June 23. Workers inspect the space cleared by the blast 3,650 feet below ground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. They will eventually excavate hundreds of thousands of tons of rock to make way for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab, and LBNF, which is the infrastructure that supports and houses the experiment. Photo courtesy Kiewit Alberici Joint Venture

    It started with a blast.

    On June 23, construction company Kiewit Alberici Joint Venture set off explosives 3,650 feet beneath the surface in Lead, South Dakota, to begin creating space for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Fermilab.


    The blast is the start of underground excavation activity for the experiment, known as DUNE, and the infrastructure that powers and houses it, called the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility, or LBNF.

    Situated a mile deep in South Dakota rock at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, DUNE’s giant particle detector will track the behavior of fleeting particles called neutrinos.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    The plan for the next three years, is that workers will blast and drill to remove 800,000 tons of rock to make a home for the gigantic detector and its support systems.

    “The start of underground blasting for these early excavation activities marks not only the initiation of the next major phase of this work, but significant progress on the construction already under way to prepare the site for the experiment,” said Fermilab Deputy Director for LBNF/DUNE-US Chris Mossey.

    The excavation work begins with removing 3,000 tons of rock 3,650 feet below ground. This initial step carves out a station for a massive drill whose bore is as wide as a car is long, about four meters.

    The machine will help create a 1,200-foot ventilation shaft down to what will be the much larger cavern for the DUNE particle detector and associated infrastructure. There, 4,850 feet below the surface — about 1.5 kilometers deep — the LBNF project will remove hundreds of thousands of tons of rock, roughly the weight of eight aircraft carriers.

    The emptied space will eventually be filled with DUNE’s enormous and sophisticated detector, a neutrino hunter looking for interactions from one of the universe’s most elusive particles. Researchers will send an intense beam of neutrinos from Fermilab in Illinois to the underground detector in South Dakota – straight through the earth, no tunnel necessary – and measure how the particles change their identities. What they learn may answer one of the biggest questions in physics: Why does matter exist instead of nothing at all?

    “The worldwide particle physics community is preparing in various ways for the day DUNE comes online, and this week, we take the material step of excavating rock to support the detector,” said DUNE spokesperson Stefan Söldner-Rembold of the University of Manchester. “It’s a wonderful example of collaboration: While excavation takes place in South Dakota, DUNE partners around the globe are designing and building the parts for the DUNE detector.”

    A number of science experiments already take data at Sanford Underground Research Facility, but no activity takes place at the 3650 level. With nothing and no one in the vicinity, the initial excavation stage to create the cavern for the drill proceeds in an isolated environment. It’s also an opportunity for the LBNF construction project to gather information about matters such as air flow and the rock’s particular response to the drill-and-blast technique before moving on to the larger excavation at the 4850 level, where the experiment will be built.

    “It was important for us to develop a plan that would allow the LBNF excavation to go forward without disrupting the experiments already going on in other parts of the 4850 level,” said Fermilab Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility Far-Site Conventional Facilities Manager Joshua Willhite. Following a period of excavation at the 3650 level, the project will initiate excavation at the 4850 level.

    Every bit of the 800,000 tons of rock dislodged by the underground drill-and-blast operation must eventually be transported a mile back up to the surface. There, a conveyor is being built to transport the crushed rock over a stretch of 4,200 feet for final deposit in the Open Cut, an enormous open pit mining area excavated in the 1980s. As large as the LBNF excavation will be, the rock moved to the surface and deposited in the Open Cut will only fill less than one percent of it.

    Excavation at the 3650 level will be completed over the next few months, with blasting at the 4850 level planned to begin immediately after.

    Learn more about the science of the DUNE experiment at http://www.lbnf-dune.fnal.gov.

    Work on LBNF and DUNE is supported by the DOE Office of Science and international partners in more than 30 countries.

    Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility 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.”

     
  • richardmitnick 8:53 am on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , SURF - Sanford Underground Research Facility   

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility: ‘Why DUNE? [Part III] Shedding light on the unification of nature’s forces” 

    SURF logo

    From Sanford Underground Research Facility


    Homestake Mining Company

    May 22, 2020
    Erin Broberg

    Part III in our series exploring the science goals of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment [image below].

    1
    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) could help us learn more about physics beyond the Standard Model. Courtesy Fermilab

    Master theoretical physicists laid the foundations of the Standard Model throughout the second half of the twentieth century. With outstanding success, it explained how particles like protons, neutrons and electrons interact on a subatomic level. It also made Nobel Prize-winning predictions about new particles, such as the Higgs Boson, that were later observed in experiments. For decades, the Standard Model has been the scaffolding on which physicists drape quantum concepts from magnetism to nuclear fusion.

    Despite its remarkable dexterity and longevity, however, some physicists have described the Standard Model as “incomplete,” “ugly” and, in some instances, even “grotesque.”

    “The Standard Model is an effective theory, but we are not satisfied,” said Chang Kee Jung, a professor of physics at Stony Brook University. “Physicists, in some sense, are perfectionists. We always want to know exactly why things work a certain way.” While the Standard Model is incredibly useful, it is far from perfect.

    2
    A portion of the Lagrangian standard model transcribed by T.D. Gutierrez. Courtesy Symmetry Magazine.

    Standard Model of Particle Physics, Quantum Diaries

    In a bewildering example, the Standard Model predicted that neutrinos, the universe’s most abundant particle, would be massless. In 1998, the Super-Kamiokande experiment in Japan caught the Standard Model in a lie.

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

    Neutrinos do indeed have mass, albeit very little. Further complicating matters, the Standard Model doesn’t explain dark matter or dark energy; combined, these account for 95 percent of the universe. In other cases, the Standard Model requires physicists to begrudgingly plug in arbitrary parameters to reflect experimental data.

    Unwilling to ignore these flaws, physicists are looking for a new, more perfect model of the subatomic universe. And many are hoping that the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, can put their theories to the test.

    Grander theories of the quantum world

    Leading alternatives to the Standard Model attempt to unify the three quantum forces: strong, weak and electromagnetic. Physicists have demonstrated that, at extremely high energies, the weak and electromagnetic force become indistinguishable. Many believe that the strong force can be unified in the same way.

    “Grand unification is the beautiful idea that there was a single force at the beginning of the universe, and what we see now is three manifestations of that original force,” said Jonathan Lee Feng, particle and cosmology theorist at the University of California, Irvine. This class of “Grand Unified Theories” is charmingly abbreviated as “GUTs.”

    In their search for a GUT, theorists have been a bit too successful. They haven’t created just one alternative to the Standard Model—they’ve created hundreds. These models unify quantum forces, explain the mass of a neutrino and eliminate many arbitrary parameters. Some are practical and bare-boned, others far-fetched and elaborate, but nearly all are mathematically solid.

    Even so, they can’t all be “right.”

    “You can write a logically and mathematically consistent theory, but that doesn’t mean it matches the real mechanisms of the universe,” Jung said. “Nature chooses its own way.”

    Testing physics beyond the Standard Model

    GUTs are a major branch of theory. But others also attempt to reshape our understanding of the universe. Surrounded by more models than could possibly be correct, theorists around the world are asking the universe for a nudge in the right direction.

    Just as the Standard Model predicted novel particles in the twentieth century that were later discovered through experimentation, new theories also predict never-before-seen phenomena. Some models predict the decay of a particle once thought immortal. Others hint at a fourth generation of neutrino. Still others foretell of particles that communicate between our realm and the realm of dark matter.

    “We can continue to speculate and refine these models, but if we actually witnessed one of these predictions, we’d have much more precise hints about where to go,” Feng said.

    Enter DUNE. The main goal of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment is to keep a watchful eye on a beam of neutrinos traveling from Fermilab to detectors deep under the earth at Sanford Underground Research Facility. However, the experiment is also designed to be sensitive to a slew of interactions predicted by avant-garde theories. The observation of even one of these predictions would rule out dozens of theories and guide the next generation of quantum theory.

    Tuned to witness quantum strangeness

    Proton decay

    The Standard Model dictates that protons—basic building blocks of matter best known for how they clump with neutrons in the center of an atom—are stable particles, destined to live forever.

    However, many Grand Unified Theories have predicted that, eventually, protons will decay. While different models disagree on the specific mechanisms that cause this decay, the general consensus is that proton decay is a good place to start investigating physics beyond the Standard Model.

    To validate these theories, physicists just have to glimpse the death of a proton.

    In the early 1950s, Maurice Goldhaber, an esteemed physicist who later directed Brookhaven National Laboratory, postulated that protons live at least 10^16 years. If their lifespan were any shorter, the radiation from frequent decays would destroy the human body. Thus, Goldhaber said, you could “feel it in your bones” that the proton was long-lived. Over time, experiments determined that protons lifetime was even longer—at least 10^34 years.

    According to current estimates, you would have to watch one proton for a minimum of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years—without blinking—in order to see it decay. Sensible physicists aren’t quite that patient.

    By watching a multitude of protons at once, researchers can greatly increase their chances of seeing a decay within their own lifetime (and still be alive to receive the Nobel Prize for their discovery). DUNE detectors will monitor 40,000 tons of liquid argon.

    FNAL DUNE Argon tank at SURF

    Each atom of argon contains 18 protons. If one out of this incredible number of protons decays during DUNE’s lifetime, it will show up in DUNE’s data.

    “If a proton decay is discovered, it is a revolutionary discovery—a once-in-a-generation discovery,” said Jung, who has played various leadership roles in DUNE.

    An invisible neutrino

    Neutrinos are subatomic particles; waiflike, abundant and neutral, they hardly interact with normal matter at all. DUNE is designed to monitor how neutrinos oscillate, or change between three different types of neutrino, as they stream through the Earth. But DUNE could also see something extra hidden in its data.

    “In the Standard Model, there are three types of neutrino: the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino and the tau neutrino. But why is there not a fourth generation? Why not five? What stops it at three? That is not known,” Jung said.

    There are subatomic hints of another type of neutrino, called a sterile neutrino, that interacts even less than the other known types. If it exists, the only way it could be measured is the way in which it joins the oscillation pattern of neutrinos, disrupting the pattern physicists expect to see.

    4
    There are subatomic hints of another type of neutrino, called a sterile neutrino, that interacts even less than the other known types. Courtesy Fermilab.

    “If what we see doesn’t match our three-flavor oscillation pattern, it will tell us a lot about what is incomplete about our understanding of the universe,” said Elizabeth Worcester, DUNE physics co-coordinator and physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory. “It could point to the existence of sterile neutrinos, a new interaction or even some other crazy thing we haven’t thought of yet. It would take some untangling to understand what the data is really telling us.”

    Investigating dark matter

    Dark matter is a mysterious, invisible source of matter responsible for holding vast galaxies together. Although not directly tied to theories of unification, the long-standing mystery of dark matter transcends the Standard Model. And depending on its true characteristics, DUNE could be the first to detect it.

    “Dark matter is an enormous question in our field,” said Feng, who has worked on a specific dark matter theory, called WIMP theory, for 22 years. “There is a lot of interesting creative work being done in theory, but hints from experiments like DUNE would be really helpful.”

    According to WIMP theory, dark matter is composed of weakly interacting, massive particles (WIMPs). If these particles exist, some of them are expected to pass through the Sun. There, they would interact with other particles, losing energy and sinking into the Sun’s core. Over time, enough WIMPs would gravitate toward the Sun’s core that they would annihilate with each other and release high-energy neutrinos in all directions. As you might guess, DUNE would be ready to detect these neutrinos. Researchers could reconstruct their trajectory, tracing them back to the Sun and, indirectly, to the WIMPs that produced them.
    ________________________________________________
    Dark Matter Background
    Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

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

    Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble

    In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.

    Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.

    Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

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


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


    Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970. https://home.dtm.ciw.edu

    The Vera C. Rubin Observatory currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    LSST Data Journey, Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago with Ana Kova


    ________________________________________________

    While Feng hasn’t given up on WIMPs, he has recently started working on another dark matter theory that involves light dark matter particles. This theory predicts that, in addition to looking for dark matter directly, we could also learn more about dark matter through so-called “mediator particles.”

    “If you imagine we could talk to dark matter on the phone, mediator particles would be the wire that connects us to it,” Feng said. If this theory is accurate, mediator particles could potentially be created as by-products in Fermilab’s particle accelerator and show themselves in one of DUNE’s detectors.

    Whatever its true characteristics, dark matter might reveal itself in DUNE, offering clues to yet another universe-sized mystery.

    Looking where the light is

    “There are other interactions beyond the Standard Model that DUNE could be sensitive to,” Worcester said. “Spontaneous neutron-antineutron oscillation, nonstandard interactions, exotic things like Lorentz violation, which would mean that almost all theory is broken.” The list goes on. “If it feels like a grab bag, that’s because it is.”

    Worcester likens DUNE’s multifaceted approach to the streetlamp effect. If you drop your keys on a dark street, you look under the streetlamp to find them. They may not be within the beam of light created by the streetlamp, but you have no hope of finding the keys in the darkness. So, you look where the light is.

    When researchers are attempting to look beyond what is known, advanced experiments like DUNE become their streetlamps, casting puddles of light onto unfamiliar physics.

    “It could be that some answers are still in the dark, but if we keep creating sophisticated experiments, we’ll find them,” Worcester said.

    So, why DUNE? Amidst its search for the origin of matter and supernovas on the galactic horizon, DUNE will also shine a bright light on physics beyond the Standard Model.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us.
    The Sanford Underground Research Facility 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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